Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said the “last piece of steel” is going up at the stadium today and predicted the facility will be ready for the Sept. 1 preseason game against Tennessee, which will be the first event in the renovated structure.
“I know we will be playing,” Ross said in his most definitive vote of confidence yet.
Speculation crept up throughout the summer that the project was behind schedule, flamed in part by the third preseason game against Atlanta being moved to Orlando. But the Dolphins say that move was done to accommodate a request by the NFL rather than to buy time.
The latest price tag on the work, highlighted by a canopy to shield fans from the sun and rain, is $500,000. When work began, it was $350,000.
Ross said even though games will be played at the soon-to-be renamed stadium starting in early September, minor work, including cosmetic, will continue as the regular season starts.
Ross expects the general reaction to be that installing a canopy “looks easy,” but it has been so complex that he has been on the phone, checking up on things, every day since January from his New York base.
“There’s no way you can be late,” he said.