The place is an old stadium in downtown Miami, home of the University of Miami football team. It seats roughly 74,000, and was once home to the NFL's Miami Dolphins, as well as the game for which the stadium was named.

The game is a college football bowl game, one of the four that make up the Bowl Championship Series. In the BCS era, the 2001 game was the first Orange Bowl to host the national championship, in which the Oklahoma Sooners beat the Florida State Seminoles 13-2. When not hosting the national championship game, the Orange Bowl is automatically assigned its choice of the ACC or Big East champion if one or both of those teams was not selected for the national championship game.

The game was moved to Pro Player Stadium in Fort Lauderdale (formerly Joe Robbie Stadium) for the first time in December 1996, due to the degenerating condition and bad location of the Orange Bowl stadium.

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