Sun Life Stadium Is Getting A Reset
Dolphins fans will notice changes to the stadium next season. Construction crews have begun renovations by removing hundreds of seats. It's part of a $350 million facelift to the 27-year-old stadium.
Last week the team opened up the stadium for a group of county officials and the media. Owner Stephen Ross announced his commitment to give the stadium a reset. The changes would improve the experience for fans. But the biggest reason for the facelift is about getting back on the list of sites to host the Super Bowl.
Three of the last four Super Bowls were played in the newer of the National Football League's stadiums. The next four championships will be played, again, in the newer of the league's facilities.
When the season kicks off later this fall there will be different-colored seats and fewer of them. The seats will also be moved closer to the field.
When these changes are finished the stadium will be smaller by roughly 11,000 seats. What does that mean for season-ticket holders? Team officials said longtime season-ticket holders will be higher on the list to choose their new seats.
As for ticket costs, the team will release those prices in the coming weeks.
By the start of 2016 there will be a canopy roof and four large high-definition screens along with other upgrades throughout.
Team officials say the roof will provide shade for at least 90 percent of the fans during any point of the game. And of course, it will keep the fans dry during those rainy Sunday afternoons.
And it's not just about Super Bowls. Ross says he wants to attract college football playoff and championship games, as well as major international soccer events and concerts.
In 2013, Ross was unable to convince lawmakers in Tallahassee to raise the hotel tax in Miami-Dade in order to pay for the renovations to the stadium. So he promised to pay for it himself with the possibility of still getting loans from the state and the NFL.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says no money from the general fund will ever go to the stadium. But in a performance-based marquee grant agreement, the county will share grants, up to $5 million a year from the convention development tax, if Ross can get major events back to Sun Life Stadium.