Sun Life Stadium is located in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Don Shula Drive, named after the coach who brought a pair of Super Bowl titles to Miami, as well as the only perfect season in NFL history. His mark of 347 wins still stands as the record for most career wins by a coach.
After the Dolphins played at the Miami Orange Bowl for the first two decades of their existence, the decision was made to build a new facility, one that would easily host a major league baseball team in addition to NFL football. This resulted in the construction of what was then called Joe Robbie Stadium. The name of the stadium has changed several times. In 1996, the name was altered to Joe Robbie Stadium; in 2005 it was called Dolphin Stadium; in 2009 it changed to Land Shark Stadium and in 2010 Sun Life bought the naming rights. The company has already announced its desire to withdraw from this arrangement in the future, which means the name will likely change again in 2016.
Due to the desire to switch quickly between football and baseball, this stadium is a bit less of an intimate venue compared to other NFL teams. The distance between the sideline and the first row of the 50-yard line is 90 feet, which is further than many stadiums.
Miami Dolphins Stadium
Sun Life Stadium is an open-air build that exposes fans and players to the elements, which displeases the NFL, who have threatened to void the facility’s privilege to be considered as a Super Bowl or a Pro Bowl host if they don’t renovate to create a more hospitable environment. This stadium is well-known as one of the hottest to play in, which makes it difficult for squads who aren’t used to playing in the heat, resulting in a significant home-field advantage against teams unable to make the adjustment to Florida’s hot climate.
In fact, the owner of the Dolphins and the stadium petitioned to have all their home games start at 4 pm for the month of September because the northern seating area was too hot for most fans to enjoy. The construction of the stadium features an east-west orientation rather than the usual north-south positioning, which exacerbates the heat.
Other than a disastrous 2010 in which the Dolphins went 1-7 at home, Miami has enjoyed an 17-15 record at home, which proves a significant advantage considering their general lack of competence over the past half-decade.
Date Opened: August 16th, 1987
Construction Cost: $115 million
Capacity Attendance: $115 million
Playing Surface: Prescription Athletic Turf
Previous Miami Dolphins Stadiums
Miami Orange Bowl
Other Major Events
The Sun Life Stadium was host to WrestleMania XXVII, which took place on April 1st, 2012. The event broke records at the time as the best attended and highest-grossing WrestleMania ever to have taken place. Fans witnessed the Undertaker take out Triple H, The Rock beat John Cena and CM Punk defend his title against Chris Jericho.
The Orange Bowl has been hosted at Sun Life since the year 2000 and serves as the home field for the Miami Hurricanes, who have taken home five national titles and nine conference titles. In 2013, the BCS National Championship Game was played between Alabama and Notre Dame, setting an attendance record for the stadium at 80,120.