Improvements at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Courtesy Miami Dolphins (right).

Hard Rock Stadium Improvements



Thornton Tomasetti provided structural, façade and construction engineering services for major renovations to the world-class Hard Rock Stadium, home to the NFL Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami football team.

The first phase, completed in 2015, added a new lower bowl to the sidelines, bringing fans closer to the field. It also replaced all seats and rebuilt the concourses at the 100 and 300 levels. Phase two, completed in 2016, added a long-span, cable-supported canopy over the seating bowl, the suspension of four large high-definition screens and suite renovations at the 200 concourse level.

The new canopy is completely independent from the existing stadium structure, minimizing the need for retrofits to the older structure and allowed the work to be phased to accommodate the 2015 playing season. Eight concrete mega-columns – two at each corner – were tucked close to the stadium walls. Steel masts rise between each pair of columns. Together, they support and stabilize long steel trusses that span high above the inner and outer edges of the seating bowl.

Our façade engineers designed the translucent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) shade canopy. Inflated pillows of ETFE cover the canopy, blocking rain and direct sun from the seating bowl, while letting light in. We also performed Tekla modeling and connection design that allowed early material procurement – a crucial factor in meeting a tight schedule.

The revamped stadium will host a variety of events year round, including college football championships, soccer matches and concerts.

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