Dolphin Stadium

The open-air Dolphin Stadium, home to the NFL Miami Dolphins since 1987 and the Florida Marlins since 1993, is located at 2269 Dan Marino Boulevard in Miami. It was originally named the Joe Robbie Stadium (JRS), for Joseph Robbie, owner of the Miami Dolphins in 1987 and chief promoter of the new three-level arena. An oversized grandstand, designed for baseball viewing, and a wider playing field, designed with soccer in mind, as well as an increase in distance from the football sideline, resulted n the Stadium being somewhat different from others in the country. The $115 million needed to build the facility came primarily from the leasing/selling of executive suites and club seats. Executive suites sold for $30 – $90,000 a year, club seats for $800 – $1,800, and both required a 10-year commitment.

On August 16, 1987, a preseason football game between Chicago and the Dolphins was played and 13 preseason baseball games were hosted in the JRS before Florida had a home team. In an effort to bring Major League Baseball (MLB) to Florida, H. Wayne Huizenga, Blockbuster CEO, purchased 50% of the Stadium in March 1990. In 1991, Florida was awarded an MLB franchise, and in 1993 the Marlins played their first game. In 1994, Huizenga purchased the remaining 50% to become sole owner, and in 1996, the sponsor Fruit of the Loom changed the name of JRS to Pro Player Stadium. Three Superbowls, XXIII, XXIX, XXXIII, and the 1997 and 2003 World Series, won by the Marlins, were played in the Dolphins Stadium.

The Stadium has been host to the FedEx Orange Bowl since 1996, as well as for numerous concerts and performances such as the Rolling Stones, Gloria Estefan, The Who, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Billy Joel. Other events have included the Monster Truck Show, various RV and Boat shows, and the annual Shula Bowl that occurs every other year when Florida Atlantic University plays host to Florida International University. In addition, commercials and movies such as Any Given Sunday and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective have been filmed at the Stadium. Saturday nights feature Latin music and cuisine for the fans, and children’s play after Sunday home games

Dolphin Stadium has received numerous renovations and improvements through the years including retractable seating, a clubhouse, press box and dugouts, night lighting, and a hydraulic movable pitcher’s mound. There are eight gates, ramps, and escalators; 13 elevators, and 40 concession stands. The Stadium has 128,000 square feet of Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT), a natural grass surface, and a warning track that will absorb and drain water within 30 minutes of a 3” rainfall. Baseball seating has been reduced to just over 36,000, primarily because of the 33’ left field fence, the “Teal Tower,” limiting baseball home runs, and a much larger foul ball area than in most stadiums. There is no retractable dome, as in Houston’s Minute Maid Park, which is also a disadvantage in case of rain. In addition, current ownership of the Stadium prevents the Marlins management from making any money from the vendors or parking owned by Huizenga.

In January 2005, the name was changed again, this time to Dolphins Stadium, but a year later in April of 2006, the “s” was dropped, and it is now simply called Dolphin Stadium. The 2007 Super Bowl XLI and the 2010 XLIV will both be played here; however, the Stadium will no longer host the Marlins after 2010, when their lease expires and they move elsewhere. Another $300 million is planned in improvements including better access, a retractable dome, and clubhouse remodeling, all phases to be completed after the Marlins leave.

Parking: $10.00/per vehicle. Valet parking for club and executive seat holders. Over 25,000 parking spaces for vehicles, buses, limos, and RVs, as well as 262 handicap spaces and one helipad.

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