Miami Orange Bowl

Miami Orange Bowl

View east from the west end zone in 2007.
Former names Burdine Stadium (1937–59)
Location 1501 NW 3rd Street
Miami, Florida
Coordinates 25°46′41″N 80°13′12″W / 25.778°N 80.220°W / 25.778; -80.220Coordinates: 25°46′41″N 80°13′12″W / 25.778°N 80.220°W / 25.778; -80.220
Owner City of Miami
Operator City of Miami
Capacity 23,330 (1937–1943)[1]
35,030 (1944–1946)[1]
59,578 (1947–1949)[1]
64,552 (1950–1952)[1]
67,129 (1953–1954)[1]
76,062 (1955–1960)[1]
72,880 (1961–1962)[2]
70,097 (1963–1967)[3]
80,010 (1968–1976)[1]
80,045 (1977–1980)[4]
75,500 (1981–1990)[1]
74,712 (1991–1993)[1]
74,476 (1994–2002)[1]
72,319 (2003–2007)[1]
Surface Natural grass – (1976–2008)
PolyTurf – (1970–1975)
Natural grass – (1937–1969)
Broke ground 1936
Opened December 10, 1937
Expanded 1944, 1947, 1950, 1953, 1955, 1968
Closed January 26, 2008
Demolished May 14, 2008
Construction cost $340,000 USD
($5.61 million in 2016 dollars[5])
Miami Hurricanes (NCAA) (1937–2007)
Orange Bowl (NCAA) (1938–1996, 1999)
Miami Seahawks (AAFC) (1946)
Miami Dolphins (AFL / NFL) (1966–1986)
Miami Toros (NASL) (1973–1975)
Miami Freedom (ASL / APSL) (1988–1992)
Miami Tropics (SFL) (2000)
FIU Golden Panthers (NCAA) (2007)
Miami FC (USL First Division) (2007)

The Miami Orange Bowl was an outdoor athletic stadium in Miami, west of downtown in Little Havana. Considered a landmark, it was the home stadium for the Miami Hurricanes college football team. It also hosted the professional Miami Dolphins for their first 21 seasons, until the opening of Joe Robbie Stadium (now Hard Rock Stadium) in nearby Miami Gardens in 1987. The stadium was the temporary home of the FIU Golden Panthers while its FIU Stadium underwent expansion during the 2007 season.

From 1966 to 1968, and again in the 1970s, a live dolphin was situated in a water tank in the open (east) end of the Orange Bowl. He would jump in the tank to celebrate touchdowns and field goals. The tank that was set up in the 1970s was manufactured by Evan Bush and maintained during the games by Evan Bush and Dene Whitaker. Flipper was removed from the Orange Bowl after 1968 to save costs and the 1970s due to stress. In the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Snowflake, a live dolphin who does special behaviors after the Dolphins score a touchdown, was the basis of the film after he is kidnapped as part of a revenge plot against Dan Marino.

Originally known as Burdine Stadium when opened in 1937, it was renamed in 1959 for the Orange Bowl, college football bowl game which was played at the Orange Bowl following every season from 1938 to 1996. The event was moved to Dolphin Stadium beginning on December 31, 1996. In 1999, the bowl game was hosted at the Orange Bowl for one final time due to a scheduling conflict. The minor league Miami Marlins baseball team occasionally played games in the Orange Bowl from 1956 to 1960.

The stadium was on a large block bounded by Northwest 3rd Street (south), Northwest 16th Avenue (west), Northwest 6th Street (north) and Northwest 14th Avenue (east, the open end of the stadium).

The Orange Bowl was demolished in 2008 and the site is now occupied by Marlins Park, the home of the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball.


Historical Aerial view of Burdine Stadium (Miami Orange Bowl) in 1940
Miami Orange Bowl, North Gate

The stadium was built by the City of Miami Public Works Department. Construction began in 1936 and was completed in December 1937 and featured stadium lights. Prior to completion, the first game was a high school contest on September 24 which saw Edison shut out Ponce de Leon, 36-0 with new lights partially going out, leaving mid-field dark with five minutes remain in the fourth quarter.[6] The stadium opened for Miami Hurricanes football on December 10, 1937. From 1926 to 1937 the University of Miami played in a stadium near Tamiami Park and also at Moore Park until the Orange Bowl was built.

