An open-air canopy, a $500m refurbishment and promising the greenest Super Bowl ever (and it’s hosted Barcelona v Real Madrid!)… the incredible Hard Rock Stadium staging Sunday’s showdown between Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers
- When deciding where to host a Super Bowl, the NFL consider many things
- The weather, and more importantly, stadium quality are taken into consideration
- This Sunday, the Hard Rock Stadium will host the event for a record 11th time
In deciding where to host a Super Bowl, the NFL consider many things.
As well as climate, stadium quality is a key factor, so perhaps it is little surprise that south Florida is hosting the event for a record 11th time.
Here, Sportsmail finds out all you need to know about the Hard Rock Stadium where this Sunday’s showpiece will be held.
The Hard Rock Stadium will host the Super Bowl for a record 11th time on Sunday
The huge stadium is in Miami Gardens, a city about 17 miles north of Miami Beach
Where is it?
Hard Rock Stadium is in Miami Gardens, a city about 17 miles north of Miami Beach.
What’s the capacity?
And it’s pretty green, right?
Actually, that’s aqua. All the orange seats were ripped out in 2015.
The stadium can seat 65,326 fans and ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to hosting the event
All of the orange seats were ripped out in 2015 and have been replaced with aqua seats
No, green. You know… environmentally friendly.
Oh, good point. The Miami Dolphins decided to phase out 99.4 per cent of single use plastic and this promises to be the greenest Super Bowl in history. The stadium uses aluminium cups, which can be recycled.
HARD ROCK STADIUM
Opened: 16 August 1987
Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
Cost: $665million (by 2019)
Parking: 26,718 cars
Venue type: Multi-purpose
What’s that thing on the top?
That is the open air canopy. It was installed to protect fans from the sort of rain seen at Super Bowl XLI, introduce some shade on sunnier days and add a bit of atmosphere. It covers 90 per cent of fans, but leaves the football field open to the elements.
What is the surface made of?
Californian-grown grass. Nope, not the sort harvested at Tyson Ranch but a hybrid Bermuda over-seeded with rye grass. Hard Rock Stadium is one of 14 to use the real stuff compared to the 17 with artificial turf. It was harvested 14 months ago and is – hopefully – robust enough to endure the game and the half-time show.
When was it built?
The stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie, Pro Player, Dolphins, Land Shark, and Sun Life opened in 1987. The recent three-year renovation began in 2015 and came at a cost of $500million, with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross picking up most of the tab.
The stadium is environmentally friendly and uses aluminium cups, which can be recycled
What did the renovation entail?
The facelift took place over three off-seasons from 2015 so that the Dolphins didn’t have to pay elsewhere. The first year saw the seats replaced and the creation of money-spinning boxes, suites and seating pods. The canopy was fitted on top of the stadium in 2016 with four video boards added.
The first meaningful game played at the ‘new’ stadium was a 30-24 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns on September 25, 2016. Following that, suites and ‘premium spaces’ were given an upgrade.
Is it easy to get to?
There are buses and trains from downtown Miami. Or you could use one of the 22,000 parking spaces outside.
About that green thing… Is it just a football stadium?
Good heavens no. It’s a multi-purpose venue. Once the home of the Florida Marlins MLB team, it is now the Miami Dolphins’ and has hosted five Super Bowls (XLIV; 2010, XLI; 2007, XXXIII; 1999, XXIX; 1995 and XXIII; 1989), two World Series and numerous concerts and even a Clasico.
Since 2019 it has hosted the Miami Open tennis tournament, and there is considerable debate about whether it may or may not feature on the Formula One calendar next season.
The stadium hosted a pre-season cup clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona in 2017
What happened in Miami’s previous Super Bowls?
The first five, hosted at the Orange Bowl, were won by the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, the Baltimore Colts and two wins for the Pittsburgh Steelers. At what is now Hard Rock Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers have won twice, with wins for the Denver Broncos, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.
OK, great. How much do tickets cost?
Are you sitting down? At the moment you won’t get much change from $7,000. But that’s likely to go up.