Riccardo Silva Stadium
Riccardo Silva Stadium is a college football and soccer stadium on the campus of Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida and the home stadium of the FIU Panthers football team. The stadium opened in 1995 and has a seating capacity of 20,000.
|Former names||FIU Community Stadium (1995–2001)|
Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium (2001–2017)
|Location||11200 Southwest 8th Street|
Miami, FL 33199
|Owner||Florida International University|
|Operator||Florida International University|
|Record attendance||22,682 (2011 vs. Duke)|
|Broke ground||July 24, 1994|
|Opened||September 24, 1995|
|Expanded||2001, 2008 and 2012|
|Construction cost||$3 million (Original stadium, 1994)|
($4.93 million in 2018 dollars)
US$54 million (New stadium, 2007)
|General contractor||Odebrecht Construction|
|FIU Panthers (NCAA) (1995–present)|
Track and Field (1995–2006)
Miami FC (USL First Division) (2009)
Miami FC (NPSL) (2016–2018)
FIU Community StadiumEdit
FIU Community Stadium was the first dedicated sports facility at the school, replacing Tamiami Field. Construction officially began on July 24, 1994 and the facility opened on September 24, 1995, as a 7,500-seat football and track stadium. It was built as a joint venture between FIU, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami-Dade Parks, and the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair. In anticipation of the inaugural FIU Golden Panthers football[Note 1] season in fall 2002, the university placed movable bleachers around the stadium's all-weather running track in 2001, which increased the stadium's capacity to 17,000 seats.
In 2007, the university announced a major expansion and redesign for FIU Stadium. The redesign of FIU Stadium would increase the stadium's capacity to 45,000 fans, to be built in phases. For the first phase of the expansion, the school demolished a large portion of the original 1995 stadium. The west, south and east sides of FIU Stadium were taken down and construction began on the new, permanent stadium. The expansion was completed in September 2008 for the 2008 football season. Phase one increased the stadium's capacity from 17,000 fans to 18,000, including 1,500 club seats. During construction, the 2007 FIU Golden Panthers football team played its home games in the Miami Orange Bowl.
The new facility opened for the first home game of the 2008 football season against the South Florida Bulls on September 20. The Golden Panthers lost 17–9 in front of a crowd of 16,717. The team won its first game in the new stadium on October 11, 2008 against Sun Belt Conference rival the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, 31–21. The team finished its first season in the new stadium with three wins and two losses. In 2009, the university began the second phase of the stadium expansion, which included the construction of a new football field house. Renovations were completed in 2012 and the capacity increased to 20,000 seats.
In 2017, the university agreed to a five-year deal to rename the stadium after Riccardo Silva, part owner of Miami FC. Before the deal, Silva had donated $3.76 million for various improvements to the stadium including a new playing surface and Jumbotron video scoreboard.
|1||22,682||October 1, 2011||FIU 27, Duke 31|
|2||20,205||September 12, 2011||FIU 17, UCF 10|
|3||19,872||September 11, 2010||FIU 14, Rutgers 19|
|4||18,524||September 24, 2016||FIU 14, UCF 53|
|5||17,962||October 24, 2015||FIU 41, Old Dominion 12|
On October 1, 2011 FIU Stadium drew its largest attendance in school history. A crowd of 22,268 came to watch the Panthers play the Duke Blue Devils football team for the team's 2011 homecoming game. During the game, the Goodyear Blimp made its first appearance at FIU Stadium. The Miami Tower in Downtown Miami was also lit in blue and gold from September 26 to October 1, 2011 in honor of the game.
On April 3, 2017 FIU stadium was renamed Riccardo Silva Stadium. The decision to rename the stadium is in recognition of the support given by Italian businessman Riccardo Silva to the FIU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics since 2015.
The newly renamed stadium home opener featured a performance by Grammy nominated Latin star Maluma. Maluma returned to the stadium in April 2018 to record the video for the Spanish language version of Jason Derulo's World Cup 2018 anthem for Coca-Coca.
Structure and facilitiesEdit
Designed by Rossetti Architects, the stadium has a 6,500-square-foot (600 m2) Panther Club on the ground level, an upper concourse for additional fan seating and concessions, a jumbotron scoreboard, and 19 luxury suites. Seating includes chairback seats and bench seating, all with backrests. Panther fans shout "Rattle the Cage!" and fans will stomp and jump in unison on the bleachers creating a very loud reverberation throughout the steel and aluminum stadium. The Rattling of the Cage is done throughout the game, notably while the team is on defense and during cheers.
In April 2017 Riccardo Silva Stadium has also seen significant improvements made to the facility over the last two months, with completion of two major projects. The first is the installation of a new state of the art playing surface. The new surface, FieldTurf's Revolution 360, features fibers that provide for optimal durability, resilience and feel and is used by many of the country's biggest NFL and soccer teams.
Riccardo Silva Stadium has also been enhanced by installation of a new videoboard, replacing the existing scoreboard, providing a huge boost to the fan experience at The Miami FC's soccer games. Measuring approximately 31x59 feet, the new videoboard will feature a 13HD pixel layout, the premier technology for outdoor applications within the sports industry. It will have full live video and instant replay capabilities, along with multiple zones of content, including statistics and graphics.
In April 2011, the field was named Alfonso Field after alumnus David F. Alfonso. The facility also includes a two-story, 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) field house, named for trustee R. Kirk Landon, which includes a 14,000-square-foot (1,300 m2) weight room. The stadium also includes 8,500 square feet (790 m2) of locker rooms, an equipment room, a full-service athletic training facility, a ticket office, a merchandise area, and an FIU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Miami-Dade Transit serves Riccardo Silva Stadium with Metrobus lines 8, 11, 24, and 71. Bus lines 8, 11 and the 24 connect Riccardo Silva Stadium directly with Downtown Miami and Brickell. For students at the Biscayne Bay Campus, the Riccardo Silva Golden Panther Express offers direct bus service to Riccardo Silva Stadium. Riccardo Silva Stadium has multiple bike racks for fans traveling by bicycle. Parking on game days is free. Tailgate parking areas around the stadium open six hours before kickoff.
- FIU dropped the word "Golden" from its nickname starting in the 2010–11 school year.
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- McMurphy, Brett. "Riccardo Silva Stadium will be the new name of FIU's football stadium, sources told ESPN". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Merille, Eduardo (September 1, 2011). "Iconic Downtown Building to go Blue and Gold for Homecoming". FIU News. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
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- "Maluma Set to Perform at Miami FC's Home Opener". NBC 6 South Florida. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- "Global music idol Maluma joins Miami FC at historic home opener". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- "Maluma Returns to Riccardo Silva Stadium to Shoot New Video for Coca Cola's 2018 FIFA World Cup Anthem". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- Diaz, Johnny. "Drake, Taylor Swift, Zayn and others make Miami music videos a trend again". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
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