MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – The Dolphins' final preseason game was Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans, but the real star of this game was the renovated and renamed Hard Rock Stadium.
Only a very small number of players, coaches, employees and a few members of the media have actually seen the multi-million dollar changes. Now, the rest of South Florida, and a TV audience, got to see what the fuss is all about.
The highlights of the $500 million project, funded by team owner Stephen Ross, is the installation of a canopy that will provide shade over 92-percent of the fans, as well as four giant, high-definition scoreboards at the top of each corner of the stadium.
"This is a culmination of eight months of hard work, working bolts and lifting steel and painting and whatever," said Bill Penn, Vice President of Stadium Renovations. "It's truly a testament to the workers that put this together for us this year."
Football tonight @HardRockStadium - thank you to the 5,554 workers who conducted 24/7 shifts for 8 consecutive months to get it done...
— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) September 1, 2016
Dolfans came to watch their team. All of them were amazed. Not by what was on the field, but by their seats.
"I've been a season ticket holder for 34 years. And this is amazing. It's absolutely incredible. Wow!" said season ticket holder Wilma Sanchez.
Bob Soloveil has been a season ticket holder for 49 years, when the Dolphins played in the Orange Bowl. His upper deck seats once a source of sunburn are now covered in shade.
"Well it's great. Now my grandkids will come. They wouldn't come before because sitting in the sun was too hot. Now it's going to be a pleasure," Soloveil said.
In addition, the Dolphins have become the first NFL team to partner up with the online transportation company Uber in an effort to alleviate traffic and parking issues. The organization has created the Uber Zone where fans can be dropped off starting four hours prior to kickoff and picked up after the game, as well. The Uber Zone parking lot is located near the Florida Turnpike access road and includes a walkway for fans to get from the lot to the stadiums safely.
The Uber service will be available for all events at Hard Rock Stadium.
Another service being offered is the Uber Tailgate, which gives fans who utilize the service to attend games an opportunity to tailgate despite not bringing a vehicle.
The cost includes a private area, tent, grill, cooler, plastic silverware, furniture, water and access to a general store to buy additional items.
There will be 20 spots available per game for fans to reserve.
The Uber Tailgate service will be available beginning with the Dolphins regular season home opener against the Cleveland Browns on September 25th.
The Dolphins are also the first sports team in Florida to partner with SunPass. Fans with an active SunPass account can use it to pay for parking in four lots at Hard Rock Stadium for Dolphins games, Miami Hurricanes games and other events.
Parking will cost $25 per event versus the usual $40 in the cash lots and it will be deducted directly off your SunPass.
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