When the Dolphins renovated Hard Rock Stadium, one of the biggest projects was the canopy which shields fans from the sun, which was designed to survive a Category Four hurricane.
And with Hurricane Irma bearing down on South Florida, we’ll find out how it holds up.
According to George Richards of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have worked in recent days to pack away loose items and batten down the hatches at their building.
“This is the first test, obviously,”said Todd Boyan, the Dolphins’ senior vice president of operations. “We’ll see how it goes. We had structural engineers who designed the canopy, and they’ll be here as soon as it’s safe to get them here. Once the storm clears, we will get a team of people from each discipline who will come to the stadium before we open it back up.
“We have to make sure the property is safe to occupy again. We’re not going to let anyone into the property until we’re confident the shade canopy, as well as the building structure, is safe. We believe the shade canopy will do well, but you don’t know until you go through it. This is a major storm.”
Since the Dolphins aren’t hosting their game against the Buccaneers this weekend, they were able to get a head start on preparations. And with their unscheduled bye followed by road trips to Los Angeles, New York, and London, the Dolphins will have time to fix any damage (though the University of Miami has a game there Sept. 23).
But because of the uncertainty about the canopy, team officials won’t shelter there. They also deflated the team’s indoor practice bubble, preparing like the rest of their region for the huge storm.