This time last year, news stories seemed to be leaking weekly about how the Miami Dolphins would not have their $500 million renovations of Hard Rock Stadium completed in time for the start of the season. There were reports that the Dolphins, and the University of Miami who also uses the site as their home stadium, were looking for places to hold home games because the stadium was falling behind schedule.
Putting a canopy on the stadium, as well as reworking all of the interior, could easily fall off schedule, especially in South Florida during hurricane season.
And yet, there was Hard Rock Stadium, ready for the preseason and the regular season. Neither the Dolphins nor UM’s Hurricanes had to move a game. And, the stadium was more than ready for the season.
Which is exactly the opposite of what is happening in Los Angeles and the construction of the new, $2.6 billion stadium being built for the Rams and Chargers. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the stadium, originally scheduled to be opened in 2019, will be delayed until 2020.
The reason for the delay? Rain.
The rain forced all work on the stadium to cease for two months, according to the report, leading to the contractors to be unable to finish digging the enormous hole in which the stadium will sit as 12 to 15 feet of water collected in the work that had been completed. The contractors pointed to the lack of schedule flexibility as to why they cannot make up for the delay over the next two years.
The same schedule inflexibility the Dolphins faced as the South Florida rains to get Hard Rock Stadium completely remade.
Miami is still doing some modifications to the stadium, specifically working in the club seating areas, but nothing like last year’s complete overhaul.
The NFL has informed all the teams of the delay, according to the LA Time report, and an exemption to the league’s standing policy of preventing a stadium from hosting a Super Bowl in its first year is expected to be requested. The league awarded the Los Angeles stadium Super Bowl LV in February 2021, ending the 2020 season, last year.
The Los Angeles stadium has been delayed for a year, due to rain. The Dolphins made every deadline to completely renovate Hard Rock Stadium into, essentially, a new stadium, opening on time despite the South Florida weather. The Dolphins did an amazing job in getting the stadium ready for the 2016 season. A year later, we get a great example of what could have happened.