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2008 FIU Stadium Tour: The East End Zone & North Side

Welcome back to the second part of our first FIU Stadium tour of 2008. Grab your hard hats, put on your Aerial fluorescent vests and let's take the southeast corner ramp to go to the east end zone side of the stadium -- home of the sweetest view of FIU Stadium.

Before we get there, here are some notes for you: I've read all your questions about the stadium and I'll get them answered for you in an upcoming blog. Answering them here would take up too much space. Also following this blog, I'll have more photos of the stadium with some more details. Let's put our hands together and thank FIU media relations guru and official stadium blog photographer Evan Koch for all the stadium photos you are about to enjoy. Let's go east....

Taking the southeast ramp and any other ramp at FIU Stadium will remind you of the Orange Bowl, without the urine and beer smell. Good exercise going up and down the ramps and great views as well of the campus and Miami.

The first thing you are going to notice when you get up on the east side of the stadium, besides the wide wraparound concourse, is the magical view. Depending on your computer's capabilities, you can enlarge any of the photos on here to get a better look.

From the east side of the stadium you can see ALL of the following: the downtown Miami skyline, the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Coconut Grove, Dadeland and the Biltmore hotel in Coral Gables. MainstdowntownrtIn the photo on the left, if you can enlarge it you will see the downtown Miami skyline on the right side of the picture.

This photo also has a shot of the area (grass) where the future "Main Street FIU" will be built. For the next tour in April, the GPP will do a sunshine dance to keep the rain and cloudy skies away that we encountered on this tour in order to give you a clearer picture.

The photo on the right shows Dadeland. Dadeland_2

I suggested to Rudy of Odebrecht to install those viewing meters that they have in Niagara Falls so after FIU has a huge lead in a game, fans can walk on over to the east side, put a quarter in the meter and gaze at the beautiful city of Miami.

Let's get back on track. Back to the stadium. The other part of the east side and eventually the whole stadium that will leave an impression on you is the wide concourse (20 feet wide) that will wrap around the entire stadium. Here are some photos (left and right) of what I'm talking about. You can literally drive two cars Concour_2 through the concourses. Besides the width, the other good thing about the concourse is that if you get up to go to the concession stands, you won't miss a play, because of the concourse wrapping around Ppconcour_3 the entire stadium. It also allows you to see the game from a variety of angles. Nice touch to the stadium.

Okay, stop staring. You people can keep looking at the east view another time. Before we move to the northeast corner of the stadium. Here is probably one of the worst seats on the first level (sarcasm here, because there really are no bad seats). Well, if you had to pick one this might be it. The photo below on the left is shot from the top seat of the southeast corner of stadium. Again, you may need to enlarge this photo with your computer to see that this is really NOT a bad seat.

Badseatsecorner_3 While some may think there won't be much of a home field advantage with the stadium not fully enclosed in the first phase, let's see if I can show you how cozy the first phase really is in relation to the field.Closeendzoneseats Look how close the east end zone seats are to the field in the picture on the right. I walked that area and counted 7 yards from the first row of seats to the field.

When we get to the end of northeast corner of the stadium where the new seats turn into the north side of the stadium, you can see where PG made the adjustments to the stands to allow for soccer to be played at the new stadium.

While construction won't begin on the north side until 2010 -- when the student services center, welcome center and north stands start going up -- in this photo below on the left you can see where the east side stands end. It's at this point where retractable seats will begin for the entire north side of the stadium.

Soccerseats  You know how Dolphin Stadium has retractable seats on their north side where the Marlins scoreboard and the left field outfield wall are, well the same type of seats are going to be in place on FIU Stadium's north side.

These seats will retract for soccer matches. NO need to panic, they will be the same exact comfortable seats as the rest of the stadium, only they can retract.

Also, I've been told when the north side seats are done, they will be as close to field as all the other seats around the stadium.

Here are some other north side tidbits. Need more evidence that the seats are real close to the field. If you climb to the top row in the old north side bleachers that would be row 24. The further you go up on the old north side bleachers the further away from the field you are getting. Now if you climb to row 12 on the new south side seats -- you are at the same height as row 24 on the old north bleachers. What's the difference? The old north side bleachers move further back from the field, the higher you go -- sort of like high school bleachers. Whereas the south side and every other side of the new stadium just goes straight up, the higher you go. Think of it as going up a diagonal line (old seats) Old_3 as opposed to a somewhat straight line (new seats). Enough geometry, I for one struggled with that subject in high school.

See if you can tell the Incline_2 difference between the old bleachers, where yours truly in the yellow hat is sitting, (photo left) going back from the field and the new east end zone seats (photo right) going up in more of a straight line.

