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South Florida’s big football week

While Orange Bowl Committee members are pulling double duty, serving as ambassadors for tonight’s 75th annual FedEx Orange Bowl and next Thursday’s BCS National Championship Game, some people – and places -- are doing triple duty.

The Dolphin Stadium grounds crew, for example, is preparing for three big games – now that the Dolphins have made the playoffs for the first time since the 2001 season – two bowl games with an NFL playoff game in the middle. That hasn't happened since the BCS added a fifth game to the rotation three years ago.

As soon as tonight’s game between Cincinnati and Virginia Tech is completed, workers will begin cutting out the logos at the center of the field and the endzones for new pieces of sod that will then be painted with Dolphins and NFL playoffs logos in advance of Sunday’s 1 p.m. Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens game. After Sunday’s game, the same process – which takes up to 12 hours – will occur again in advance of the BCS game featuring Florida and Oklahoma.

Stadium President Bruce Schulze calls hosting the three games “pleasant challenges.” After all, the stadium had some practice this fall hosting the UM Hurricanes for their first season since moving from the Orange Bowl.

“We got so good at doing it during the Dolphins and UM seasons,” Schulze said.

Meanwhile, the Marriott Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale is the host hotel for the Orange Bowl and BCS games and it will also play host to the Ravens.

Tourism officials are hoping Ravens fans will join the visitors here this week for the bowl games.

“Baltimore has a great reputation for traveling with their teams,” Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President Nicki Grossman said.

The CVB has been promoting the region in Cincinnati, Virginia and Oklahoma, she said.

The three games have also provided an active secondary market for tickets. Tickets to the Orange Bowl are still listed for re-sale, although not for as little as $6 as some were selling for last month.

“There’s definitely a lot of activity down there,” said Scott Roback, vice president of business development for RazorGator, which serves as the official ticket exchange site for the OB and BCS games. But Roback said, the Dolphins game “is not the highest demand playoff ticket. That being said, there’s still a secondary market for tickets.”

Categories: Miami Dolphins (186), Miami Hurricanes (32), NCAA (38), NFL (178), Orange Bowl (45), Tickets (126)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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