Sun Life Stadium
formerly Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Stadium,
Tenants: Florida Marlins (NL); Miami Dolphins (NFL)
Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City).
Florida Marlins tickets:
Location: 2269 NW 199th Street. Center field (E), Florida's Turnpike; third base (N), NW 203rd Street & Snake Creek Canal; home plate (W), Carl F. Barger Boulevard & NW 27th (University) Avenue; first base (S), NW 199th Street & Honey Hill Road.
Dimensions: Left field: 335 ft., 330 ft. (1994); power alleys: 380 ft., 385 ft. (1994); center field: 410 ft., 404 ft. (1994); right field: 345 ft.; backstop: 58 ft.
Fences: Left-center scoreboard: 33 ft.; everywhere else: 8 ft.
Joe Robbie, the original owner of the Miami Dolphins, built and financed a new stadium located near the border of Dade and Broward counties for his football team. Completed in 1987, it was a vast improvement over the Orange Bowl, where the Dolphins used to play. Mr. Robbie wanted, and got, a roomier stadium which would be more comfortable for those attending games. Sun Life Stadium features a large number of executive suites and club seats, the licensing of which provided most of the funds to build the stadium.
Former Blockbuster Video magnate Wayne Huizenga purchased the Dolphins and 50 percent of their $115-million stadium from Mr. Robbie's heirs in 1990. He spent $10 million to renovate it for baseball so his expansion Florida Marlins could play there in 1993. He bought the remaining interest in the stadium in 1994.
Pro Player, a division of Fruit-of-the-Loom, signed a 10-year, $20 million deal to buy the naming rights to the stadium in 1996, but the sports apparel company was bought out in 2000. The stadium was renamed Dolphins Stadium on January 10, 2005 as part of a major refurbishing project that is estimated to cost nearly half a billion dollars, and possibly include the addition of a roof. On April 8, 2006, the name was adjusted to Dolphin Stadium. On May 9, 2009, the stadium was renamed Land Shard Stadium. On January 20, 2010, the stadium was renamed Sun Life Stadium.
Huizenga sold the Marlins to John Henry in 1998, who sold the team to Jeffrey Loria in 2002. For years, ownership has been seeking public financing to help pay for a new retractable roof ballpark for the Marlins. Both the team and MLB say a new ballpark is essential if the Marlins are to remain in Florida. Unpredictable weather in the Miami area is believed to discourage attendence at Sun Life Stadium.
Sun Life Stadium Trivia:
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View of Sun Life Stadium from behind home plate © 2005 by Paul Munsey.
Updated May 2005
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