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REPORT: Obstacles arise for MLS/UM Stadium

According to a report by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, there are plenty of obstacles in the way of a joint MLS/UM stadium becoming a reality.

Former UM president Donna Shalala may have ruffled some feathers with her open campaign for a new UM Football Stadium
Former UM president Donna Shalala may have ruffled some feathers with her open campaign for a new UM Football Stadium
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the summer, there was a report that a joint UM/MLS stadium may have been getting positive momentum.

Late on Saturday night, Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald included stadium information in this blog (scroll to the bottom) that, unfortunately, doesn't bode well for Hurricanes fans.

First of all, neither the Beckham group nor UM has ruled out the previously proposed site (the one adjacent to Marlins Park). As it's the only viable location (Tropical Park isn't happening, stop it), that's understandable. The Beckham group wants UM to kick in some cash for this venture, which is also understandable, and hasn't been ruled out..

I'm sure you're wondering "well then, what are the issues?" Here they are, as reported by Jackson:

  1. As many have said (including myself on twitter many times), the more than $3 Billion that President Shalala raised for the University in her 14 years at Miami is money that is earmarked for academic programs. Meaning, that is money that has been specifically allocated for non-athletic use. Jackson reported that the donors gave the money with that understanding, and it would be tough (though possible) for the Board of Trustees and incoming President Julio Frenk to re-allocate those funds away from academics and to athletics.
  2. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would require UM to pay some kind of buyout to get out of the lease at Sun Life Stadium. While that isn't new knowledge and has been previously discussed in this and other spaces, what IS new is the report that Dolphins officials were displeased with President Shalala's statements desiring a new stadium for the Canes.
  3. Multiple entities own land in the proposed stadium location, including Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and private property owners. The Beckham Group and UM would have to deal with each of those entities to fully secure the land needed for this stadium. A task which could prove challenging, and costly.
Apart from those major issues, Jackson's report also states that the initial Beckham MLS/UM stadium proposal would require 16th street to be closed permanently in the stadium area. While that's not a deal breaker, that is something that would affect the general public, as 16th street is a North-South thoroughfare frequently used to get to the parking garages at Marlins Park if you're coming from the north (as most people who attend games normally do).

Speaking of the Marlins Park parking garages, those are being proposed as the main parking option for games at the MLS/UM stadium. That parking area would greatly diminish the space Canes fans would have to tailgate prior to games. However, for those of us who remember the Orange Bowl know that there is plenty of tailgating space available if you park in the yard of a home close to the stadium area. $20, no blocking!!

In any event, Jackson's report has to give you pause if you're hopeful that the Canes will eventually play in a stadium other than Sun Life.

So, that's 1 positive report, and 1 mostly negative report.

I wonder what will happen next.

Stay tuned, Canes fans.