Hard Rock Stadium made its NFL debut on Thursday, giving the Miami Dolphins and their fans an opportunity to see the stadium in action.
Since the conclusion of last season, Hard Rock Stadium has been dramatically reshaped. A large canopy was installed over the seating bowl–protecting more than 90% of fans from the elements–along with four videoboards that tower over patio areas. Ultimately, this amounted the most extensive work in a multi-phased renovation to Hard Rock Stadium.
For Dolphins’ fans, the experience during Thursday’s preseason contest must have been fairly unique. The facility first opened as Joe Robbie Stadium in 1987, and was largely unchanged over the years until this round of improvements began. Though considered, to a certain extent, to be renovations, these upgrades are expected to give the stadium a more modern look and feel.
Judged by early reactions, Dolphins’ fans are quickly becoming accustomed to the revamped atmosphere within the facility. More from the Sun-Sentinel:
“I’ve never seen a screen that big, that clear. It’s like my TV at home,” Adam Herman, 27, of Weston said, surveying the video boards that are each 112 feet wide and 50 feet high.
Herman was taking a panoramic photo of the interior of the stadium with his cell phone. German Betancourt, from Kendall, turned his back to the field so he could take a selfie containing the complete interior vista.
“I definitely like the inside — the color, the lighting. I like the spires,” Betancourt said, pointing to one of towers rising 200 feet above the roof that provide support to the structure with cables. “I wonder if they’re going to light them up.”
Betancourt said the renovations are the reason he bought season-tickets for the first time this season.
[Jon] Harrity, who spent a long time taking in the scene before the teams took the field, said, “This will probably end up getting me [to buy] season-tickets. That was one of the main reasons I haven’t gotten them. A lot of the games early in the season are brutal. I normally come to games in the November, December time frame, when it’s a lot cooler.
He added, “I think it’s going to bring a lot more people to the stadium.”
The Tennessee Titans prevailed over the Dolphins, winning by a final of 21-10. The Dolphins’ regular season debut at Hard Rock Stadium is scheduled for September 25, when they take on the Cleveland Browns.
Rendering courtesy of the Miami Dolphins.