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Billionaire Booster Could Reveal Plans for Potential UM Stadium at Tropical Park – NBC 6 South Florida

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After an initial plan to build a new football stadium for the Miami Hurricanes in the city of Coral Gables was met with backlash, billionaire booster John Ruiz reportedly has his sights set on a new location closer to campus.

Ruiz told the Miami New Times he now wants the stadium built at Tropical Park in southwest Miami-Dade – nine miles from the school’s campus as opposed to the 30 miles to UM’s current home field, Hard Rock Stadium.

“It’s gonna be at 4 Tropical Park — there’s about 270 acres there,” Ruiz told the paper. “The design is over the top, it’s gorgeous, I’ve seen it already a couple of times.”

Ruiz said he has spoken to the architectural firm that build SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California – site of February’s Super Bowl LVI – about building a 65,000-seat stadium on the west side of the park located off Southwest 40th Street.

Ruiz told NBC 6 in February the site would include facilities for high school teams and the public too.

“It’s a complete, entire sort of landscape for the community,” Ruiz said. “So Dade County schools, a lot of them don’t have baseball fields, a lot of them don’t have football fields. They don’t have the right facilities for basketball, for volleyball, for tennis. So this will incorporate all of it and provide a forum for all these sports to be played.”

Ruiz said the park would have a police and fire station and place for a helicopter to land in emergencies.

The 1987 UM graduate publicly began the stadium push days after the Hurricanes hired Mario Cristobal – who Ruiz is related to through marriage – on December 7, 2021.

Ruiz initially proposed building a stadium on the site of Coral Gables High School, which was met with opposition from the city and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

UM has played its home games at Hard Rock Stadium since the 2008 season, a move that came after spending over seven decades at the historic Orange Bowl.

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