Exterior photo of Hard Rock Stadium. Home of the Miami Dolphins.

Image Credit: A.J. Lipp (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Hospitality giant Hard Rock International has purchased the naming rights to the Miami Dolphins' home stadium, formerly named Sun Life Stadium. The naming rights deal with Sun Life Financial expired in January of 2016. The deal is reported to run for 18 seasons at a sale of $250 million; just a little under $14 million per season. Miami Dolphins fans will be able to visit Hard Rock Stadium on August 29th at 1 PM for an open practice and first hand look.

The deal gives the Miami Dolphins organization an even fresher look and feel after recently completing a $400 million renovation to their home stadium. The renovation included upgraded seating, concessions and suites and a new protective roofing on the top deck. The roofing is expected to cool the upper deck an estimated 20-30% on game day. Four brand new HD video boards will be installed in the four corners of the stadium, the first time the Dolphins will have HD video boards for their home games. The face-lift was enough to help lure Super Bowl LIV to the city of Miami in 2020. The Orange Bowl, concerts and various International soccer matches will also be held at Hard Rock Stadium in the future. 

Brand new Hard Rock signage will decorate the top of the stadium, the facility's main entrance and various areas throughout the stadium. Pregame festivities will be held along the South Gate in an area that will be called "Grand Plaza presented by Hard Rock". Phase 2 of the stadium's renovation will be the renovation of the exterior parking lots, making them more accessible to both drivers and fans on foot via a system of tunnels and bridges.

The name change will be the ninth change since the stadium opened in 1987. The various name changes have frustrated the Miami Dolphins fan base, ultimately leading them to still refer to the stadium as Joe Robbie Stadium or Dolphins Stadium. There are plenty of skeptics on the business and marketing side that thought it was silly for Hard Rock International to make a long term commitment in an area where it doesn't have much of an identity. Hard Rock International is headquartered in Orlando, Florida and was founded in London, England. The organization does have a restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard and the Seminole Hotel in Hollywood, Florida which are both many miles from the stadium. 

Football fans in the state of Florida will have a lot of additions to see and enjoy this upcoming NFL season. Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have revamped their stadium's as well. 




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