Miami Dolphins’ Stadium

The Dolphins’ stadium opened in 1987 and was named Joe Robbie Stadium after the team’s first owner. It has gone through several name changes over the years as naming rights have been bought and expired. In 2016 the Hard Rock Cafe group bought the naming rights to the stadium in a deal that cost them $250 million over 18 years. They decided to call it the Hard Rock Stadium, which is what it is known as today.

It was originally built to be able to accommodate both a pro-football and pro-baseball team even though, at the time, the area didn’t have an MLB franchise. It was owner Joe Robbie’s foresight that determined there would be one in the area before too long and he wanted them to play in his stadium.

Not only was the stadium built to home the Miami Dolphins NFL team, but it was also for use by the Miami Hurricanes University football team. It also plays host to the annual college game known as the Orange Bowl.

The Marlins Move In

Owner Joe Robbie was proven to be correct in his assumption that the area would soon get an MLB franchise when in 1991 they were awarded one that would become known as the Florida Marlins.

Because of its dual-purpose nature, the stadium has been said to be “lacking in an intimate atmosphere”, due to the fact that the crowd sat further away from the sidelines than at stadiums built purposefully for football. This extended distance was to allow for a baseball field to be set up at the stadium during the Marlins games.

Miami Dolphins' stadium set up for a Florida Marlins game before they moved and the stadium's renovations.

The Florida Marlins have now vacated the stadium in favour of their own purpose-built for baseball home known as Marlins Park. The team are now also called the Miami Marlins as opposed to the Florida Marlins and enjoy their new home with its very own sliding roof.

Miami Marlins' stadium, Marlins Park

Stadium Renovations

The stadium has undergone some renovations since the Marlins left for their own stadium, and Hard Rock Stadium now has a seating capacity of 65,326 for its football games. The configuration of the lower stands has been altered to move the fans closer to the sidelines now that there’s no need to accommodate a baseball team.

Before the 2016 NFL season kicked off, quite major renovations were carried out on the stadium. This included removing all the orange seats and replacing them with more modern green ones as well as adding more modern executive boxes and four-seat pods (which actually sound pretty cool with their “living room arrangement” and TV screens). Also, more bars, lounges and amenities were added to the concourse areas within the stadium. Two of the most obvious additions during this renovation phase were the additions of the four giant screens to each corner of the stadium as well as the large roof that covers and protects the fans from the weather no matter if it’s rain or shine.

These latest works on the Hard Rock Stadium cost somewhere in the region of $500 million. Wow, that’s a serious renovation budget!

Hard Rock Stadium with new screens, roof and extended lower stands

Miami Dolphins Logo and Uniform

The Dolphins’ logo and uniforms have remained largely the same during the team’s history. Their colours have been aqua, coral and white in varying configurations depending on whether they were playing at home or away.

Their home kit should be the aqua jerseys with white pants if they were to go with the norm for the NFL, but they have been known to often wear their white jerseys for daytime home games due to the high temperatures that can be had in south Florida. Other teams playing in hotter climates have also been known to do this such as the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals.

The most noticeable change, as far as the uniform is concerned, over the years is that the shade of the green jersey has shifted between a lighter and darker tone. It is currently one of the lighter tones these days.

As for the logo, this had always been a jumping dolphin wearing an old style football helmet with a ‘M’ on it. The dolphin is jumping in front of a sunburst, and not through a hoop as I’ve seen some ‘fans’ claim in the past.

Miami Dolphins' logo through the years

As can be seen in the image above, the positioning and green shade of the dolphin are the only things that changed on the logo for the first 30 years of its existence. It wasn’t until 1997 that it got a makeover with a more aggressive look to the dolphin (if that’s actually possible to achieve) as well as the addition of a blue colour to add a bit of shading.

It was 2013 when the franchise revealed it was getting rid of the jumping, helmet-wearing dolphin and replacing it with a less comical (just my opinion), more modern looking image that isn’t wearing a football helmet or jumping vertically.I personally much prefer this new logo as it looks more serious but I grew up watching the Dolphins play whilst wearing the original so I’m grateful for the throwback uniforms they wear now and again.

I personally much prefer this new logo as it looks more serious but I grew up watching the Dolphins play whilst wearing the original so I’m grateful for the throwback uniforms they wear now and again.

As with most teams throughout the years, the Miami Dolphins have used different coloured facemasks at one time or another. These have included grey and green but they currently wear white ones to give them a very white uniform indeed – I think it looks awesome but I’m certainly glad I don’t have to wash it after they’ve played a game on real grass!

They still wear their white jerseys for home games with the aqua jerseys being worn during primetime games when they’re at home.