Thursday, July 14, 2016

About the stadium renovations

I found last week to be....interesting.

Construction of the canopy and installation of the lights and scoreboards is progressing, but perhaps not at a pace that makes everyone super comfortable. 

When I passed by recently, I noticed that the pylons on the corners were in place, but there didn't appear to be canopy materials nearby.  And in passing, it looked like the scoreboards (or at least the housings for them) were partially installed, but still a work in progress.

So the stadium is not-yet ready for primetime, and there are a number of cranes still around the stadium.

A few weeks ago, the Phins announced that preseason game #3 (on August 25th) had been moved to Orlando to "broaden the fan base" or some such nonsense.

Their next preseason game on Sept 1 is still scheduled at whatever-the-stadium-name-is-but-I-still-call-it-JRS

But the fun part was last week when commentator Hank Goldberg suggested the stadium wouldn't be actually ready until NOVEMBER.

The Phins pounced on that with a press release that said - in PR jargon - that it will be ready to play but construction will still be ongoing.

Now the Dolphins have their first regular season home game on Sept 25, and then follow with a series of games starting October 9th.  So in theory, there is a little wiggle room before that first home date.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes (a tenant in the stadium) said they had made contingency plans for their early schedule, in the event its not ready.  They have two home dates in early Sept (one against FAU) and don't play at home again until October 8....and their contingency plan appears to be to play @FAU.

The danger, though, is that it won't be ready for the preseason game or that first home date for the Dolphins, meaning contingency comes into play...and then hopefully it actually is ready on 10/8 for the Hurricanes. 

What you don't want to have happen is something similar to the Hartford Yard Goats (see this story: http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/hartford-removes-developer-stalled-stadium-project/)

It just struck me, given what things look like in early July, and how quickly the Dolphins protested comments that it wouldn't be ready, that it seems doubtful it will be ready in time for the last preseason game.

We'll see, of course...there just isn't much time left and the weather has been its own challenge. 

And not to put too fine a point on it, but there's an amusing subtext here: owner Stephen Ross' primary business is development & construction.

That's not to say he's bad at it, its just amusing that he had an aggressive plan with a tight timeline and a lot of eyes (not to mention potential for lost revenue) and it may not work out. 
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7 comments

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Dave, you didn't go to Leto high in Tampa by any chance did you?

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Not me....but then my name happens to be fairly common. Back when I was in high school, another David Kennedy (this one a close relative to JFK) died, and I went around from class to class reciting a Twain line "the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated"

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I know, I know... there is nothing better to write about, but why talk about a stadium re-build. Everyone has an opinion and here is mine... who gives a flying fuzz.. Funding is coming directly from Ross pocket, even it is goes over budget, no one - including myself is contributing a penny towards it. So, if it takes a few weeks longer that they originally said, who cares? At least the stadium is getting some shade and modifications that us fans should enjoy for years to come.

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Your point is taken. But I'd like to point out that while he's fronting the money, to say that none of it comes from us is not quite right. He gets some huge tax breaks (meaning he doesn't pay as much as he could based on its size and revenue) and he gets money from various government entities - in cash - for certain events. So essentially "we" are repaying him for it.

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I drove by the stadium 10 days ago and noticed one of the corner pylons was already clad in its covering. I figure if they're already starting cosmetic finishings that there's a reasonable chance it will be ready with 7 more weeks to go.

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I hope they get it done for Web weekend! Actually, if it is delayed till then we can say we were there for the unveiling.

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I hope they get it done for Web weekend! Actually, if it is delayed till then we can say we were there for the unveiling.