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  • Writer's pictureChris Green

Orange Bowl Field at Harris Field Park – Homestead High School


Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Orange Bowl Field at Harris Field Park 1034 NE 8th Street Homestead, FL 33030



Year Opened: 2017

Capacity: 10,000

 

Homestead’s Premiere High School Football Field


In the fall evenings, high school football takes center stage in Homestead, Florida. With several local schools that have been around for a long time alongside newer schools that have popped up, the bleachers fill up with fans. Students line the sidelines alongside old-timers to watch some good old-fashioned gridiron battles under the lights at Orange Bowl Field.


In 2017, the facility committed to a massive renovation and rejuvenation of the obviously aging facility. These updates are currently halfway finished, complete with new paint on most of it, a brand-new scoreboard opposite the old falling apart one, and a beautiful new turf field.


Food & Beverage 1

Looking for a bite to eat or a cool drink? Good luck. There is usually only one, or two at best, concessions stands open. Also, given that the students of the respective schools are those who line up, line jumping is all too common. If you want to go off-property, you can get a sub at Publix, a coffee at Starbucks, or something to eat at Pollo Tropical or Ruby Tuesday right across the street, but you’d have to visit them early to do that.


Part of the to-be-completed renovations to Orange Bowl Field include an upgrade and overhaul of the existing concessions stands, so fans are hoping this will mean a better and wider variety of choices on game day.


Atmosphere 4

Not many atmospheres are better than when Homestead High takes on South Dade Senior High in the annual Centennial Cup matchup at Orange Bowl Field. Rest assured there isn’t a single seat to be had, or even any space to stand for that matter.


During other rivalry games, the students deck themselves out in body paint and bring homemade signs to show their support. A touchdown or quarterback sack are met with thunderous cheering that rocks the metal stands – this is as good as it gets in South Florida for high school sports.


Neighborhood 3

Orange Bowl Field is in the parking lot of the local YMCA, situated next to the Doc DeMilly Rodeo Arena at the corner of US-1 and SW 312th St, two of the biggest roads in South Dade County. While one side of the field is bordered by a trailer park, the others have a large strip shopping center across the street. Adjacent to the west is the local library.


While not exactly in the middle of a thriving metropolis, Orange Bowl Field can hold its own as being located in a relatively average neighborhood. There are hotels nearby, but nothing within immediate walking distance. As for something to eat, there are a lot of restaurants just down the street off Florida Turnpike Exit #2.


Fans 4

Fans at Orange Bowl Field are among the most loyal you will find. They support their local high school teams no matter what their records. And if the teams is doing poorly, they will let the coaches know about it right away – the same goes for the calls made by the referees; nobody is safe from their wrath if the call is perceived to be a bad one.


The fans also seem to know each and every player and coach on the field, having followed them from pee-wee football all the way to their college-bound time in the high school ranks. There are a ton of stories that can be swapped, making for an enjoyable time while taking in a game.


Access 4

Orange Bowl Field is very easy to find, with less than a five-minute drive from the Florida Turnpike’s Exit #2 taking you right to the entrance of the park. Parking is plentiful as well, making getting in and out very easy for fans, and traffic is directed in and out by the local police during popular matchups, making going home smoother.


Make sure you go to the bathroom before you enter the stadium, as the restrooms here leave a lot to be desired.


Return on Investment 4

Sitting on metal bleachers without backs can be a little uncomfortable over time, especially if the game goes long. However, the atmosphere at Orange Bowl Field is well worth the cost, depending on the game you are attending. With ticket prices never rising higher than $10 for a game, you are pretty much only spending money on your gas to get here, so with little investment you get a pretty big gain if the game is a good one, or the matchup features a school you support.


With the upgrades coming to the facility in the future, the restrooms will be upgraded and renovated, as will the landscaping around the stadium.


Extras 2

Orange Bowl Field gets the occasional flyover, albeit not scheduled – the location of the facility is right along the flight line for planes heading in and out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, making an inadvertent flyover a possibility.


There are also pee-wee football fields next to Orange Bowl Stadium, as well as basketball courts and little league baseball and softball fields that usually have games going on as well, making for a true family sports atmosphere when you arrive.


Final Thoughts

Orange Bowl Field is a pretty good high school football stadium compared to most in South Florida, and its location makes for easy access for fans of all the schools who make appearances here. Friday Night Lights could have easily been filmed here if it were based in South Florida, and the fans make it a great stadium in which to watch a game. Just make sure you bring your own food and drinks, as there is rarely anything to get without waiting in the long line at the stadium’s lone concessions stand.

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