No major damage to Hard Rock Stadium; Dolphins, Hurricanes can play

Hard Rock Stadium has no major issues related to Hurricane Irma. (Getty Images)

Hard Rock Stadium sustained no structural damage during Hurricane Irma over the weekend and is ready to host the upcoming Dolphins and University of Miami home games.

Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel announced on Twitter this morning that the stadium held up well during the storm. The team had engineers perform a thorough inspection of the venue, and they signed off on it to proceed with events as scheduled. Video released by the team during the storm showed many fallen trees on the exterior part of the venue.

Garfinkel confirmed landscaping damage and said the stadium lost a section of roof panels, but downplayed those issues as “aesthetic in nature and easy to fix.” The roof problem was likely caused by a tornado touching down on the property, the engineers reported.

The Hurricanes played their season opener at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 2 and will host Toledo there Sept. 23, and Garfinkel said specifically it will be fully operational for that game.

UM was scheduled to play at Arkansas State last Saturday, but that game was canceled. The ACC also rescheduled the Hurricanes’ game at Florida State, originally this weekend, to Oct. 7.

The Dolphins were supposed to open the season at home against Tampa Bay on Sunday, but that game was rescheduled to the mutual bye week. They will meet in Miami Gardens on Nov. 19.

The team is currently practicing in Oxnard, Calif., in advance of their game against the Chargers. They play at the Jets the following week and in London against the Saints on Oct. 1.

Miami’s first home game will be Oct. 8 against Tennessee, the franchise’s latest home opener since 1987. This week’s game at Los Angeles marks the fifth time in the past six years the Dolphins have started on the road.

Garfinkel also said the team’s practice facility in Davie is in good condition and will be available when the team returns from California on Monday. There was a fallback plan to practice in West Virginia next week if necessary.

During the storm’s approach, Dolphins staff members took down awnings in Davie and deflated the indoor practice bubble.

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