The University of Miami Hurricanes football team will continue playing at Sun Life Stadium rather than be a tenant at the proposed David Beckham-led Miami MLS stadium.
The university has been sharing Sun Life Stadium with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, but the program has failed to generate a lot of enthusiasm since giving up the Orange Bowl, torn down to make for a new Miami Marlins ballpark. By shifting home games to a new Miami MLS stadium, the theory was that more interest would be generated for the program. But the decision has been made to honor the Sun Life Stadium contract, which runs for 18 more years:
The idea of sharing a downtown space predates Beckham’s current Museum Park plan, and under different circumstances may have been beneficial for approval of the stadium. The ‘Canes are a proven entity in Miami with a built-in fan base and a strong network of alumni. Public sentiment may have been tipped if a new stadium meant the team would play closer to its campus.
However, the team would have only considered moving if the stadium would hold at least 40,000 people. Beckahm’s current plan only calls for a 20,000-seat stadium, and renderings of the site plan have caught criticism for trying to downplay the size of a stadium of even that capacity. Add in parking questions, 20,000 more seats, and additional facilities, and the idea of the Canes sharing the space would only complicate the current plan.
The decision to exclude the ‘Canes may cut off a revenue source, but it does simplify planning.