Miami manager recommends demolishing the OB

Updated: November 9, 2007, 2:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Miami city officials have recommended that the Orange Bowl be demolished and its salvageable parts -- even the urinals -- sold off as memorabilia.

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City manager Pete Hernandez said Thursday that he will recommend the stadium be demolished, and he is expecting the Miami City Commission will approve.

The plan to level the 70-year-old football stadium, the site of five Super Bowls, memorable college football games and former home of the Miami Dolphins, was not unexpected. The stadium has fallen into disrepair and lost its last major tenant when the University of Miami decided to move its home football games to Dolphin Stadium.

Its final event will be a high-school football all-star game, on Jan. 4, 2008. The Hurricanes will play their final home game at the OB on Saturday against Virginia; its final college game is Dec. 1, when Florida International will host North Texas.

Orange Bowl
Robert Sullivan/Getty ImagesIf the Miami City Commission approves the city manager's recommendation, the Orange Bowl will meet the wrecking ball next year.
The city has targeted the Orange Bowl site as land for a retractable-roof ballpark for the Florida Marlins, prompting the demolition, Hernandez said. But he also said he's not waiting for the Marlins to sign off on the plan before setting the wrecking ball in motion.

''I can't afford to wait until I have a deal completed on baseball,'' Hernandez said, according to the Miami Herald. "Once we go past our final event on Jan. 4, we need to get it ready hopefully for baseball or something else."

The city is soliciting offers for the demolition and sale of memorabilia, Gilbert Cabrera, Hernandez' chief of staff, told the Herald. Memorabilia from the OB -- including the urinals -- is expected to go on sale early in 2008 and help defray the cost of demolition, estimated between $5 million and $7 million.

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