The Miami Dolphins will be heading back to South Florida next week, an event that was in a questionable status following Hurricane Irma’s strike in the area. A tornado is believed to have touched down in the vicinity of Hard Rock Stadium, but engineers have determined the stadium did not suffer any major damage and will be ready for the team’s next home game, a Week 5 contest against the Tennessee Titans.
Dolphins CEO and President Tom Garfinkel shared the news of the engineers’ report on both Hard Rock Stadium and the team’s Davie training facilities on Tuesday. The University of Miami will use the stadium on September 23 for their next home game.
After thorough inspection by engineers, it has been deemed that @hardrockstadium experienced no structural damage from Irma.— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) September 12, 2017
We lost landscaping and a section of roof panels in 1 corner.Engineers believe a tornado touched down. Aesthetic in nature and easy to fix.— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) September 12, 2017
Davie @MiamiDolphins facility also gets the all-clear and will be available to team for practice after LA.— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) September 12, 2017
45 people from camp and stadium working together and we have the bubble back up and ready to go... pic.twitter.com/LFvXzPMkYv— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) September 12, 2017
The Dolphins had made plans to practice next week at The Greenbrier in West Virginia if the team’s training facility was not cleared. Those plans seem to be unnecessary now.
Miami plays the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday, a Week 2 meeting that will serve as the season opener for the Dolphins. The NFL postponed last week’s scheduled opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers until Week 11, when both teams had been scheduled to have their bye week. Miami heads to New Jersey in Week 3 to face the New York Jets.
Their first “home” game of the year will be played in London when the Dolphins host the New Orleans Saints in Wembley Stadium. The Dolphins had asked the NFL to consider moving the London game back to Miami after the changes to the schedule because of Hurricane Irma, but the league denied the request.
The team will be able to try to find a sense of normalcy next week after spending this week practicing at the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp facilities in Oxnard, California. Kickoff against the Chargers will be at 4:05pm ET Sunday, making Miami the last team in the NFL to make their season debut.