Hard Rock Stadium is a lot different since last year and it’s not Covid related.
The Miami Dolphins games at Hard Rock Stadium this year have far fewer fans but outside, the stadium is a lot different than last year.
In the heart of Miami Gardens, Fl., Hard Rock Stadium sits with its four spires, reminding everyone that renovations to the interior have upgraded the stadium. Inside, 13,000 fans sit spread out around the sections because of COVID. Noise is pumped through the loudspeakers and you can actually hear yourself yelling.
A trip to HRS is different for sure this year. From how you exit the stadium to how you order food and drinks, HRS has taken every precaution to keep you safe. Next year, hopefully, the seats will be packed with 60,000 plus screaming fans and the noise won’t be pumped in, it will be coming from the seats.
If you haven’t been one of those 13K fans at any given game this year then there are other changes you should expect to see in 2021 and none of them are changes due to a pandemic. They are due to the hard work of CEO Tom Garfinkel and owner Stephen Ross.
Years ago, Garfinkel stood in front of about 30 or so members of fan websites and while he answered questions he also asked them. One such question was about how they could improve the experience at HRS.
While I can’t remember who asked it, one of the responses was about getting out of the stadium and into it with all the traffic. It was a good question because traffic issues would create chaos leaving the stadium and even getting into the interior lots. Security and police would stop traffic and let the pedestrians cross creating backup issues and when you add even a moderate of alcohol to the equation, frustrated fans would try and cut others off and if you were walking, keeping your head on a swivel was mandatory.
Not anymore. Hard Rock Stadium has added great solutions for their traffic problems.
While it is not 100% going to cure the issues, it should cure most of them. With the reduction of in-stadium attendance, I couldn’t see the full extent of what the Dolphins have improved. Yet it was easy to see that the new additions will certainly make life easier
No longer will fans have to cross streets. There is now a small tunnel that goes under the road nearest the stadium. It’s a cool feature to be sure and traffic can run freely over it. Exiting the tunnel brings you to the parking lots on that side.
A gondola has also been added. The cable cars will take passengers from near the stadium to the far end parking which will eliminate foot traffic through the parking lots nearest the stadium as well as traffic crossing the street. They were not running this past weekend, to the Covid issues.
Finally, and more importantly, the stadium now has a pedestrian bridge that goes over the main road around the stadium. This bridge eliminates all pedestrian traffic leaving and entering the stadium. The traffic was flowing smoothly in and out of the stadium pre-game and post-game.
Overall, these new additions should eliminate most of the Hard Rock Stadium traffic problems and it was good to see the executives take into consideration the needs of the fans proving again, that they pay attention to the smallest of details.