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Sun Life Stadium

Aerial View
Copyright 2001 by Aerial Views Publishing

  Venue Resources  
Address 2269 Dan Marino Boulevard
Miami Garden, FL 33056
Phone (305) 623-6100
Official Website
Seating Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
Hurricanes Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Miami

  The Facility  
Date Opened August 16, 1987
Ownership
(Management)
Huizenga Holdings
(Huizenga Holdings)
Surface Grass
Cost of Construction $115 million
Stadium Financing 90% privately financed.
Former Names Joe Robbie Stadium
(1987-1996)
Pro Player Park
(1996)
Pro Player Stadium
(1996-2005)
Dolphins Stadium
(2005-2006)
Dolphin Stadium
(2007-2009)
Landshark Stadium
(2009-2010)
Sun Life Stadium
(2010-Present)
Naming Rights Sun Life Financial will pay $7.5 million a year for five years beginning in 2010.
Stadium Architect HOK Sport
General
Contractors /
Construction Managers
Huber, Hunt & Nichols
Capacity 75,235
Luxury Suites 195 Suites
Club Seats 10,209
  Other Facts  
Tenants Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)
2008-Present
Miami Dolphins (NFL)
1987-Present
Florida Marlins (MLB)
1993-Present
FedEx Orange Bowl
1996-1998, 2000-Present
Former Tenants Florida Atlantic Owls
Division I-AA
2001-2002
Population Base 4,000,000
On Site Parking 15,000
Nearest Airport Miami International Airport (MIA)
Ring of Honor Ottis Anderson
Don Bosseler
Jim Dooley
Ted Hendricks
Bernie Kosar
George Mira
Burgess Owens
Vinny Testaverde

Championships 1st
1983
2nd
1987
3rd
1989
4th
1991
5th
2001

Championships 1st

VII
1972
2nd

VIII
1973


Sources: Mediaventures

Sun Life Stadium, formerly known as Joe Robbie Stadium, is located one mile south of the Dade-Broward county line and sits on a 160-acre site. It is 16 miles northwest of downtown Miami and 18 miles south of Ft. Lauderdale.

Spectators driving to the venue are accommodated by the availability of 15,000 on-site, secured parking spaces as well as 254 spaces for buses. A highlight is the accessibility of a helipad located on the premises.

Sun Life Stadium prides itself on the prescription Athletic Turf (natural grass) making up the playing surface. It was designed with mechanical drainage capability and provides a firm playing surface within 30 minutes of a 1" per hour of rain.

The 80,024 seat stadium was designed with the spectator in mind. The general seating in Dolphins Stadium is a 19" chairback seat with armrest. Each seat offers an excellent view of the playing field and there are no obstructed seats in the stadium. Access to your seat is easily gained by utilizing one of the two ramps or the escalators located at each of our four entrance gates.

Sun Life Stadium offers the utmost in comfort and convenience. In the general seating areas (100, 400 levels), there are 40 concession stands, each featuring a TV monitor so as not to miss a minute of the action. Throughout the stadium, there are a total of 80 restrooms (40 men and 40 women). Inside the stadium, there are two giant scoreboards on both ends of the facility, each comprised of a Sony JumboTRON video screen.

Miami stadium renamed Pro Player Stadium

MIAMI, August 26, 1997 (Reuters) - Pro Player, the sports apparel brand of Fruit of the Loom Inc. has paid $20 million for the right to rename Joe Robbie Stadium, home of football's Miami Dolphins and baseball's Florida Marlins, the company announced on Monday.

The stadium, built by late Dolphins founder Joe Robbie, will be called Pro Player Stadium under terms of a 10-year deal worth $2 million annually, the company said.

The stadium hosted the 1989 and 1995 Super Bowl games and also hosts the Federal Express Orange Bowl and Carquest Bowl, annual college football games.

Robbie, who died in January 1990, was a Minnesota trial lawyer who bought the Dolphins in a limited partnership with actor Danny Thomas in 1965 and turned the franchise into one of the most valuable in professional sports.

