University of Miami Football Team May Have a New Home


Ava Stuzin

The Tropical Park field is the current home field to many high schools including Miami Palmetto Senior High.

Eitan Greenberg, Copy Editor

Earlier this month, billionaire and University of Miami donor John H. Ruiz announced plans to construct a new football stadium for Miami’s football team, the Hurricanes. For decades, the Hurricanes played football at the legendary Miami Orange Bowl, but after it was torn down in 2007 — replaced by Marlins Park, which is now called loanDepot Park — the team needed a replacement.

The Hurricanes currently have a leasing deal with the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. However, over the past years, the field quality at the stadium has noticeably declined on weekends with consecutive games on two straight days. Additionally, the stadium is 22 miles away from the university’s main campus, which is located in South Miami.

Ruiz’s proposition — for which a map will be released in the coming weeks — would include a modernized sports/multi-use complex at Tropical Park, which sits only nine miles away from the main campus. The complex, which would be called LifeWallet Stadium, would be a part of Ruiz’s larger plan of remodeling Tropical Park. In terms of logistics, the stadium would span around 270 acres and would seat 65,000 people. Ruiz has said how much he enjoys the design in the past and has spoken to the contractors and architects who built SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, which is the keystone model for modernized stadiums.

Ruiz has publicly pushed for a new stadium after the Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse hired former Oregon Head Coach Mario Cristobal in December. While Miami finished second to Pittsburgh in the 2021 standings, led by NFL first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett, they hope that standout Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke can lead the team to a title in 2022. 

Ruiz’s initial plan for a stadium included provisions that likely would have Miami Coral Gables Senior High School torn down, but the county commission and Miami-Dade residents have shown strong opposition to the proposal. Additionally, Miami Palmetto Senior High’s Varsity football team plays home games at Tropical Park. However, Ruiz has stated that high school sports will continue to play there with the benefit of new facilities.

In order to be built, the idea of a new stadium would have to pass a county referendum, but Ruiz has stated his confidence in the new stadium.