MIAMI -- The place has been a good home for 53 years, and its name stirs a lot of memories.
But it's rundown, the neighborhood isn't what it used to be, and the suburbs beckon.
That's why the Orange Bowl stadium may be abandoned by the Orange Bowl Classic. Bowl committee members will decide Monday whether to move the prestigious game 14 miles north to Joe Robbie Stadium beginning Jan. 1, 1992.
The committee, which includes some of Miami's most prominent residents, predicts a close vote. At least three former presidents of the group favor moving; at least two former presidents and the president-elect want to stay.
Current president Arthur Hertz said the issues are complicated, sensitive and emotional. They include economics and demographics, tradition and competition.
But the most graphic symbols of the debate are the Orange Bowl's toilet bowls. They leak. They overflow. There aren't enough of them.
"They more than likely will (have to) empty their bladders in a sink, or on the floor, and have raw sewage drip on them from above," wrote Nick Crane, former Orange Bowl Committee president. He and others argue that the condition of the city-owned Orange Bowl stadium makes a move to Joe Robbie Stadium mandatory.
Those who want to stay also point out that the city has promised renovations to the bathrooms, seats, concession stands and scoreboard of more than $10 million.
"I think the city recognizes the importance of the situation. And if the city fails to perform the repairs they've promised, we can move out at any time," said committee member David Kraslow, who opposes the move. "There's no urgency in moving out now."
There's more competition all the time on the holiday football front. This season the Orange Bowl will be one of eight Jan. 1 games.
And the inaugural Sunshine Classic will be played at Joe Robbie Stadium on Dec. 29. Some Orange Bowl officials are concerned that the new game eventually will join the Jan. 1 crowd. Moving to Joe Robbie Stadium would stem that threat.
In five-year contracts with option clauses, the user fees are similar. But Joe Robbie Stadium offers sky boxes and 9,000 club seats.
The newer stadium is closer to fans in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
But Kraslow said the committee would be wrong to abandon downtown.