Mike Mangini gazed at the Orange Bowl, a once-glistening stadium near downtown Miami now replete with a rusting facade, decaying frame and well-worn fixtures.
"It's a dump," said Mangini, a South Florida hospital worker who has held Hurricanes season tickets since the 1980s. "But we love this dump."
This month, university trustees may decide if the Hurricanes should continue playing in the 70-year-old structure that needs an estimated $206-million in repairs. The other option is moving 16 miles north to Dolphin Stadium - the newly refurbished, much-more-modern home of the Dolphins and Florida Marlins.
If the Hurricanes stay, the city of Miami, which owns the Orange Bowl, has put together a plan to add suites, new restrooms and other amenities. If Miami leaves, the athletic department could gain another $2-million or more in extra revenue at Dolphin Stadium - concessions and parking, mostly.
University officials say no decision has been made. Some fans, though, fear it's likely the 2007 season may be the Hurricanes' finale at the Orange Bowl, which the program has called home since Dec. 10, 1937.
"They're probably gone," said Dave Bargill, another longtime fan who lives near the stadium. "If they go, the city will probably knock the Orange Bowl down. So when they go, I'm not going with them, and I know I'm not alone. All the history here. Such a shame."