When Robbie built the stadium in 1987, it was a state-of- the-art facility built with private financing. It was sold to entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga, who built the Blockbuster Video empire, also owns the Pathers of the NHL and baseball's Marlins. Pro Player, Inc., a division of Chicago-based Fruit of the Loom, is a sportswear company headquartered in Hudson, New Hampshire.

January 27, 1999 (AP) - Pro golfer Greg Norman visited Pro Player Stadium long before the Falcons or Broncos arrived for Media Day.

Norman's private helicopter landed outside the stadium and he was driven inside on - what else? - a golf cart. Norman then inspected the field for Sunday's Super Bowl.

The field happens to be mad of grass grown at the Greg Norman Turf Farm in Avon Park, Florida.

PRO PLAYER TO ADD LUXURY SUITES; START AD CAMPAIGN
May 6, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The sports writers are getting the boot and a second level press box at Pro Player Stadium will be converted into three new luxury suites. The $2 million project will be complete in time for this fall's NFL season. The new 48-person suites will lease for $600,000 annually and include tickets for both the Marlins and the Dolphins.

The stadium and the Dolphins are also teaming up in a campaign to get more fans into the venue for football games. The stadium and the team are owned by H. Wayne Huizenga.

The pair have scheduled $1 million in advertising to begin running in late May with the theme: "Dolphins football at Dolphins Stadium. Feel the power. Catch it live." The ads will run on television, in newspapers and on billboards. The goal is to provide branding for both entities and promote the excitement of watching a game in person. It's also a departure from traditional venue advertising which tends to promote features rather than the experience.

PRO PLAYER STADIUM JOINS INTERNET AUCTION GAME
November 11, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

Miami's Dolphins Stadium is offering a luxury suite on an Internet auction site for the Dolphin's Dec. 19 game against San Diego. The 12-person package is offered through reverseauction.com.

The offer includes a 12 person suite, a visit by a team alumnus, four parking passes and four shirts. When we checked Thursday, the price was $11,960 and there were 11 sealed bids. The suite was originally priced at $15,000. The suite normally leases for $6,500 per game.

Under the rules of the auction, the original price of the suite will be continuously discounted and the current price is displayed on the screen. While that's taking place, bidders can send in sealed bids or someone can decide to buy the package at the current price. The auction will continue until someone either buys the package at the current price, the declining price equals one of the sealed bids or the declining price matches the minimum the seller has set for sale. The Dolphins have put no restrictions on how low the bidding may go.

Once the suite is sold, the price paid remains secret. Company officials hope the effort will be successful enough to encourage other venues to place available suites up for auction.

THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Pro Player Stadium Ranking by USRT
Architecture 8
Concessions 7
Scoreboard 4
Ushers 5
Fan Support 5
Location 6
Banners/History 9
Entertainment 3
Concourses/Fan Comfort 5
Bonus: Tailgate Scene 2
Bonus: Bills Rivalry 1
Total Score 54
October 20, 2002 - The Miami Dolphins began play in 1966 and for the first twenty years of their existence they played their home games  in the historic Orange Bowl. After two NFL titles, one perfect season, and a twenty game win streak over a certain NFL team the Dolphins decided that playing in a stadium that created more revenue was an absolute necessity. And hence in 1987 they moved into Joe Robbie Stadium, a brand new state of the art facility on the northern border of Miami. Significant renovations were made in the early nineties for the arrival of the MLB Marlins, and by the mid nineties the corporate naming craze made its way to this venue as it was officially renamed Pro Player Stadium.

Getting to the Venue
Pretty simple to get to as the Florida Turnpike and I-195 all lead you right to Pro Player Stadium, which straddles the Dade/Broward County lines. Permit parking is located close to the stadium while farther away across the street there are cash lots charging 20 dollars.