Orange Bowl, outside of west end zone

The Orange Bowl was originally named Burdine Stadium after Roddy Burdine, one of Miami's pioneers and the owner of the Burdines department store chain. It originally seated 23,739 people along the sidelines—roughly corresponding to the lower level of the sideline seats in the stadium's final configuration. Attendance for its first Orange Bowl in January 1938 was under 19,000,[7][8] but the following year saw over 32,000 in attendance.[9][10][11] Seating was added in the end zones in the 1940s, and by the end of the 1950s the stadium was double-decked on the sidelines. In 1966, the AFL expansion Miami Dolphins played their first-ever regular season game in the stadium on September 2. The west end zone upper deck section was then added in the 1960s, bringing the stadium to its peak capacity of 80,010. On January 1, 1965, the Orange Bowl Game was the first college bowl game to be televised in prime time.[12]

In 1977, the permanent seats in the east end zone were removed, and further upgrades brought the stadium to its final capacity and design. The city skyline was visible to the east through the open end, over the modern scoreboard and palm trees. The surface was natural grass, except for six seasons in the 1970s. Poly-Turf, an artificial turf similar to AstroTurf, was installed for the 1970 football season. It was removed and replaced with a type of natural grass known as "Prescription Athletic Turf" after Super Bowl X in January 1976.

Walkway of the O.B.

Under the leadership of Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula, the Miami Dolphins enjoyed a winning record in the Orange Bowl against rival teams in the AFC Eastern Division. Under Shula, the Dolphins were an impressive 57–9–1 (60–10–1 including playoff contests) against the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (15–3), the Boston/New England Patriots (15–1), the Buffalo Bills (16–1) and the New York Jets (13–4–1). They have also beaten every visiting franchise at least once, enjoying perfect records against 11 of them.[13] The playoff results are: AFC Championship games: (1971, Miami 21, Baltimore 0); (1982, Miami 14, New York Jets 0) and (1985, New England 31, Miami 14) and AFC First round game (1982 strike shortened season, Miami 28, New England 13).

Farewell to the Orange Bowl event on January 26, 2008

Notable winning streaks during the Shula-era in the Orange Bowl include a 13–0 streak against the Buffalo Bills and a 15–0 streak against the New England Patriots, Also of note, the Miami Dolphins enjoyed a record 31-game home winning streak from 197175. This 31-game streak includes four playoff wins and the perfect season of 1972. The Dolphins have not enjoyed the same level of success in Sun Life Stadium. While much of this lack of success in Sun Life Stadium is obviously attributable to a diminished level of talent and organizational stability, it is also widely recognized that the homefield advantage that the Dolphins enjoyed in the Orange Bowl was exponentially greater than in their newer home. This was in great part due to the atmosphere of the Bowl. The closeness of the seats to the field, along with the closed West End Zone, metal bleachers, and steel structure (and of course the team's success and its status as Miami's only professional sports team for so many years), gave the venue one of the loudest and most electric homefield environments in the NFL. Visiting team quarterbacks often complained to referees or were forced to call time out as their teammates could not hear them barking out the signals due to the unbearable noise, especially when the Dolphins were making a goal-line stand in the closed West End Zone. While Sun Life Stadium is much newer and cleaner and is considered one of the top facilities in the NFL, with top-notch amenities, the seats are much farther from the field, and even at its loudest, Sun Life Stadium doesn't come close to comparing to that of the Orange Bowl.

The Orange Bowl was also the site of the NCAA's longest college football home field winning streak. Between 1985 and 1994, the Miami Hurricanes won 58 straight home games at the Bowl, until ended by the Washington Huskies. The stadium's home field advantage used to include a steel structure that fans would set to rumbling by stomping their feet. Concrete reinforcement had silenced the rumble. There was still the advantage of the West End Zone, which had a relatively narrow radius that amplified fan noise. The West End Zone was a factor in the Wide Right curse, in which the Florida State Seminoles lost a series of close games due to missed field goals. This section was so raucous that some football announcers often confused it with the student section.

In addition to football, the stadium also hosted concerts and other public events. The stadium had a regular capacity of 74,476 orange seats, and could seat up to 82,000 for concerts and other events where additional seating would have been placed on the playing field.

The last professional football game to be played in the Orange Bowl took place on April 29, 2000 and matched the Miami Tropics against the San Antonio Matadors of the short-lived Spring Football League. The Matadors won 16–13.

Date Super Bowl Team (Visitor) Points Team (Home) Points Spectators
January 14, 1968 II Green Bay Packers 33 Oakland Raiders 1475,546
January 12, 1969 III New York Jets 16 Baltimore Colts 775,389
January 17, 1971 V Baltimore Colts 16 Dallas Cowboys 1379,204
January 18, 1976 X Dallas Cowboys 17 Pittsburgh Steelers 2180,187
January 21, 1979 XIII Pittsburgh Steelers 35 Dallas Cowboys 3179,484

College Football

The City of Miami embarked on a plan to extensively renovate the stadium. However, those plans fell by the wayside as Miami focused on keeping the Florida Marlins in town, forcing the Hurricanes to threaten a move to Dolphin Stadium (now Hard Rock Stadium) in suburban Miami Gardens if a plan to renovate the stadium were not in place within 45 days. Some feared that Miami would permit the college to leave, only to tear down the Orange Bowl and replace it with the new stadium for the Marlins.