As far as the area (photo below left) where the old track used to be and is now a wide gap between the opponents bench and the old north seats, well that area will remain vacant until construction on the north side begins in 2010. I think that answers CJ's question.

Nside I'll have more photos and other details on the stadium on the next blog.

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Thanks Pete!!!

It's amazing how quick the stadium is getting done. I'm glad you posted all these great pictures. I will agree with you, there is no bad seat in this stadium.

What really stands out to me is the concession stand. You can still see the game while buying food and drinks. That's just a great idea. Great job Pete. Looking forward to reading the next blog

Go FIU!!!

Some questions....Are there gonna be concessions stands on that wrap around concourse only...or also underneath the stadium?...or just the "old" ones originally built there? What about restrooms?..

Will the video scoreboard show live play at the board...and replays...as in top venues like Dolphin Stadium, Raymond James, etc?

Will there be TV monitors at concession stands (if there will be some underneath some areas of the stadium) showing the game and plays as well for those getting up to buy or wander around?

Nice post, Senor Pete.

I really, REALLY like that viewing meters idea. That would certainly be a cool way to pass time. You could also put those meters on the upper deck of the stadium for an even better view... if that ever gets built.

While back in the M-I-A, and specifically on the campus for the UNO game, I took a pit stop by the stadium. I won't say the new stadium is the Orange Bowl, but if the OB fathered a child, this stadium would be its son. I know the plan was to emulate the OB, and boy, FIU succeeded. Almost too well. It's kind of eerie.

The aerial shots in particular remind me of the OB, sans the upper level. There wasn't a bad seat in the house in that place, either, unless you also got to see the water coming from the bathrooms. :) I can totally believe every seat will be a good one in this new Cage. In an age where stadiums are built more for the corporate sponsors than for the fans (see JRS), it's nice to see FIU is building this place with the average spectator in mind.

I'm also glad the stands will be much closer to the field. That always annoyed me about the old stadium. You could barely hear anything from the field up in that makeshift press box. The crowds (when there were any good ones) were usually so spread out that it didn't give a great vibe. I know the lack of people was a big factor, but having the stands as far apart as they were hurt a lot, too. The atmosphere should be way better just from that alone.

The only thing I wish FIU would have done would be to make the stadium more... unique, I guess. I know there's time and much left to build, but there really isn't anything distinctive that says "you're at FIU", at least not from the plans I've seen. I hope at some point that something comes up that gives that place a unique vibe.

Maybe that new student support complex will do that, but I was hoping for something more creative. If they had kept an open end like it was at the OB, you could've done a hill there for the students... maybe a sand hill and recreate the beach atmosphere. Maybe not THAT idea, exactly, but you all get my point.

Keep it coming, Pete!

I am buying my plane ticket to the 305 for the USF-FIU game....can't wait, GO FIU Football and Med School, make us proud!

The building blocks on the road to "the BIG time" are coming together nicely.

There will come a day, down the road, when we'll look back and say, we've supported this team, this school, since back when the football stadium was not much more than a field and some bleachers. After the last seat is in and the lights are on, the only thing left to secure success is winning, and winning consistently. We all witnessed what happens in this town when winning comes around (see 1997 NHL Panthers, 2003 Marlins, 2006 Heat). Once winning becomes part of the formula, OUR stadium will be rockin!

Go G-Panthers

AMEN BROTHER... that is the right mindset! Im still a freshmen but i did go to my highschool games at the old cage. Im very proud to hear of all the alumni flying in to be there for the big day. FIU is going to rock up Miami in the next few years!

Pete, your boy at the Sun is trying to stir up trouble. He needs a beatdown!

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/fau/blog/2008/02/create_your_own_fiu_kitty.html

Thanks for sharing that TNGoldenPanther. Strange that somebody would talk smack after FIU won the last meeting 68-59. Is there any way that someone can relay that information to the basketball team??? Not that this should motivate them to play well; but just to know what some FAU fans think. I really hope we get that win Wednesday.

pete thanks for the updated question. i like the idea of the consessions on the 2 lane highway we got goin up there lol the stadium looks great and hearing the Alums. on the board flying in is excilent! i like the idea messod was saying about making it unique.. it would have been great to leave the old bleachers in the sadium make it look like a C and only allow the away fans to sit in the far bleachers. lol

Pete,
You think you will get a MLS team to play at the stadium. What does MLS thing about the stadium? Free rent that is a good deal.

It's SO stupid how this whole seats section on one side is so far away from the field. Complete stupidity and retarded design. That just killed the whole stadium.

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