Outside the Venue
In this area of north Dade County, there is little in terms of adjoining neighborhoods. Just wide boulevards and expressways taking you into the stadium property. Tailgating is encouraged here, and in an interesting twist the lots are full of canvas canopies. That's right, your typical Dol-fans bring along a canopy to shield themselves from the oppressive sun and sometimes drenching rain. In today's case it was the sun bearing down the 85 degree heat with nary a gust of wind to be had.

On the south side of the stadium are statues of Joe Robbie, Don Shula, and Dan Marino. Nearby stands the Dolphins fan experience, with  plenty of interactive games to be played, food and drink to be had, live music, prizes and the occasional radio broadcasts going on.

The Concourses
The stadium itself is octagon shaped, and in each of the four corners are circular ramps and canopied escalator towers to whisk fans to the club and upper levels. Concourses here are pretty congested, and that is largely due to the throngs of fans who leave the seating bowl to escape the heat. This is a difficult building to navigate.

On the lower level are four corner bars, providing a sports bar atmosphere in an outdoor setting, complete with full bar service and video walls showing NFL Sunday Ticket.. The upper concourse gives the fan sweeping views of the outlying areas with the skylines of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami visible in the distance. Scattered through the venue are numerous small team merchandise stores.

Concessions
A variety of places to find all kinds of food and drink, with corporations such as Pizza Hut, Carvel, and Mrs. Field's combining with themed stands named Seaside Grill and Pelican Cafe. Nothing more than the standard ballpark dreck on the menu. And yeah there is a specialty stand offering Buffalo Wings (in Miami???). One look at them and pros like us can immediately tell you that they were not the real deal. Not even close...

Seating Area
Armchair seating for close to 75,000, most colored in Dolphin orange split into two levels, with a club seating area and teal seats surrounding the top of the lower level. Color accents are all done in Florida colors - orange, blue and teal. Two jumbotron scoreboards, one at each end zone, that also provide constant out of town scores and stats to boot. Two levels of suites can be found surrounding the playing field between the two levels.

Premium Seating
This was one of the first NFL venues to introduce the club seat concept, a novel idea now duplicated just about everywhere. The 200 level concourse is climate controlled, and a premium restaurant called the Hall of Champions and a bar overlooking the field called the Legends Club are available to club ticket holders. Ticket prices here run from $145-$270.

Retired Numbers and Banners
Flags at three of the four corners of the stadium stand to commemorate the Dolphins greatest players and achievements. In one corner are two flags celebrating their back to back Super Bowl victories over the Redskins(VII) and Vikings(VIII). At another corner are five flags for the AFC Titles won in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1982, and 1984. Still in a third spot are two flags for the retired numbers 12 and 13 for Brian....errr BOB Griese and ohhh....what was that guys name again, let's check the encyclopedia here.....ahhh yes, Marino, Dan Marino. A flag bearing Larry Csonka's #39 will be added later in the 2002 season.

Also to be noted is the Dolphins Honor Roll on the facade of the upper deck with the names of many other Dolphin legends including Joe Robbie, Don Shula, and the 1972 undefeated team that won Super Bowl VII. While most names are facing the sideline, Dan Marino gets his name listed in the end zone along with his career totals for TDs, completions, attempts, and passing yardage - all of which are career NFL records!!

Touchdowns, Extra Points, Fumbles....

Touchdown - Let's hear it for the Ultimate Sports Road Trip jinx!!! Yes normally our hearts are with the home team wherever we go to, except when any Buffalo club is playing, and ESPECIALLY when it's against the Dolphins. What a thrill it was to see the Bills down the Fish 23-10 and we're not sure if it was that close.

Fumble - err....Interception(s).....Dolphins backup QB Ray Lucas started in place of the injured Jay Fiedler. After a game in which Lucas fumbled twice and threw four interceptions one could say that a better performance could have been had by filmmaker George Lucas, or retired NBA thug Maurice Lucas!!!

Touchdown and Game Ball - to Russ Salvatore of Salvatore's Italian Gardens. Each year, Russ rents out Shooters Waterfront Cafe, a canalside hot spot in Ft. Lauderdale on the night before the game. When the place was in full swing, there were several hundred Bills backers partying long into the night....a great time was had by all including us!!

