In addition to hosting the Orange Bowl, Sun Life Stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes. The stadium also will host the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
The stadium hosts the BCS National Championship Game every four years. The national title game is played in addition to the annual Orange Bowl featuring the Atlantic Coast Conference champion -- unless the ACC team is set to play in the BCS National Championship Game, at which point another BCS-qualified team can be invited to the Orange Bowl.
Over its history, the stadium has hosted many marquee events, including five Super Bowls, two World Series, four college football national championships, an NFL Pro Bowl and World Cup friendly matches. It also has hosted a variety of other internationally acclaimed entertainment events, including concerts by U2, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Billy Joel, Chicago, Madonna and Paul McCartney.
Constructed using private funding in 1987 by the late Joe Robbie -- the original owner of the Dolphins from 1966 until his death in 1990 -- the stadium is a multipurpose facility with more than 1.5 million square feet of space. The Hurricanes did not start playing at Sun Life Stadium until 2009, after leaving the original Orange Bowl stadium.
Sun Life Stadium served as home to the Marlins from 1993 through 2011. The Marlins, rebranded as the Miami Marlins, will play at Marlins Ballpark starting in 2012.
The first Orange Bowl game was played in 1935 at Miami Field, where the original Orange Bowl stadium would later be built. Bucknell shut out Miami 26-0 in the inaugural game, which also saw the introduction of Obie, the game's crowned orange mascot. Two years prior to being renamed the Orange Bowl, the annual tilt debuted as the Palm Festival as a way to help Miami through the Great Depression; it was similar to the Rose Bowl in that it also helped attract fans to the region's warm weather in winter.
The 1964 Orange Bowl between Texas and Alabama was the first bowl game televised in prime time. From 1968 until the BCS was formed in 1998, the Orange Bowl was almost exclusively the home of the Big Eight/Big 12 champion. Since 2006, the game has featured the Atlantic Coast Conference champion.
Two longtime staples of the Orange Bowl are the Junior Orange Bowl Youth Festival initiated with a parade in 1948 and now a multisport youth festival with everything from basketball to ice hockey and even chess and creative writing -- and the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, which plays its 18th annual version Dec. 17 at BankAtlantic Center in nearby Sunrise, Fla.