That fear became reality as Paul Dee, Athletic Director for the University of Miami, announced that the Hurricanes would be moving to Dolphin Stadium for the 2008 season. Dee and university president Donna Shalala made the announcement during a press conference at the Hecht Athletic Center on August 21, 2007. The University agreed to a 25-year contract to play at then Dolphin Stadium. According to Miami City Manager Pete Hernandez, this put the Orange Bowl back in the forefront as a possible site for a new Marlins stadium. The hope that talks would resume soon on that possibility vanished after only a short while.[14]

Many Hurricane fans vocally opposed the decision to move stadium locations and preferred maintaining the Orange Bowl as the Hurricanes' home field, out of concern of Dolphin Stadium's extra distance from campus, the severing of an icon of the Hurricanes' historical successes on the field, and potentially more expensive parking costs.

Final game at the Orange Bowl

Many fans have even stated to various broadcast, print and internet-based media outlets that they will no longer attend the games of Hurricanes football, once the team abandoned the Orange Bowl.[15] Some speculate that the decision to leave the Orange Bowl might have cursed the Miami Hurricanes and would cite the Miami Dolphins as a precedent. Indeed, a common explanation for the Miami Hurricanes' poor performance during the 2007 season is that "they've never been the same since they left the Orange Bowl."[16] The University of Miami lost their final Orange Bowl game to the University of Virginia, 48–0, in front of a live ESPN audience. This was the most lopsided home shutout loss in the program's history.

The last home game of college football in the Orange Bowl was a home win for the Florida International University Golden Panthers against the North Texas Mean Green. FIU had been using the Orange Bowl as home field for the season due to renovations to their home stadium. UM and FIU had engaged in a bench clearing brawl at the Orange Bowl the previous year during the first of two scheduled games between the two schools.

Hurricane Wilma

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma caused structural damage to the stadium, which rekindled discussion of tearing down the aging facility. The damage was subsequently repaired.

Final year and demolition

Demolition through April 7, 2008

The Orange Bowl was demolished in May 2008, and Marlins Park is now on the site. Despite some protests, the historic stadium had been earmarked for demolition when the University of Miami announced that they were moving out of the Orange Bowl after the 2007 season to begin play at Sun Life Stadium in 2008 in a 25-year deal.[17] On November 10, 2007, the University of Miami Hurricanes lost their final game at the Orange Bowl when the Virginia Cavaliers defeated Miami 48–0 in the Hurricanes' second worst home shutout loss in school history.[18]

Press Box section demolition.

The FIU Golden Panthers (now Panthers) won their last game at the Orange Bowl against the North Texas Mean Green on December 1, 2007 by a score of 38–19, snapping a 23-game losing streak that many attributed to the consequences of suspensions following the UM-FIU brawl the year before. Since the Golden Panthers had been using the Orange Bowl as their home field during the construction of FIU Stadium, this win allowed the FIU team to boast that it was they who officially closed the Orange Bowl's college football career with a home win.

A high school all-star game, "The Offense-Defense All-American Bowl", took place on January 4, 2008 and was the last game before the closing events.

On Saturday, January 26, 2008 a "Farewell to the Orange Bowl Stadium" flag football game was held. The game featured former Dolphin and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, plus Mark Duper, Mercury Morris, Dwight Stephenson, A.J. Duhe, Don Strock, Jim Kiick, John Offerdahl, Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Melvin Bratton, Brian Blades, Bennie Blades and Eddie Brown.

The Final Days

The NFL's winningest coach Don Shula coached the Dolphin players while Florida Atlantic University and former Hurricanes coach (and former Dolphins assistant) Howard Schnellenberger coached the UM players.

The Orange Bowl was open to the public for the last time February 8–10, 2008 when a public auction of stadium artifacts and memorabilia was held. The stadium was stripped and pieces were sold by a company called Mounted Memories. Demolition of the Orange Bowl began on March 3, 2008,[19] and was completed on May 14, 2008.

