Miami — More than 300 residents of Allapattah, a Miami neighborhood, turned out to witness city and sports officials formally open a $5.7 million project that is expected to boost athletic involvement in the area’s kids. The project is funded by the Orange Bowl Committee and the city.
“This is an important day for the city of Miami, for we have finished a project that is truly a partnership between the private and the public sector,” said Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado.
Regalado, City Commissioner Richard P. Dunn, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford, PAC-10 Commissioner Larry Scott, Miami Dolphins Director of Youth and Community Programs Twan Russell, Orange Bowl Committee President Antonio L. Argiz, Vice Chairman Ford Gibson and CEO Eric Poms headed the list of VIPs attending the Jan. 2 ceremonial ribbon-cutting at Moore Park, followed by a block party.
The Orange Bowl Committee initiated the project to develop the Orange Bowl Field at Moore Park, 765 Northwest 36th St., in 2008 as a “legacy gift” to mark the organization’s 75th anniversary.
The committee contributed $2.5 million to the project, plus design fees, and guaranteed an additional $700,000 for completion of the youth sports complex. The $2.5 million gift was matched by the city.
“Moore Park was an over-utilized and neglected park because of a lack of funds but what the Orange Bowl Committee has done is given back to the community the place where the Orange Bowl all began,” Regalado said at the opening, according to an Orange Bowl release.
The state-of-the-art facility features a Desso synthetic field turf playing surface – the same material used for the 2010 World Cup; a six-lane rubberized track with shot put, discus, high jump, long jump and pole value areas; seating for up to 1,500 people; home and away locker rooms; home and away restrooms and concessions; an air-conditioned press box with a new public address system; Musco field lighting; and an electronic scoreboard.
The project was managed by Gibson Development Partners and Republic Real Estate Advisors. Borrelli & Partners were the architects, working with general contractor Miller Construction.
“Thank you all for your time, dedication and support,” Orange Bowl President Antonio L. Argiz said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “As you all know, the Orange Bowl is a community driven organization and we look forward to continuing to impact South Florida.”