The Miami Dolphins are continuing to work on the renovations to their home stadium, renovations that are expected to cost around $500 million in the latest estimates. There have been lost of rumors and speculation that the stadium will not be ready for the start of the season, though the team continues to state they will be playing their last preseason game at the renovated stadium.
Last week, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross took part in a “topping out” ceremony, celebrating the last piece of steel to be lifted into place for the stadium. Ross and the workers on the renovations signed the beam just before it was added to the top of the structure.
Prior to the ceremony, Ross said, “I’ve been on a phone call every day at 4:30 (p.m.) since January and really pushing it, using our people in New York to push it. I think what we’ve done is probably unprecedented – to put a roof on top of a stadium. When you go out there and you see it, it’s kind of amazing. I would encourage you to see it, because when it’s up and it’s all done, people will say, ‘Hey, that was easy.’ I’ve built over 20 billion dollars worth of projects and this is the most complex – basically because you’re putting such a large structure in place in such a short period of time – and there’s no way you can be late. There’s no alternative. I know we will be playing September 1 there.”
Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel has routinely posted pictures and updates of the stadium on his Twitter account, adding several over the last few days:
No more rock, no more cranes inside... pic.twitter.com/Cn9NRVRR3p— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) July 29, 2016
Monday night, Garfinkel tweeted the grounds crew begins installing the sod on Tuesday morning. The stadium does seem to be coming together, with exactly 30 days until the Dolphins are expecting to be in the stadium playing against the Tennessee Titans in the fourth week of the preseason. The Dolphins’ first regular season home game is September 25 against the Cleveland Browns, Week 3 of the season.
The University of Miami, who also uses the stadium, hold their home opener against Florida A&M on September 3.
There is still obviously work to be done to finish everything, but it does appear the stadium closing in on completion. The countdown is down to the final month of work before the Dolphins are back playing games in the renovated (and still named “New Miami Stadium” as an official naming deal is being negotiated) site.
The Dolphins did release a pretty cool interactive feature on Monday, allowing you to get a 360-degree look at the stadium: