Not only does the QB position for the Dolphins need a facelift, but so does the stadium. Last week in Indianapolis, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that Miami needs to drastically improve Sun Life Stadium if the city ever wishes to host another Super Bowl. The next three Super Bowls are already locked in at New Orleans, New York, and Arizona. However, Super Bowl 50 will be in 2016 and Dolphins’ CEO Mike Dee will do whatever it takes to host it in Miami.
Built in 1987, the stadium is currently the 10th oldest in the league. Since it’s opening, the name of the stadium has been changed seven times: Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Landshark Stadium, and currently Sun Life Stadium. The seating arrangement creates wide open, panoramic views from any one of the 80,024 seats. No one has to worry about obstructed views in this place, which prides itself on having the bright Florida sun shine down on a beautiful green, natural grass field.
Even with the large seating capacity, apparently Miami has the lowest amount of seats among other “Super Bowl stadiums” between the 20 yard lines. Right now, the closest fan to the benches is sitting 80 feet away! In most stadiums, it should only be about 20 feet. Ideally, Dee plans to get more fans closer to the benches and on top of the action.
By adding roughly 3,500 seats closer to the field, it may help inject some must needed adrenaline in a stadium that appears dead on most Sunday afternoons. After all, it’s been Stephen Ross’ number one priority from the beginning, to bring excitement back to the fans of South Florida. Only in Sun Life Stadium can you actually hear the quarterbacks call out plays at the line of scrimmage from your seats. This should never happen. You can hear more cheers from the fans at a PGA golf tournament than at a Dolphins’ home game.
Some of the other items on Goodell’s laundry list of issues include improving the lighting, upgrading the high definition screens/TVs, and putting a “canopy” over the fans to protect them from the rain. Apparently, he is trying to prevent what happened at the Super Bowl in Miami in 2007 between the Bears and Colts, where the fans got drenched from the downpour. If these big ticket items are not fixed, don’t expect to see another Super Bowl in South Florida.
Just five years ago in 2007, the Stadium underwent $250M in improvements. According to Goodell, the Dolphins still have to “raise their game” if they want to compete. With the likes of some of the newer stadiums as Dallas, Indianapolis, Arizona, and New York, Sun Life Stadium is currently well below standards. If Dee is as serious as he claims to be with upgrading the stadium with a major facelift, it certainly will not come cheap. As Dolphin fans let’s hope the prices on tickets, parking, and concessions don’t go up in order to raise the funds for this venture.