MIAMI GARDENS, FL – The Miami Dolphins will host a weekend-long celebration to recognize former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas on his recent induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, highlighted by a halftime ceremony and ring presentation during the Dolphins' Week 6 matchup against the Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium.
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August as a member of the Class of 2023, the highly regarded middle linebacker had a decorated career with accolades that include seven Pro Bowl selections, the most all-time by a Dolphins defender, five first-team All-Pro nominations and 1,734 career tackles which rank fifth in NFL history (since records began in 1987). A fifth-round draft pick (154th overall) by Miami in the 1996 NFL Draft, Thomas quickly established himself as one of the league's top players, winning the 1996 AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He went on to lead the NFL in tackles twice, lead the Dolphins in tackles 10 times, earn two Dan Marino Team MVP awards, three Don Shula Leadership honors and was named NFL Linebacker of the Year twice. Thomas was Miami's middle linebacker during a run of seven straight seasons (1998-2004) that the Dolphins finished top 10 in total defense.
Festivities this weekend will commence with a private reception for Thomas alongside his family, former teammates and members of the organization at the Baptist Health Training Complex on Saturday, Oct. 14, which will include the unveiling of his jersey alongside the organization's 10 other members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Later that evening, the Dolphins will host a celebratory VIP party gathering Thomas's family, friends and Dolphins alumni for an evening dedicated to the newly inducted Hall of Famer at the MIA Autodrome Paddock Club.
As the dedicated game to honor Thomas' achievement, Dolphins vs. Panthers presented by Solis Health Plans will continue the celebration through a series of pregame and halftime recognitions at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 15. Pregame activities will feature the Dolphins Alumni Tailgate presented by Truist highlighting Zach Thomas, who will also serve as the Dolphins' honorary captain for the game and will join the current team captains on the field for the coin toss.
At halftime, Thomas will be joined on the field by Dolphins Chairman of the Board/Managing General Partner Stephen M. Ross and President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Jim Porter as he is presented with the Kay Jewelers Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence. Set in 14K gold with a total diamond weight of 1.75 carats, the Ring of Excellence is a symbol and special reminder of each enshrinee's attainment. Thomas will also address the fans in attendance during the halftime ceremony.
"We are proud to honor Zach for his accomplishments and excited to celebrate him alongside his family, teammates and Dolphins fans this weekend," Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice Chairman, President and CEO Tom Garfinkel said. "Zach's leadership, work ethic and dedication to this franchise and the South Florida community throughout his 12 seasons as a Miami Dolphin exemplify why his legacy is now forever cemented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is our pleasure to celebrate Zach as we congratulate him on this incredible feat and recognize him as one of the greatest Dolphins of all time."
The weekend-long celebration will conclude at the Fort Lauderdale Country Club on Monday, Oct. 16, where Dolphins alumni and partners will enjoy the Alumni Weekend Golf Tournament presented by Baptist Health.
With Miami Dolphins season tickets sold out for the second year in a row, single game tickets are still available for select matchups for the remainder of the 2023 season. As the Official Ticketing Partner of Hard Rock Stadium, Ticketmaster provides fans with the safest and most convenient platform to purchase tickets for the live events they love. Ticketmaster is the only marketplace that can guarantee that the ticket and seat you buy is the ticket and seat you'll get. To ensure the best ticket buying experience, fans should purchase from official sources like Ticketmaster, the Hard Rock Stadium website or the venue box office.