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Sun Life Stadium

Miami Gardens, FL

Home of the Orange Bowl



Sun Life Stadium (map it)
2269 NW 199th St
Miami Gardens, FL 33056

Orange Bowl website

Sun Life Stadium website

Year Opened: 1987

Capacity: 65,000

There are no tickets available at this time.


Local Information


The Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl was first played on January 1, 1935, making it tied for the second-longest running bowl game in college football. Played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, the Orange Bowl holds 65,000 people. It is one of the bowls under the Bowl Championship Series system, meaning that it will be in the rotation to host playoff games when the playoff system is implemented beginning in the 2014 season.


What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

Sun Life Stadium has decent food, but it is nothing out of this world. You get all of your stadium essentials such as hot dogs, nachos, and popcorn. Sun Life carries Pepsi products and a small selection of beers are available as well. The number of vendors makes it easy to go grab a bite to eat during a media time out and still get back to your seat before the game starts up again. Prices are again typical for a big-time sporting event, but nothing too crazy. Just don't go in expecting to get a great deal on your food and drinks.

Atmosphere    5

Simply put, the atmosphere at the Orange Bowl is one of the best in all of sports, including professional sports. For starters, the staff is easily the friendliest I've ever encountered. When you walk into Sun Life Stadium, you are greeted by enthusiastic and polite gate workers. Once inside the stadium, the customer service continues to be stellar. It is common to see stadium workers approaching fans and asking if they need someone to take a group picture. It is little things like this that help make the Orange Bowl one of the most fan-friendly sporting events in the country.

One part of the atmosphere that no amount of money can buy is the weather. It is not a domed field, but its location in southern Florida makes the Orange Bowl one of the best game time temperatures out there. For most of the country, January is extremely cold. Not so in Sun Life Stadium; January nights typically see temperatures around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, perfect football weather.

Of course, everyone is there to watch good football. Typically, a college bowl game is a big risk because there is no guarantee of a good matchup. The perk of the Orange Bowl is that it pits the ACC champion (or the next-ranked ACC team if the conference champion is in the national championship) against another top-ranked team. As far as bowl games go, the Orange Bowl is as safe a bet as any to feature a competitive and exciting game. This is big time college football at its best.

Overall, the atmosphere in Sun Life Stadium serves as a reminder of why you love college football.

Neighborhood    4

Sun Life Stadium itself is not surrounded by much; the stadium stands out on a large piece of empty land. However, just twenty minutes away is the beautiful city of Miami, along with Miami Beach. It would be a crime not to visit the city and see the incredible skyline and the buzz around South Beach. If you don't feel like going anywhere, the tailgating scene is also worth checking out. Acres upon acres of parking lot make it easy to set up a grill and get the feel of a true college football atmosphere.

Unfortunately, there are not a ton of hotels near the stadium, so my suggestion would be to head over to downtown Miami or Miami Beach and pick one of the many hotels there. In fact, you could even stay with one of the teams by staying at Fontainebleu. Almost every year, one of the two teams playing in the Orange Bowl end up staying at this resort. It has a lively nightlife and great lounging areas to relax in during your stay.

Fans    5

The Orange Bowl always features two of the very best teams in college football. That usually means one thing is for certain-thousands of fans of these schools will make the trip down to southern Florida. Each year the fans will be a little bit different, but their passion remains the same. Everyone making a trip to this game is there to watch great football and be involved in the game. The tailgating scene is no different. Fans from both teams swarm to the parking lots and have a massive pregame tailgate.

Access    5

Getting to Sun Life Stadium is a piece of cake. For one thing, there are signs everywhere. But should you get confused by the signs, just look away from the highway and you'll see the stadium standing right out in the open. Parking for the Orange Bowl is around $30, but it is well worth it; the huge parking lot makes the whole process a breeze. One of the biggest problems with big sporting events is a lack of accessible parking, and that is simply not the case at the Orange Bowl.

Leaving Sun Life Stadium is also quite simple. There are plenty of people directing traffic to make the departure quick and efficient. Once on the highway, it is a straight shot to both Fort Lauderdale and Miami, so if you're staying in a hotel in those places, you have easy access back to your rooms for the night.

Return on Investment    5

Getting a ticket to the Orange Bowl is rather easy and surprisingly cheap for the magnitude of the game you'll see. Obviously the club seats run much higher than much of the stadium, but there is a seat for someone on any budget. Tickets to the 2014 Orange Bowl were available online for $30. They were up in the nosebleeds, but it is worth the money just to go for the atmosphere. If you are willing to cough up a bit more money, the club level seating provides a spectacular view of the field and some great extras in the walkways before entering your section. But no matter where you are, the tickets are worth it. You are guaranteed to watch two great football teams, there is a great chance the weather will be beautiful, and you get to experience the pure passion of college athletics.

Extras    5

The Orange Bowl would be worth it even if it was just two great football teams playing in Sun Life Stadium. However, the extras really make the experience stand out. School banners flap in the wind at the top of the stadium, the giant blowup orange serves as a tunnel for the teams to run through, and Orange Bowl trophies and history fill the halls of the club level. But that's not all-during the pregame, both bands entertain the fans and then at halftime, there is usually a big-name music artist performing. Of course, no concert is complete without lighting effects, so fireworks launch and lights shine as the stadium rocks for the twenty-minute intermission. With all of these things coming together, the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium is one of the best experiences not only in college football, but in all of sports.

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Fountainebleu Miami Beach  (map it!)

4441 Collins Ave

Miami Beach, FL 33140

(305) 538-2000



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