Dolphins get clean bill on stadium and training facility
By Brian Miller
After leaving Miami for Oxnard, California, the Miami Dolphins escaped the brutal conditions of Hurricane Irma over the weekend but their future was in doubt.
On Tuesday the Dolphins executives were able to return to Hard Rock Stadium with a team of structural engineers and the news was good. Tom Garfinkel announced on Twitter Tuesday that HRS was cleared and that Miami University would host their next game at home.
Throughout the storm, Mr. Garfinkel “tweeted” images of Dan Marino’s statue and the statue of Joe Robbie standing watch outside the stadium as the hurricane blew through. The security camera footage brought a lot smiles in an otherwise bad situation.
Following the stadium approval the engineers headed to the Dolphins training facility where they gave another clean bill.
What this means is that the Dolphins can return home. In case the team could not return to Miami the Dolphins had a contingency plan to practice at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia ahead of their game against the New York Jets. Now the team will return to their homes and to their normal activities at the team’s training facility in Davie.
It is a small bit of good news for a team that was evacuated last Friday. Owner Stephen Ross chartered a plane that took players and their families to California to keep those families out of harms way. They have received offers of assistance from numerous NFL teams including the Rams and Cowboys who offered their training facilities to the Dolphins. Miami chose the Dallas facility in Oxnard.
Miami will face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon and now can rest easy knowing they will return home after the game. Miami’s first practice since leaving Florida is scheduled for today.
Overall Mr. Garfinkel let fans know that the stadium did lose a few roof panels and landscaping but that the damage would be simple fixes and were “aesthetic in nature”. The Dolphins had finished the fourth phase of renovations this summer when they worked on the exterior surroundings including the planting of new palm trees.
Back at the facility, the Dolphins raised the practice bubble which was deflated ahead of the storm.