South Florida

Former Tent City During Andrew Becomes New State-of-the-Art Football Stadium

During Hurricane Andrew, a football field in Homestead became a tent city, which was a place of refuge for the dozens who lost their homes.

That same field has now gotten a new state-of-the-art makeover.

Harris field, which is now known as Orange Bowl Field at Harris Field Park, received more than $2 million in renovations.

Two South Florida high schools faced off on the new field Thursday night – but 25 years ago, that same space was covered in tents to house Hurricane Andrew’s displaced victims.

“This is a true statement to how far we’ve come and how much we’ve rebuilt,” said Zackery Good of the City of Homestead.

Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Andy Rubenstein described Homestead as a war zone in August 1992.

“This is where people needed water, this where people needed food, this is where people needed to get their lives back together,” said Sgt. Rubenstein.

The military unit’s other job was to keep the peace as some people fought over ice, food and water.

“We were chasing those people out and making sure they got water for free,” said Sgt. Rubenstein.

On the anniversary of Andrew’s destruction: new construction. Eight county high schools and several youth sports teams can play on a synthetic turf field and fans can enjoy the games with a new video scoreboard and sound system.

“This is great. Especially on the 25th anniversary of Andrew. To be watching a community continuing to rebuild and rejuvenate itself and for the Orange Bowl to be part of that here at Harris Field,” said Don Slesnick, a member of the Orange Bowl committee.

The field is the Orange Bowl’s fourth legacy gift, in conjunction with the City of Homestead.

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