CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — Miami billionaire John Ruiz wants to build a brand-new University of Miami stadium. The proposal would put the stadium, that’s set to hold 50,000 people, right where Coral Gables Senior High is currently located but the plan is not going over well with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Ruiz says they’re still considering other locations for the stadium, but as of now Coral Gables High School is the best fit. He says they may be able to build the stadium without tearing down the school. He says the stadium would elevate the college game day experience, taking UM to the next level.READ MORE: Deadly Crash Shuts Down Deerfield Beach Streets; BSO Cruiser Towed From Scene
“Retractable roof, state of the art. I’m very into technology so there will be audio and visual components. I would want to revolutionize it to make it the best stadium in the entire country,” said John Ruiz, CEO of MSP Recovery. “I’m not here to force anything down anyone’s throat, but what I am here to do is make sure we do positive things for our community,” he continued.
On that note, Ruiz says building a stadium for UM that’s more centrally located will be a huge success for the University and surrounding schools.
“If you look at Miami Dade public schools a lot of them don’t have any facilities to play. This could be a state-of-the-art location where you have basketball, tennis, swimming, it could be revolutionary,” said Ruiz.
“There is a major misconception that the school is going to be demolished to make this happen,” said Diana Diaz, Co-Chair of the Stadium Committee.
Ruiz says the 13-acre stadium may fit with the school in its current location, but there is a possibility that it would be torn down and relocated.
“I’ve received so many messages from parents and students on social media with extreme concern,” said Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
The proposal is being met with a lot of opposition.READ MORE: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Who Grew Up In Miami, Could Be Next US Supreme Court Justice
“Honestly, I think it’s ridiculous,” said attorney David Winker, who has an office in the area.
And Winker isn’t alone in his concerns. Orthopedic surgeon John Nordt has an office in the area and he say they already deals with traffic and parking concerns and the stadium would only make things worse.
“People pay a premium to live here and you’re gonna have noise you’re gonna have ambient light from the stadium. You can have all sorts of things going on that’s going to change, change the neighborhood quite a bit,” said Nordt.
Coral Gables Senior High opened its doors in 1950. The property is owned by the school board, who recently decided to invest dozens of millions of dollars into the high school to renovate it.
“This has come at us in a very surprising way. We respect our schools; we respect the community and at this point we are not entertaining any such idea,” said Carvalho.
Former University of Miami President Donna Shalala weighed in.
“I think it’s ridiculous. We looked at every plot of land near the university and there was simply no place where you could build a stadium and have the kind of parking you would need,” Shalala told CBS4 News.
Ruiz says under his proposal parking wouldn’t be a problem. He adds, they are still in the exploration phase of this proposal. Their goal is to enhance the community, not take away from it.MORE NEWS: Miami Twin Brothers Will Set Sail For Harvard In The Fall
The City of Coral Gables also weighed in, saying they are not in support of the project and the stadium is not compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods.