SBD/February 6, 2012/Facilities

Dolphins Look For Stadium Upgrades To Secure Future Super Bowls

Canopy to protect fans from rain among improvements needed at Dolphins' venue
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said the team's “focus now is revamping” 25-year-old Sun Life Stadium to “make it more attractive to his team's fans,” according to Ben Volin of the PALM BEACH POST. Dee's plan is “to get fans closer to the action.” The opening of Marlins Park means the Dolphins no longer share the stadium with the MLB club and can “reconfigure the field and potentially add 3,500 lower-bowl seats between the 20-yard lines.” The team also could “put fans just 18 feet from the team benches instead of the current 80 feet.” Dee: "We have the fewest number of seats of any of the facilities that compete for Super Bowls between the 20-yard lines, and we can fix that now." Dee said that the team “will work this year to fund renovations that could enliven the stadium and help South Florida land its 11th Super Bowl.” To meet Super Bowl standards, the league “wants a canopy to protect fans from rain … better lighting for high-definition TV and other improvements.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday also said the Dolphins have to "raise their game" (PALM BEACH POST, 2/4). Goodell said South Florida is “right at the top” for hosting the most Super Bowls and “there’s a reason for that.” Goodell: “It’s a great place to have a Super Bowl.” Still, Goodell indicated the league wants stadium upgrades. Goodell: “Clearly, they’re competing against better and better stadiums across the country.” He added the competition the market faces is “greater and greater and that’s a good thing for the NFL, but I do believe that Miami will have future Super Bowls” (NFL Network, 2/3).

BIGGER IS BETTER? In Dallas, David Moore noted Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones “has informed the NFL that his stadium is available and willing to host from 2016-19.” No venue “can accommodate as many fans as Cowboys Stadium.” Arlington, Texas is “centrally located and has more hotel rooms than Indianapolis, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and other second-tier cities that have hosted the game.” The stadium is also “state of the art, a claim a Super Bowl fixture in South Florida called Sun Life Stadium can no longer make.” The negatives that “stained last year’s event were frigid, icy conditions and a seating fiasco,” but the NFL and host committee “can eliminate one of those issues.” Geographic considerations “go into awarding bids,” as does the weather. But “don’t overlook the bottom line: how much money can be generated.” Moore: “That keeps Cowboys Stadium in the rotation” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/5).
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