Hard Rock Stadium (Dolphins Stadium)

Capacity65 326
27,397 (Lower ring)
34,736 (Upper ring)
3,198 (in 193 skyboxes) (VIP seats)
10,209 (Business seats)
150 (Press seats)
300 (Disabled seats)
Country United States of America
CityMiami
ClubsMiami Dolphins
Other names Joe Robbie Stadium (1987–96), Pro Player Park (1996), Pro Player Stadium (1996–2005), Dolphins Stadium (2005-06), Dolphin Stadium (2006–09), Land Shark Stadium (2009–10), Sun Life Stadium (2010–16)
Inauguration 16/08/1987 (Miami Dolphins - Chicago Bears)
Renovations 1993, 2006-2007, 2009-2010, 2015-2016
Record attendance 80,120 (2013 BCS National Championship Game, 07/01/2013)
Design Populous (1987), HOK Architecture (2016)
Cost $ 115 million (1987), $550 million (2016)
Address 2269 N.W. 199th St., Miami, Florida 33056

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Description: Hard Rock Stadium

Construction of a brand new football stadium in Miami was the initiative of NFL team Dolphins founder Joe Robbie, who later became the building’s first name-bearer. After 21 seasons at the now demolished Orange Bowl near downtown, Dolphins relocated north. There, surrounded by massive parking sites, the desired stadium was built in 1987.

With two rings of general admission seating and over 200 private boxes, the stadium offered 75,000 seats. Its signature feature? The 8 spiral ramps, two in each corner of the stadium. Since Robbie was hopeful of drawing an MLB franchise to Miami, the stadium was built with field size able to accommodate baseball. And, just as planned, MLB team Marlins moved in by 1993.

In its initial layout the Miami stadium hosted three Super Bowl games (1989, 1995, 1999), later followed by the 2007 and 2010 editions. Both of the latter came as the stadium was changing. Not in capacity terms, but infrastructural ones. In 2006-2007 two large pavilions were added to expand spectator/hospitality/office facilities on the sides. In 2009-2010 similar change came on the southern end, leaving only the north one with its 1987-façade.

However the largest changes came as Marlins left the stadium in 2011. Since there was no more need for the wide field, reconfiguration of lower stands was planned and carried out in 2015. At the same time, upper corner sections were reduced to just several rows to make way for newer, much larger screens. No longer two, this time four were delivered, each of a massive size (520 m2).

While many fans were moved closer to the field and all received new seats for the 2015 NFL season, much greater alternations came in 2016. In just 9 months one of the continent’s most spectacular roofs was built. Independent of the stadium construction, eight pillars were erected to support 14,000 tons of steel and cladding! With 58,000 m2 of surface, the vast canopy is topped by four spires, each at 109 meters tall.

While impressive in size and helpful in securing the stadium’s 6th Super Bowl, the privately-funded project came at quite a price. Initially expected to stay within $350 million, eventually it consumed some $550 million.

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