Tropical Park is the latest idea tossed out by a committee of Miami Hurricanes boosters who have been checking out locations in a quest to find the Canes a place to call their football home.
The Canes have a new coach, Mario Cristobal, the hometown answer to putting the team back at the top of college football, and behind the scenes there's a new athletic director and commitment to upgrading everything to get to recruits to the University of Miami.
What’s missing to compete with top football powers is a stadium that would bring back the days where visiting teams wilted when the Ibis and the Canes came out from the smoke.
John Ruiz is the UM graduate and donor trying to make it happen. He said Tropical Park is on their list and it would include facilities for high school teams and the public too.
"It’s a complete, entire sort of landscape for the community," Ruiz said Friday. "So Dade County schools, a lot of them don’t have baseball fields, a lot of them don’t have football fields. They don’t have the right facilities for basketball, for volleyball, for tennis. So this will incorporate all of it and provide a forum for all these sports to be played."
Ruiz said the park would have a police and fire station and place for a helicopter to land in emergencies.
However Tropical Park, which is owned by Miami-Dade County, is a busy place already with a host of activities for residents.
"Parks are protected under our charter. It’s not possible to convert a park to a private facility without a vote of all of the residents of Miami Dade County. So, our parks are not for sale," Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
Coral Gables already said that anywhere in the Gables is out due to traffic and congestion. So the search for the Canes football home continues, and it’s a long term process.
The supporters on the search committee realize that having a stadium for UM, and that game day experience, is crucial if you want to take down heavyweights like Georgia and Alabama.
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