Dee: This Facility Will Serve This Community For 60 Years

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Dolphins CEO gives media tour of Sun Life Stadium.

Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee spent about an hour this afternoon showing a group of print and broadcast reporters some of the nooks and crannies at Sun Life Stadium in dire need of modernization. He was playing the role of tour guide and building inspector simultaneously.

At one point during the tour, Dee stood in between two sections of seats in the West End Zone where paint was visibly peeling off of the concrete on one side and rust was prevalent on the other side. But the cameras didn’t need to pan any further than the original 1987 team logo imprinted on the side of one of the seats to show just how old they are.

“When we go through this we’re talking about a modernization and that’s why it’s not a renovation,” Dee explained. “A renovation suggests that you’re addressing specific areas. Modernization is an all-encompassing term that means you’re going to go through the facility with a big sweep and anything that needs to be updated and modernized will be.”

Since that day in mid-January when owner Steve Ross first unveiled the architectural renderings of the proposed modernization, most of the attention focused on the state-of-the-art canopy that would be erected to protect the fans from the weather elements and the sun. In addition, the parts of the project dealing with bringing the lower level seats closer to the field, upgrading the stadium lighting and installing four video boards in each corner in place of the two in each end zone have been constantly highlighted.

What has not been seen by the masses until now is the underbelly of the facility and the impact of the 1992 retrofit to accommodate the Florida Marlins and Major League Baseball. Should the project move forward with the blessing of the voting public, it would take 22 months to complete with a scheduled start date of August and a completion.

“We’ve said publicly if we do this modernization this facility will serve this community for 60 years,” Dee said. “That’s unheard of in terms of stadium life. Only Wrigley Field or Fenway Park can claim that. Most facilities after a 30-year run are torn down and a new one is constructed. So kudos to Joe Robbie and those who originally designed this facility because there are some design elements that were clearly ahead of its time when it was built.”
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