The Miami Dolphins NFL American football franchise yesterday (Thursday) played the first game at its refurbished Hard Rock Stadium.
The Dolphins lost 21-10 to the Tennessee Titans in the final pre-season game before the 2016 NFL season, which is due to commence on September 9.
Although work began after the 2014 season, most of the major changes at the stadium came in the recent off-season, with the installation of a canopy that will provide shaded cover to more than 92 per cent of fans, as well as four new high-definition scoreboards at the top of each of corner of the stadium.
Bill Senn, vice-president of stadium renovations at the Dolphins, said: “It’s come together very well. Contractors have worked with us. Our housekeeping staff and all our facilities staff, they’ve put up with contractors crawling all over the place for the last eight months.
“We’ve finally given the building back to them so they can get it all cleaned up and they’ve done a phenomenal job getting it ready for football.
“It’s given us a brand new life for a long time. This is what we wanted to create so that we could compete with the guy who wants to sit on his couch with a 60-inch TV. You can now come to a facility, sit under the shade canopy.”
The team has also moved to address parking concerns with the implementation of ‘Uber Zone’, an area that fans can be dropped off from four hours before kick-off.
“I think when fans get in here and experience the shade and the new audiovisual system, the new lighting system, the new video boards, the new seating products, everything we’re doing here, it’s a totally different place,” Senn added.