The Orange Bowl is one of five stadiums that had hosted a Super Bowl that are no longer standing, along with Tulane Stadium (hosted three Super Bowls; demolished in 1980), Tampa Stadium (hosted two Super Bowls; demolished in 1999), Stanford Stadium (hosted one Super Bowl; demolished and redeveloped in 2006), and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Commemorative marker

As part of the new Marlins Park, Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places have commissioned Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture to design a public artwork to commemorate the Miami Orange Bowl. Their project uses the letters from the original "Miami Orange Bowl" sign as the basis for the 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) orange concrete letters rearranged across the east plaza of the new ballpark so that they form new words as visitors move around them.[20]

Stadium events


Super Bowls

Miami Orange Bowl during Super Bowl V

The Orange Bowl hosted five Super Bowls:


Miami Field

From 1940–65, the University of Miami baseball team played their games at a field in the southwest corner of the block where the stadium sat. The diamond and a small covered seating were in that corner, with the center field fence running along the periphery of the football stadium's outer concourse, and the right field fence bordering a driveway leading up the big stadium. There was also a softball field to the east across the driveway—during football season, the baseball and softball fields were both used for parking. The Hurricanes opened a new ballpark in 1973, and Miami Field's small seating area was demolished, with the land occupied by the two fields reconfigured into full-time parking areas.


1987 Marlboro Cup (Miami)

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round
March 12, 1987Colombia Millonarios3-2Brazil São Paulo FCSemifinals
 United States1–0Colombia Deportivo Cali
March 14, 1987Brazil São Paulo FC2-1Colombia Deportivo CaliThird Place Match
Colombia Millonarios3–1 United StatesFinal

1988 Marlboro Cup (Miami)

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round
March 4, 1988Chile Colo-Colo0-1Colombia Atlético NacionalSemifinals
 United States2–1Colombia Millonarios
March 6, 1988Chile Colo-Colo2-1Colombia MillonariosThird Place Match
Colombia Atlético Nacional3–2 United StatesFinal

1990 Marlboro Cup (Miami)

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round
February 2, 1990 Colombia0-2 UruguaySemifinals
 United States0–2 Costa Rica
February 4, 1990 United States1-1(8-9 pen) ColombiaThird Place Match
 Uruguay2–0 Costa RicaFinal

1990 Recopa Sudamericana

Date Time (EDT) Team #1 Result Team #2 Spectators
March 17, 199019:00Colombia Atlético Nacional
1989 Copa Libertadores Winners
0-1Argentina Boca Juniors
1989 Supercopa Sudamericana Winners

1996 Olympic Football Men's tournament matches

Dat Time (EDT) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
July 20, 199618:30 France2–0 AustraliaGroup B14,322
July 21, 199618:30 Japan1–0 BrazilGroup D46,713
July 22, 199618:30 Australia2–1 Saudi ArabiaGroup B5,997
July 23, 199620:30 Brazil3–1 HungaryGroup D34,871
July 24, 199619:00 France2–1 Saudi ArabiaGroup B4,615
July 25, 199620:30 Brazil1–0 NigeriaGroup D55,650
July 27, 199618:00 Portugal2–1 (AET) FranceQuarterfinals22,339
July 28, 199618:00 Brazil4–2 Ghana55,650

1996 Olympic Football Women's tournament matches

Dat Time (EDT) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
July 21, 199616:00 Sweden0–1 China PRGroup A46,724
July 23, 199618:00 Denmark3–1 China PR34,871
July 25, 199618:30 China PR0–0 United States55,650

1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
February 3, 1998 Brazil0–0 JamaicaGroup A43,754
February 6, 1998 Brazil1–1 Guatemala17,842

Brazil an CONMEBOL member, were invited to compete in the CONCACAF tournament.

2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
February 12, 2000 United States3–0 HaitiGroup B49,591
 Colombia1–0 JamaicaGroup A
February 14, 2000 Jamaica0–2 Honduras50,164
 Haiti1–1 PeruGroup B23,795
February 16, 2000 Honduras2–0 ColombiaGroup A36,004
 Peru0–1 United StatesGroup B
February 19, 2000 United States2–2(1-2 pen) ColombiaQuarterfinals32,972
 Honduras3–5 Peru

Colombia and Peru (members of CONMEBOL), as well as South Korea, an AFC member, were invited to compete in the CONCACAF tournament.

2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
January 17, 2002 Martinique0–2 Costa RicaGroup C14,508
 Haiti2-1 CanadaGroup D
January 19, 2002 Costa Rica1–1 Trinidad and TobagoGroup C12,253
 Ecuador1–3 HaitiGroup D
January 21, 2002 Trinidad and Tobago0–1 MartiniqueGroup C3,827
 Canada0-2 EcuadorGroup D
January 26, 2002 Costa Rica2-1 a.e.t. HaitiQuarterfinals14,823
 Canada1-1 (6-5 on pen.) Martinique

Ecuador, a CONMEBOL member, were invited to compete in the CONCACAF tournament, along with South Korea, an AFC member.

