Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Dolphins
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The home of Miami football resides in at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Miami Dolphins call this home, in addition to the Miami Hurricanes, and formerly the Miami Marlins.
Hard Rock Stadium has also been the host of many other prestigious events, including Super Bowls and the Orange Bowl. Since its establishment in 1987, Hard Rock Stadium has seen its ups and downs, in terms of performance. From a rainy Super Bowl in 2006 to crucial AFC East showdowns, Hard Rock Stadium has been through it all. Hard Rock holds approximately 65,000 fans, and is owned and operated by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
Food & Beverage 3
The food and beverage at Hard Rock Stadium is, simply put, average. While a wide variety of food is available in the main concourse, the quality is nothing else but average. I chose a burger and chicken tenders, which were priced at around eight dollars each and were fair for the price.
The only issue as far as food and beverage goes that I encountered at Hard Rock Stadium was the water. On both occasions that I have been to Hard Rock Stadium, the vendors around my section ran out of water. The temperature outside is often in the low 90s, and one would expect a venue located in Miami to over-stock on water.
The past of Hard Rock Stadium is literally written on the walls. Pictures of Don Shula and Dan Marino dominate the concourse, as well as images from significant Marlins and Hurricanes games and moments.
This is Miami during the football season, and any football fan can appreciate warm weather in the dead of winter. However, I was surprised to see the lack of any support from the home fans when I visited. The upper deck was empty for the majority of the game, and the opposing fan base nearly outnumbered the Miami fans. In addition, the Miami fans would constantly criticize and trash their own team.
Despite the negativity, Jimmy Buffett’s “Fins” is a light at the end of the tunnel for Dolphins fans. In addition to “Fins,” Hard Rock Stadium also features their own fight song, played following a Dolphins score. These catchy tunes provide a special spark to Hard Rock Stadium on Sundays.
The surrounding area of Hard Rock Stadium consists of a parking lot. That’s about it. While there are many tailgates around the stadium, both private and sponsored, there is a lack of a bar/restaurant scene in the area surrounding the stadium.
South Beach is a short drive away from Hard Rock Stadium; however, it is not close enough for any fan to engage in pre-game festivities. There is a wide variety of chain restaurants in the surrounding Fort Lauderdale and Miami Lakes area, and apart from the occasional golf course, there really isn’t a whole lot to do prior to the game.
The main issue with the fans at Hard Rock Stadium is the poor attendance, particularly in the selling of upper deck seats. From the first quarter to the fourth, numerous empty seats can be spotted in the upper deck and club-level areas, a rather disappointing turnout for a playoff-caliber team.
The fans that do show up provide a very interested and knowledgeable fan base. When the Dolphins score, the stadium erupts; however, when things don’t go as planned, moans and groans can be heard across the stadium.
There seems to be a select group of fans that are disinterested in the game and are more into the food, or simply just to be out of the house.
The parking situation at Hard Rock Stadium is a tale of two halves. Upon entering the parking lot, just off Florida’s Turnpike, the process is simple and easy.
When leaving the stadium, it would be best to eat dinner and enjoy your time in your car, as leaving the stadium can sometimes take about an hour. There is one road out of the stadium, and after the game, it is nearly impossible to get out in a reasonable amount of time.
Parking is widely available around the stadium and priced at $25, which is not terrible by NFL standards.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets at Hard Rock Stadium for a Dolphins game range anywhere from $50 to $250, depending on where you wish to sit. The experience and enjoyment you will get out of your time at Hard Rock Stadium will far outweigh any price of admission.
Whether you are a visiting fan, Dolphins fan, or fan of football, Hard Rock Stadium is a great place to watch football on Sundays.
The main element that keeps this stadium alive is its location. When opposing fans see Miami on their team’s schedule, they circle the date and book their flights. There is no better way to spend a weekend in November or December than in Miami.
This is the second time I have made the trip down to Miami to watch an NFL game. Both times, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Miami. My only complaint is the lack of a true fan base, but this should not discourage anyone from making a trip to Florida, by any means. The weather and fan-friendly atmosphere will keep any true fan coming back for more.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Shula’s Steak House
7601 Miami Lakes Dr
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
El Palacio Sports Hotel
21485 NW 27th Ave.
Miami, FL 33056
Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale/Miramar
10990 Marks Way
Miramar, FL 33025