CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Orange Bowl hosted a dozen games that decided college football's national championship, five Super Bowls and a speech by John F. Kennedy.
Miami football called it home for seven decades -- but after this year, no more.
The Hurricanes will play at Dolphin Stadium starting in 2008, leaving the historic but decaying Orange Bowl in what university president Donna Shalala called "a painful and sad decision." University trustees voted to make the move Tuesday, despite the offer of $206 million by city officials to renovate one of Miami's best-known landmarks.
With the Hurricanes set to depart, the Orange Bowl will no longer have a primary tenant -- putting the building's future in serious doubt. Some believe demolition may be an option, and the site has also been mentioned as a possible home for the Florida Marlins, who want a baseball-only facility.
"If they don't have a use for it, I'm sure they'll do something else with it," Miami athletic director Paul Dee said.
Miami agreed to a 25-year lease and could collect more than $2 million in additional revenue annually by moving to Dolphin Stadium, which will carry a new corporate-sponsored name by 2010.
Shalala indicated that the choice to leave the Orange Bowl was difficult, saying afterward, "I didn't want to do it."
"We really tried and I hope our fans understand that we really tried," Shalala said. "That said, the decision itself, given what our options were, was not that complicated."
Miami first played at the Orange Bowl in 1937. The Hurricanes won three national championship games on that field, had a NCAA-record 58-game home winning streak from 1985 through 1994 and have drawn more than 17 million fans there over the years.
But the stadium's facade is rusting, upgrades are needed and the building lacks many amenities modern stadiums have -- such as the luxury suites and video replay screens that helped lure Miami to the Dolphins' home.
"When you look back at the history and all that we have done in that stadium and all that's been accomplished there, frankly, it was accomplished by a group of people on the field," Dee said. "It was accomplished by a group of people in the stands. The Orange Bowl never scored a touchdown. The Orange Bowl never cheered. It was the people that were there."
Miami's first game in Dolphin Stadium -- which is undergoing $300 million worth of expansion and renovations -- is scheduled for Aug. 30, 2008, against North Texas, but Dee said the school is working to bring a different opponent in for the opener.
The Orange Bowl hosted a famous speech by Kennedy to Cuban exiles after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, along with concerts, boxing and even Olympic soccer matches in 1996. Miami has won nearly 70 percent of its games there, bolstered by raucous crowds.