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The City of Homestead and the Orange Bowl Committee broke ground today on a $2.1 million renovation of the existing football stadium and field at Harris Field Park in Homestead.
The project is the Orange Bowl’s fourth Legacy Gift to the South Florida community. Specifically, the renovation will be comprised of a new multi-purpose synthetic turf field designed for football and soccer, new video scoreboard and sound system, goal posts and nets, landscaping, and renovated restrooms, locker rooms and press box. The new field will be called Orange Bowl Field at Harris Field Park, with completion scheduled by the summer 2017. In addition to servicing the populace of South Dade, Harris Field Park is the home of eight high school football teams and youth football in the region.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to make an impact at Harris Field Park, a cherished part of the Homestead community and South Florida’s storied athletic tradition,” said Michael B. Chavies, Orange Bowl Committee president and chair. “As we began searching for a site for our next Legacy Gift, we saw a major need for the City of Homestead, the people of South Dade and the high schools in that area of the County with Harris Field Park. The mission and vision of the Orange Bowl Committee is to inspire youth, engage our community and enhance South Florida – the new Orange Bowl Field at Harris Field Park will do all that and more.”
Following the completion of Orange Bowl Field at Harris Field Park, the Orange Bowl Legacy Gift projects combined will have provided more than $12 million worth of improvements toward the beautification of the South Florida community and recreational park activities for residents and their families.
“The new Orange Bowl Field at Harris Field Park is going to make a huge difference to the young athletes that play there and the families that come out to support them,” said Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter. “We work every day to provide new and better amenities to our residents and visitors and this is something we can be really proud of. Thanks to CenterState Bank and their Community President Bob Epling’s commitment to Homestead, we were able to team up with the Orange Bowl Committee on this project. Now, we’re going to be providing a first class facility that fosters athletic development throughout all of South Dade.”
The Orange Bowl first unveiled the Legacy Gift initiative in 2008-09 in honor of the organization’s 75th anniversary, which also coincided with the hosting of the 2009 BCS National Championship. In January 2011, the Orange Bowl, in conjunction with the City of Miami, cut the ribbon on Orange Bowl Field at Moore Park. In 2013, the Orange Bowl, in conjunction with the City of Fort Lauderdale, renovated Joseph C. Carter Park in Fort Lauderdale. Most recently, the Orange Bowl, in conjunction with Miami-Dade County, unveiled the new Orange Bowl Field at Ives Estates Park.
The announcement of this fourth Legacy Gift in Homestead furthers the Orange Bowl’s commitment to youth sports in the South Florida community as Harris Field Park is also the home of the Dick Conley Steelers, a Florida Youth Football League team within the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance (OBYFA). The OBYFA benefits more than 15,000 youth football players and cheerleaders representing eight football leagues across eight South Florida counties. Since 1999, the Orange Bowl Committee has invested more than $7 million in youth sports over and above the Legacy Gift Projects.