Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes Games at Hard Rock Stadium to Allow Some Fans

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 24, 2020

A Miami Dolphins helmets sits on the field before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes, who share a home stadium, will allow limited seating to fans for home games this season. 

Per an announcement from the Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium will allow a maximum of 13,000 fans, and masks will be required for the team's home opener game against the Buffalo Bills:   

Miami Dolphins @MiamiDolphins

For our home opener against the Bills at @HardRockStadium we will have a maximum of 13,000 fans. All fans will be required to wear a mask. Read More: https://t.co/pkfOJozy8q https://t.co/Mp3MVA7vnP

Andy Slater @AndySlater

SLATER SCOOP: Fans will be allowed at Hard Rock Stadium this season for Dolphins and Hurricanes games, multiple sources tell me. Capacity will be 13,000 people, which is 20%. There’s a 46-page plan for social distancing.

Tom Garfinkel, Dolphins vice chairman and CEO, said in the announcement the team received approval from city and state officials to move forward with a reduced seating capacity:

"When we started the process back in March of exploring what a socially-distanced stadium could look like, we made the health and safety of everyone the first priority; knowing that if we felt that we couldn't make it safe, we simply wouldn't have fans. We're happy that our elected officials recognize the attention to detail and diligence that we've put into creating a safe environment and that they made the decision to move forward with a 13,000-capacity stadium at this time."

Even as other sports leagues in the United States have returned without fans, Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reported in June the NFL was going to let individual teams make their own determination based on recommendations from local health and government officials. 

The Dolphins are one of seven teams currently planning to allow fans. Others include the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers

The Hurricanes are scheduled to open the 2020 season at home Sept. 10 against UAB. The Dolphins will begin this season on the road at Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots

The Dolphins will host the Bills Sept. 20.