2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
July 12, 2003 Jamaica0-1 ColombiaGroup B15,423
July 14, 2003 Guatemala0-2 Jamaica10,323
July 16, 2003 Colombia1-1 Guatemala11,233
July 19, 2003 Colombia0-2 BrazilQuarterfinals23,425
July 23, 2003 United States0-1 (a.e.t) BrazilSemifinals35,211
July 26, 2003 United States3-2 Costa RicaThird place playoff5,093

Colombia and Brazil, members of CONMEBOL, were invited to compete in this CONCACAF tournament.

2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
July 5, 2005 Colombia0-2 PanamaGroup A10,311
 Trinidad and Tobago1-1 Honduras
July 9, 2005 Panama2-2 Trinidad and Tobago17,292
 Honduras2-1 Colombia
July 11, 2005 Colombia2-0 Trinidad and Tobago8,457
 Honduras1-0 Panama

Colombia, a CONMEBOL member, and South Africa, a CAF member, were invited to compete in the CONCACAF tournament.

2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
June 6, 2007 Costa Rica1-2 CanadaGroup A17,420
 Guadeloupe1-1 Haiti
June 9, 2007 Canada1-2 Guadeloupe22,529
 Haiti1-1 Costa Rica
June 11, 2007 Costa Rica1-0 Guadeloupe15,892
 Haiti0-2 Canada

Non-athletic events



Films – TV – Video games


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Orange Bowl". Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  4. Information please almanac, atlas ... – Dan Golenpaul Associates – Google Books. Google Books. February 28, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  5. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  6. "Officials, captains, in first game at Roddey Burdine Stadium". Miami News. (photo). September 25, 1937. p. 6.
  7. "18,000 see Auburn win Orange Bowl". Miami News. January 2, 1938. p. 1A.
  8. "Auburn rushes Michigan State". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. January 2, 1938. p. 2-sports.
  9. "Vols Swamp Oklahoma In 17–0 Battle". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 3, 1939. p. 12.
  10. "32,191 fans see Tennessee beat Oklahoma, 17-0". Miami News. January 3, 1939. p. 1B.
  11. "Camera snaps color, pageantry of Miami's annual Orange Bowl grid classic". Miami News. (photo). January 3, 1939. p. 1.
  12. "1965 Orange Bowl, Texas vs. Alabama: College Football Goes Primetime | Barking Carnival". Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  13. "Miami Dolphins Franchise Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  14. Miami Leaving Orange Bowl; Will Play in Dolphin Stadium,, accessed August 21, 2007
  15. Miami Herald's Eye on the U Blog; Time To Start Saying Goodbye, accessed October 30, 2007
  16. "Checklist for Failure is all Too Familiar" David Hyde Commentary South Florida Sun-Sential October 3, 2007
  17. Future of Orange Bowl in doubt, BBC Sport, August 21, 2007.
  18. " – News and Scores from Sports Illustrated". CNN.
  19. Pope, Edwin (November 10, 2007). "Orange Bowl Commemorative Section". Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  20. Janie Campbell. "Ballpark's Public Tribute to Daytona Beach Approved". NBC Universal, Inc. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
  21. 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 543.
  22. "BoxRec Boxing Records". Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  23. "Concerts". Retrieved October 17, 2011.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Miami Field
Sun Life Stadium
Home of the Orange Bowl
Succeeded by
Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium
Preceded by
Home of the Miami Dolphins
Succeeded by
Sun Life Stadium
Preceded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Tulane Stadium
Tulane Stadium
Louisiana Superdome
Host of the Super Bowl
II 1968 – III 1969
V 1971
X 1976
XIII 1979
Succeeded by
Tulane Stadium
Tulane Stadium
Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl
Preceded by
Arrowhead Stadium
Host of the NFL Pro Bowl
Succeeded by
Louisiana Superdome
Preceded by
FIU Stadium
Home of the FIU Golden Panthers
Succeeded by
FIU Stadium
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium (Montreal)
Host of
Drum Corps International
World Championship

Succeeded by
Grant Field
Preceded by
Memorial Stadium
Three Rivers Stadium
Riverfront Stadium
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Host of AFC Championship Game
Succeeded by
Three Rivers Stadium
Oakland Coliseum
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Preceded by
Ralph Korte Stadium
Host of the College Cup
Succeeded by
Busch Memorial Stadium
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