In an encouraging development for the Miami Dolphins, the ongoing renovations to Hard Rock Stadium are improving the team’s revenues.
Completed shortly before this season, the second phase of renovations to the stadium were by far the most extensive work done to the facility in years. A new canopy was installed to cover most of the seating bowl, while four videoboards and accompanying patio areas were added to the facility. In addition, the Dolphins obtained a new stadium naming rights partner when Hard Rock International agreed to a deal.
Those developments followed the renovation phase that took place before last season, when the stadium’s bowl and sightlines were improved and new club seating was added. That contributed signaled the first round of major changes, and can be given some credit for the renewed interest in the facility.
It has always seemed possible that the renovations would spark increased fan interest, and that seems to be the case thus far. Fitch Ratings recently affirmed a BBB investment grade rating for South Florida Stadium LLC, which operates Hard Rock Stadium, and revealed that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ push for renovations led to an 11% uptick in revenues in fiscal year 2015. More from the Miami Herald:
The affirmation “reflects Hard Rock Stadium’s status as a premier venue in South Florida and host to the … Miami Dolphins, the core anchor tenant at the facility since 1987, and also the strong ownership commitment to the franchise and the stadium.”
The stadium’s strengths are offset, Fitch continued, to some degree by the variable rate on moneys borrowed by Ross and a high leverage structure, compared to other stand-alone stadium facilities.
But the big takeaway: The stadium is making appreciably more money with some 10,000 fewer seats, suggesting the team is cashing in on its luxury products like Hard Rock’s living room boxes and posh 72 Club.
And that growth should only continue in the years to come. Fitch’s 2015 assessment did not include the team’s 18-year, $250 million naming rights agreement with Hard Rock.
Hard Rock Stadium renovations will wrap up before the 2017 season, when improvements are made to the facility’s access points as well its club level.
Rendering courtesy Miami Dolphins.
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