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Dolphins Stadium

By Wikipedia

Dolphins Stadium (originally named Dolphin Stadium, later named Joe Robbie Stadium and then briefly Pro Player Park before becoming Pro Player Stadium, and now back to being named for the team, this time as Dolphins Stadium) is a multipurpose stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida (a suburb of Miami incorporated in 2003).

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location 2267 NW 199th St.
Miami, Florida 33056
Broke ground December 1, 1985
Opened August 16, 1987
Owner H. Wayne Huizenga
Surface Grass
Construction cost $300M
$10M ('93 renovations
for Marlins)
Architect HOK Sport
Miami Dolphins (1987-present)
Florida Marlins (1993-present)
Orange Bowl (Dolphins, 1987)
Dolphins Stadium (1987)
Joe Robbie Stadium (1987-1996)
Pro Player Stadium (1996-2005)
Dolphins Stadium (2005-)
Seating capacity
47,662 (1993 Baseball)
42,531 (2001 Baseball)
36,531 (2003 Baseball)
75,000 (Football)
Left Field - 330 ft
Left-Center - 361 ft
Center Field - 434 ft
Right-Center - 361 ft
Right Field - 345 ft
Backstop - 58 ft

Dolphin Stadium was the first of its kind to be constructed entirely with private funds. The late Joe Robbie led the financing campaign to build Joe Robbie Stadium (JRS) for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. JRS revolutionized the economics of professional sports when it opened in 1987. Inclusion of a Club Level, along with Executive Suites, helped to finance the construction of the stadium. Season ticket holders committed to long term agreements and in return they received first-class amenities in a state-of-the-art facility which is still used as a model for new facilities across the country.

In 1990, H. Wayne Huizenga, then Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Blockbuster Video and Huizenga Holdings Inc., agreed to purchase fifty percent of Joe Robbie Stadium and became the point man in the drive to bring Major League Baseball to South Florida. That effort was rewarded in July of 1991, when South Florida was awarded a National League expansion franchise. On January 24, 1994, Huizenga acquired the remaining fifty percent of the stadium to give him 100% ownership. Since 1991, several million dollars have been spent to upgrade and renovate the stadium. The improvement and revitalization of the building under Huizenga allowed the stadium to remain the finest sports and entertainment facility in the United States.

Fly to the Dolphin's Stadium!
If you have Google Earth installed, click here to be "flown" to the site of Dolphins Stadium. (If you do not have it installed, get it from Google. It allows you to view virtually anywhere on Earth in 3D using satellite imagery.)

The stadium has been home to the Miami Dolphins since 1987 and to the Florida Marlins since 1993. It has been the site of the FedEx Orange Bowl game since 1996. Dolphins Stadium has played host to two NFL Super Bowls in 1995 and 1999 with another scheduled in 2007, two MLB World Series (1997 and 2003), and numerous concerts, featuring entertainers such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Elton John/ Billy Joel, Chicago, Genesis, Gloria Estefan, Guns N' Roses, The Who, Hall & Oates, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, and The Three Tenors.

Other events held at Dolphins Stadium have included international soccer matches, Monster Truck shows, Hoop-It-Up Basketball, RV and Boat Shows, the UniverSoul Circus, and Australian Rules Football exhibition matches and numerous trade shows. The Stadium also plays host to the yearly Shula Bowl, a game played between FAU and FIU.

Dolphins Stadium has been home to many commercials and feature films as well, including Ace Ventura Pet Detective and the football-themed movie, Any Given Sunday, starring Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx.

Dolphins Stadium!
Buy at
Pro-Player Stadium - Florida Marlins
Buy From

Renovations for the Florida Marlins

Behind the scenes, Pro Player Stadium underwent $10 million in renovations to accommodate Major League Baseball and the Florida Marlins before the 1993 season. The conversion included the installation of retractable seating on the north side of the stadium, the construction of the baseball press box in the southwest corner of the facility, the building of the baseball dugouts, the addition of 660 new lights for suitable night play and the installation of a hydraulic disappearing pitcher's mound. The stadium also features a synthetic warning track designed to absorb water. At the time, the only other facility to feature this type of track was Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. The renovation also included the construction of the Florida Marlins clubhouse and other amenities to accommodate baseball at Pro Player Stadium.

Because of the need to fit an American football field in the stadium, the field of play is larger than in most other new baseball stadiums. The 33-foot tall left field fence, nicknamed the Teal Monster - a play on the Green Monster at Fenway Park - further limits the ability of players to hit home runs. Foul territory is also fairly large in comparison with most new stadiums.

04/05/1993 Dodgers 3, Marlins 6
Umpires Frank Pulli, Joe West
  Charlie Williams, Gary Darling
Managers Rene Lachemann, Marlins
  Tommy Lasorda, Dodgers
Starting Pitchers Charlie Hough, Marlins
  Orel Hershiser , Dodgers
Ceremonial Pitch Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio
Attendance 42,334
Batter Jose Offerman (strikeout)
Hit Bret Barberie (single)
Run Benito Santiago
RBI Walt Weiss
Single Bret Barberie
Double Eric Davis
Triple Walt Weiss
Home Run Tim Wallach
Grand Slam Jeff Conine (05/01/1993)
IPHR Alex Arias (06/02/1995)
Stolen Base Jeff Conine
Sacrifice Hit Kevin Gross (04/07/1993)
Sacrifice Fly Ramon Martinez (04/06/1993)
Cycle (None)
Win Charlie Hough
Loss Orel Hershiser
Shutout Tommy Greene (05/18/1993)
Save Bryan Harvey
Hit by Pitch John Smoltz hit Junior Felix
Wild Pitch Richie Lewis (04/07/1993)
Balk Richie Lewis (04/06/1993)
No-Hitter Al Leiter (05/11/1996)
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet

Since winning the World Series in 1997, the Marlins management has regularly argued that the stadium is insufficient to host a Major League Baseball team on a regular basis, arguing that too many of the seats are too far from the field and angled for American football rather than baseball, and that a retractable dome is needed to prevent rain-outs. The stadium did not prevent the team from winning another world championship in 2003, however.

On the field, the stadium is equipped with a Prescription Athletic Turf (PAT) system which provides draining for its natural grass. At a cost of one million dollars, the system ensures a firm dry playing surface within half an hour's time after as much as a three inch per hour rain fall.

Stadium Naming Rights

On August 26, 1996, Pro Player, the sports apparel division of Fruit of the Loom, sponsored the renaming of Joe Robbie Stadium as Pro Player Stadium. Pro Player, which specialized in licensed sports apparel, became the first sports marketing and products company to entitle a stadium or arena with their ten year, $20 million deal. Fruit of the Loom filed for bankruptcy in 1999; however, the name remained until 2005. On January 10, 2005 stadium owner Wayne Huizenga announced a $300 million renovation of Pro Player Stadium to add luxury suites, additional parking and a retractable dome. Huizenga also announced the immediate renaming of the facility as Dolphins Stadium.

Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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Joe Robbie Stadium from space!

USGS Photo

Year by Year statistics: for Dolphins Stadium

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