Fumble - Questionable rules and regulations...Yes we realize that in today's day and age security is a priority, and checks of carried items are pretty routine. But can someone explain why a small clear plastic bag cannot be carried into Pro Player Stadium, yet once a souvenir is bought inside the gates it is then perfectly acceptable for it to be placed in a similar clear, plastic bag???? Who thinks this stuff up!!!

Fumble - The "Miami Dolphins" fight song! A direct takeoff of the old Houston Oilers fight song. ARE WE THE ONLY PEOPLE INFURIATED ABOUT THIS PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO STEAL A SONG AND MAKE IT THEIR OWN!! And a pretty lame song at that.

The Bills make me wanna SHOUT! (OK, well at LEAST we changed some of the lyrics for gosh sakes!)

Extra Point - several six lane roads run by Pro Player Stadium, and near the stadium there are traffic signals and overhead lane guides that advise motorists as to which lanes are going in which direction, of course this changes at various times during game day. Nice way to control traffic.

Extra Point - Immediately outside the stadium are on ramps taking you right onto the Florida Turnpike. The steel support beams under the ramps are painted in orange and teal.

Summary
A nice venue with a decent tailgate on the outside and a pretty good atmosphere within the walls of the facility. Pro Player is a great place to witness an NFL contest, yet despite its young age it is being passed up by the many newer NFL venues that have sprung up in the past few years. But if the weather is good and the tickets are available, as both are usually the case, Pro Player will always remain a favorite destination for those from parts beyond South Florida to catch their team in action. Our advice, bring a cap, sunscreen and wear shorts!

NEW NAME FOR DOLPHIN STADIUM
January 21, 2010
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Miami, Fla. - The newest name for the home of the Miami Dolphins is Sun Life Stadium. Reports say Sun Life Financial will pay $7.5 million a year for five years to name the venue.

Most recently the venue was called Landshark Stadium in a one-year deal and it had reverted to Dolphin Stadium before the new agreement was reached. The venue has previously been known as Pro Player Field and Joe Robbie Stadium.

BOWL GAMES GETTING PUBLIC FINANCING
January 5, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Phoenix, Ariz. - The Sugar Bowl has accepted annual subsidies of at least $1 million from the state of Louisiana during much of the BCS era, while increasing its reserves to $34.2 million, records obtained by the Arizona Republic show.

Two other Bowl Championship Series games - the Fiesta and Orange bowls - also amassed cash reserves while accepting public subsidies from governments, many of which have recently been forced to make other cuts to their budgets.

The non-profit organizations that operate the three bowls pay no taxes on their revenues, donate a small percentage of their revenue to charitable causes and have significantly raised executive pay in recent years, the newspaper said.

The BCS, a system created in the 1998-99 season by universities and athletic conferences, designates by contract which bowls are part of its postseason bowl system. It selects which teams play in those games and a rotating fifth game that determines a national champion.

Of the four bowls now in the BCS - Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar - only the Rose Bowl says it has not received government subsidies.

The bowls defend the subsidies because they classify their events as economic engines that attract tens of thousands of tourists annually. They and their government sponsors view the subsidies as seed capital to help stage showcase events that guarantee the bowls and their communities continued national status.

The bowls note their games pump hundreds of millions of dollars into their local economies. The Sugar Bowl, for example, said its game and related activities injected $137 million into New Orleans and Louisiana in fiscal 2010.

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, whose office has paid out subsidies to the Sugar Bowl since fiscal 2006-07, told the Republic the bowl has been a good state investment. But, he added, the bowl no longer is "an appropriate recipient" of funds following media reports in the past year about the Sugar Bowl's reserves and Chief Executive Paul Hoolahan's salary of nearly $600,000. Recently, the Sugar Bowl also admitted making improper campaign contributions to Louisiana's former governor.

