It's official. Sun Life Stadium is changing. Miami Dolphins team CEO Tom Garfunkle released the following tweet today, announcing that the long-awaited renovation to the 27-year-old stadium has begun:
Here we go... pic.twitter.com/BxzSQzBKQU
— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) January 5, 2015
The stadium renovations will cost around $400 million, and will completely overhaul the stadium once known as Joe Robbie. Included in those renovations will be a canopy over the seating area, new video boards in each of the corners of the upper deck, and high-definition lighting for prime time football games.
Most of those projects will be completed in time for the 2016 season. This offseason will focus primarily on tearing out the seats and upgrading them, removing seating from the upper-deck, and moving the sideline seats closer to the field. All of those moves should be ready before the start of the 2015 season.
(On a side note, I believe Sun Life's naming contract with the Dolphins ends this month. They originally signed a 5-year contract with the team in 2010, which should be expiring and the company stated several years ago they would not be renewing the deal.)
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is paying for the majority of the renovations. In exchange the Miami-Dade County has agreed to pay a stipend to the team whenever events use the upgraded stadium, including Super Bowls, the Collge Football Playoffs, and World Cup soccer matches.