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INDIANAPOLIS — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear Friday that the Dolphins shouldn't expect to host another Super Bowl until they make significant improvements to Sun Life Stadium.
That was no surprise to Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, whose focus now is revamping the stadium to make it more attractive to his team's fans.
Ironically, that could mean making it more like the Orange Bowl, the stadium the team abandoned in 1987 and was demolished four years ago.
In the Orange Bowl, the fans were on top of the action and could intimidate the opponent. Sun Life Stadium is often comparatively lifeless, especially at Dolphins games in recent years.
Dee's plan is to get fans closer to the action. Because the club no longer shares the stadium with the Marlins, the Dolphins can reconfigure the field and potentially add 3,500 lower-bowl seats between the 20-yard lines.
They also could put fans just 18 feet from the team benches instead of the current 80 feet.
"We have the fewest number of seats of any of the facilities that compete for Super Bowls between the 20-yard lines, and we can fix that now," Dee said.
"Adding seats will dramatically help the energy and feeling and excitement in the stadium. It's also a challenge when you've got the stands so far away from the field, and we want to rectify that."
More dramatic changes at the league's 10th-oldest stadium would be needed to attract another Super Bowl, which was played at Sun Life Stadium two years ago (New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17) but isn't scheduled to return.
To meet Super Bowl standards, the league wants a canopy to protect fans from rain - storms soaked the crowd at the February 2007 game at Sun Life Stadium - better lighting for high-definition TV and other improvements.
The Dolphins have to "raise their game," Goodell said Friday.
That could mean raising money. Past efforts to get funding from the state Legislature have failed but the Dolphins might be able to get help from the league.
A provision in the new collective bargaining agreement called the G4 financing plan lets the league use its revenue to help fund stadium construction or improvements.
Just Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers became the first team to benefit from G4 financing when the league committed $200 million for a new $1 billion stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Teams have 15 years to pay back the low-interest loans.
Dee said the team will work this year to fund renovations that could enliven the stadium and help South Florida land its 11th Super Bowl.
Next year's game will be in New Orleans. The 2014 Super Bowl will be in East Rutherford, N.J., and the 2015 game in Glendale, Ariz.
The 50th Super Bowl - Super Bowl L in 2016 - is up for grabs.
"We want it," Dee said, "And we're going to do everything we can in working with the community to get it."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear Friday that the Dolphins shouldn't expect to host another Super Bowl until they make significant improvements to Sun Life Stadium.
It's all about the U!
I've seen some plans for it.
Basically the biggest thing they are gonna do is bring the people closer. Which will be nice and add some noise and energy to the stadium.
"There's going to be a lot of people who didn't stand with us who are going to be remembered for not standing with us." - Al Golden
Great info, thanks!
I like the fact things are starting to take shape towards a brighter future, soon, we'll be the most fear team in the entire nation just like old times, it's great to be a HURRICANE!
Finally a stadium thread I can up vote!
No I did not lose a sig bet, but I am really really really ridiculously good looking.
As far as the Hurricanes are concerned the part about bringing seats closer to the game field is a huge step in the right direction. It looks like the Dolphins could rectify some of Joe Robbie's biggest problems.
It will definately make it more of a college atmosphere with the seats being closer. If this project goes forward, it will pretty much put an end to the talk of an on-campus stadium. No way the Dolphins or the state make this type of committment and let the U out of their contract. Also, with what AG is doing we will eventually draw bigger crowds. No one is going to complain about the size of the stadium when we kick Florida's but in 2013. That will be one hot ticket!!!
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by vegacanes 2 years ago
How you doing?
Now THIS makes a HELL LOT of more sense is more feasible than a new on-campus stadium for Miami.
University of Miami Class of 2013
It's All About The U
It's five o'clock somewhere!!!
Funny how I got downvoted for the last "We NEED an on campus stadium" thread when I spoke of this. Hate to say it, but I TOLD YOU SO.
I like those designs but the seats have to be even CLOSER.
like the old days. fans basically ON the field.
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds.
Love the idea, but a stadium that holds 65k looks empty when there is only 30k at the game. Cane fans need to step up and get to the games!!! Al golden is doing his part, lets do ours. Lets pack the stadium every week even if we are playing the University of Joe Momma St.
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