Good morning everyone. We have just concluded a meeting with the executive committee of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami. At that meeting a substantial discussion was held on the topic of the future playing site of University of Miami football games. Regrettably, due to the history and the long relationship we've had with the city of Miami, we do announce that in 2008 the University of Miami will begin a 25-year relationship with Dolphin Stadium.
We want to thank everyone that's associated and has been a part of this process -- all the people at the city of Miami, Mayor Diaz, the city managers that we worked with, the staff. All the people there have been tremendous to us fFor my 15 years and well beyond, back to 70 years ago when this all began.
We'd like to thank also the University of Miami staff that was very instrumental in this. We've had two Trustees that have been involved -- Dr. Eddie Daur and Steve Science. Both of them have been the chairmen of the athletic committee of the Board during this process. (I'd also like to thank) President Shalala and all the members of the executive committee of the Board. I want to thank Joe Natoli, Coach Shannon and all of our staff, and the students who have been involved in this process. I also want to thank Mr. Huizenga, Bob Henneger, and all the staff of the Huizenga organization with which we dealt over these many months to come to the conclusion and announcement that we're making today.
This has been a very, very long process as you know. I think if you look at my phone records, several of you have memorized my number or at least I'm on speed dial. It has been a very, very good process and a very, very thorough process.
A lot is at stake as you make a decision to change your home playing field after 70-plus years. We hope the new and improved fan experience with all the things that are going on at Dolphin Stadium -- the new improvements they have there, the new access we will have to parking and other things -- will make our fans have a much better experience. All the facilities there, including the recent 300 million dollar improvements that have been made to Dolphin Stadium, all play a role in our decision.
On the otherside, the city of Miami did a wonderful job bringing in their consultants to work with us, to look at what was possible in the Orange Bowl with the limited resources that were available. They came up with tremendous plans. They came up with some great ideas.
At the end of the day, those plans in place would have been a tremendous expense of taxpayer revenue -- at least for us -- just for a few days in the year.
We also believe that the opportunity we have for fan development as well as taking a look at the movement of our alumni base and others argued in our favor of our moving to Dolphin Stadium.
It's gonna be a wonderful experience for us moving to Dolphin Stadium. It's gonna be a unique situation. It'll be my second time coaching in Dolphin Stadium. It'll be an incredible situation for us, for the University of Miami doing a lot of great things.
I'd like to thank Wayne Huizenga and their staff for giving us the opportunity to be a part of next year, the 2008 season.
Most of all, I'd like to thank the city of Miami, the Orange Bowl. It's kind of ironic that I played there as a player, coached there, and just Monday we practiced there. They did a wonderful job getting the things right for us getting ready for the upcoming season.
The biggest thing that to me and talking to the players on the team is that the season we have this season is for the Orange Bowl. Our main concentration has to be on playing in the Orange Bowl -- getting the city of Miami, the fans, the support from south Florida to be part of the Orange Bowl.
With the support we can get from everyone in the community, we know the city is gonna do their job -- because they've been doing their job for years supporting the University of Miami -- to get us to be the best we can be.
This could be an opportunity for us where we can hopefully bring on a national championship for the last time in the Orange Bowl. That's something our players look forward to. That's something as a coach and as an athlete, speaking for the players, that's an opportunity to do something that's special. This season is gonna be special. We're gonna stay focused having the support throughout the Hecht Center and on campus that this is gonna be special for us.