The Miami Dolphins are reportedly considering multiple sites for a new practice facility, including land just west of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
The Dolphins have trained at a complex on the campus of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, FL since 1993, but the team is outgrowing those facilities. In a search for a more modern alternative, the Dolphins are exploring the potential construction of a privately financed facility that could cost as much as $75 million and open in 2020.
At this point, there are reportedly multiple options are on the table. The team could choose remain in Davie or move forward with plans at one of their reported alternatives, including the land near Hard Rock Stadium and another option in nearby Miramar. Miramar unveiled its pitch to the team a few months ago, but Miami Gardens officials are hoping that their own proposal can persuade the Dolphins into building the facility on team-owned land that is currently used for parking for Hard Rock Stadium. More from The Miami Herald:
Wayne Messam, Miramar’s mayor, announced in May a preliminary plan to allow the Dolphins to lease and develop a 21-acre plot of city-owned land between Everglades High and Glades Middle School.
That got the attention of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert and Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan, who made their own pitch to the team.
Miami Gardens might defray the cost of security in and around Hard Rock Stadium to help seal the deal, and Miami-Dade County could amend the existing stadium renovation agreement that pays the Dolphins a bonus for hosting major events.
Annual payouts from the county are currently capped at $5 million; those limits and the length of the deal could both go up, should the Dolphins move their headquarters to Miami Gardens. The current agreement runs through 2024.
In recent years, there have been an influx of NFL teams stepping up their investments in practice facilities. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings opted to place their new facilities in nearby suburbs, though the Dolphins appear to be taking a serious look at putting their new training complex close to their home stadium. It is worth noting that, under the investment of owner Stephen Ross, the Dolphins have made considerable improvements to Hard Rock Stadium in recent years that modernize the facility while allowing it to host more high-profile events. Building the practice facility near the stadium could offer some advantages, as it could potentially support teams that are playing in high-profile sporting events (such as the Super Bowl) at Hard Rock Stadium.
Rendering courtesy Miami Dolphins.