"They have a huge surplus, and they are paying a huge salary to the executive director," Dardenne said. "It certainly makes you recognize a non-profit entity like that has an upside potential to make money, and it no longer has a need to be subsidized by government entities." The bowls generate their income from the games, sponsorships and TV contracts. Last year, the combined BCS payout was nearly $182 million, with roughly 80 percent of the money going to the six power conferences that created the BCS.

The Sugar Bowl, according to its annual non-profit statement to the Internal Revenue Service, has taken government assistance since at least 2001-02, when the bowl accepted $1 million and had net assets of $10.7 million. Records show the bowl has since accepted subsidies nearly every year, for a total of nearly $11 million, as its net reserves more than tripled to $34.2 million.

Hotel and motel bed-tax revenues across Louisiana generate the state funding, Jacques Berry, a spokesman for Dardenne told the Republic. The money is passed through the Lieutenant Governor's Office after lawmakers and the governor approve a budget, Berry said.

The funding ultimately landed in the BCS' hands in 2009-10 as part of a $6 million Sugar Bowl payment to the BCS under its contract.

All subsidies from the state go to the BCS for payouts to universities participating in its bowls, said Sugar Bowl spokesman John Sudsbury.

The Sugar Bowl's $34.2 million net reserve is the healthiest among BCS members. The bowl turned down nearly $1.4 million from the state in the fiscal year ended June 30, Dardenne said, after publicity regarding the Sugar Bowl CEO's pay and because Louisiana was "going through serious financial challenges."

The Fiesta and Orange bowls also receive subsidies:

* Tempe, through 2013, will have paid the Fiesta Bowl $6.45 million to ensure the group continues to hold the Insight Bowl, a second game the bowl operates annually, in Tempe's Sun Devil Stadium. The contract requires the city to pay the bowl $850,000 this year and next and $900,000 the final year.

At the same time, Tempe in the fiscal year ended June 30 cut its budget by nearly $36.2 million and eliminated 21112 positions. Employees were forced to take furloughs last fiscal year and will do so again this fiscal year.

The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau signed an agreement to pay the Fiesta Bowl $8.2 million over 20 years starting with the 2006-07 football season. In exchange for the money, which the bureau receives from city hotel-bed taxes, the Fiesta Bowl requires participating teams to stay in Scottsdale-area hotels and resorts. For the past Fiesta Bowl, for example, the universities of Connecticut and Oklahoma reported spending a combined $1.1 million in local lodging and meals.

The Fiesta Bowl had $22.3 million in net assets in 2009-10, the most recent year for which IRS records are available. That is nearly three times the value of its assets when the BCS began. * Public tax documents filed by the Orange Bowl report it received nearly $2.5 million in government grants since 2007-08. The largest chunk, $1.2 million, came in 2008-09. However, documents do not identify the sources of the grants, and the bowl declined requests to name them.

"Suffice it to say, we receive support from multiple sources as we affect tourism and economic development throughout the South Florida region," Orange Bowl spokesman Larry Wahl said. The Miami-area bowl has more than quadrupled its net reserves to $31.5 million since the BCS began.
* The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., which started in 1902 and is the oldest bowl, does not receive public subsidies. It has net reserves of $19.1 million, slightly more than double the amount since the BCS began and the lowest among BCS bowls.

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said the Insight Bowl generates value for his city. But he considers the city's contract with the Fiesta too expensive.

"The amount provided to the bowl is larger than it needs to be," Hallman said. "I do recognize the community investment for the event is necessary . . . but I hope in the future the amount the city pays will be brought down."

Miami Hurricanes

Tamiami Park/Moore Park
Tamiami Park/Moore Park
1926-1937
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl

1937-2007
Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium

2008-Present

Miami Dolphins

Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl

1966-1986
Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium

1987-Present

Florida Marlins

Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium
1993-Present
Marlins Ballpark
Marlins Ballpark
Future

Florida Atlantic Owls

Pro Player Stadium
Pro Player Stadium

2001-2002
Lockhart Stadium
Lockhart Stadium

2003-Present


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