Sun Life Stadium -
Address: 2267 N.W. 199th St.
Miami, Florida 33056
Home of: Miami Dolphins (NFL)
The University of Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)
The Florida Marlins (MLB)
Date opened: August 16, 1987
38,560 (2008 Baseball)
*Expandable to approximately 68,000 for baseball
Cost: $ 115 million
Sun Life Stadium (2010) opened on August 16, 1987 as Joe Robbie Stadium (1987-1996) and had changed the stadium name over the years, Pro Player Park (1996), Pro Player Stadium (1996-2005), Dolphins Stadium (2005-2006), Dolphin Stadium (2006-2009) and Land Shark Stadium (2009-2010). Sun Life Stadium is located at 2267 N.W. 199th St., Miami, Florida 33056, and
is home to the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League and
the University of Miami Hurricanes (NCAA). It has also hosted
the Florida Atlantic Owls football team of Division I-AA since
2001. Sun Life Stadium can hold 76,500 people for football games
and has a natural grass surface. The Dolphins originally played
in the Orange Bowl in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but owner Joe Robbie wanted a new stadium for his team to generate more revenues.
After repeatedly seeing his ideas for a tax raise shot down, Robbie
decided to build the stadium himself. He raised funds through the
selling of luxury suites and club level seats and through private
donations and long-term agreements with season ticket holders.
The formerly known Joe Robbie Stadium was the first of its kind in the NFL to be constructed entirely with private funds. The stadium was completed in just over two years.
The first game played at Sun Life Stadium was played on August
16, 1987. Video boards were installed above each end zone and escalators
were put in to make each seat accessible to anyone. The new stadium
was a definite upgrade from the Orange Bowl where the Dolphins
had played before. In 1990, Wayne Huizenga bought 50% of the stadium
in the hopes of bringing a baseball team to the area. The following
year, the city was awarded the Florida Marlins and on April 5,
1993, the team began professional play. However the Marlins will share Sun Life Stadium with the NFL's Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes football team until the Marlins' current lease runs out. Although, the new stadium will not be ready until 2012, but Sun Life Stadium officials will extend their lease with the Marlins until the 2011 season.
Aside from baseball renovations, Sun Life Stadium has undergone some permanent renovations. In April 2006, the stadium unveiled the two largest hi-definition video boards in professional sports and a new fascia LED ribbon-board, the largest in the world, but these have since been surpassed in size. In addition, the upgrades include vastly widened 40,000 square-foot concourses on the stadium’s north and south sides. Bars, lounges and other amenities have also been added. The renovation has three phases, the first has been completed but the second and third phases of renovation will take place after the Marlins move out of the stadium. These remaining phases include the addition of a roof to shield fans from the rain, as well as remodeling the sidelines of the lower bowl to narrow the field and bring seats closer, ending its convertibility to baseball. Thus, while it is the tenth-oldest stadium in the NFL, it is currently up-to-date for years to come.