Dolphin Stadium was the first of its kind to be constructed entirely with private funds. Joe Robbie led the financing campaign to build Joe Robbie
Stadium (JRS) for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. JRS revolutionized the economics of professional sports when it opened in 1987. Inclusion of a
Club Level, along with Executive Suites, helped to finance the construction of the stadium. Season ticket holders committed to long term
agreements and in return they received first-class amenities in a state-of-the-art facility which is still used as a model for new facilities across the
The stadium was designed at Joe Robbie's request to have a wider than normal playing field in order to accommodate soccer and to serve as
the home of a potential Major League Baseball franchise in South Florida. Because of this design decision, the first row of seats is 90 feet (27
meters) from the sideline in a football configuration, considerably more distant than the first row of seats in most football stadiums (the closest
seats at the new Soldier Field, for instance, are 55 feet (17 meters) from the sideline at the 50-yard line). While the decision to employ a wider
playing field resulted in a National League expansion franchise for Miami (see below), it resulted in a less intimate venue for football when
compared to other contemporary football facilities.
In 1990, H. Wayne Huizenga, then Chairman of the Board and CEO of Blockbuster Video and Huizenga Holdings Inc., agreed to purchase 50
percent of Joe Robbie Stadium and became the point man in the drive to bring Major League Baseball to South Florida. That effort was
rewarded in July 1991, when South Florida was awarded a National League expansion franchise. On January 24, 1994, Huizenga acquired the
remaining fifty percent of the stadium to give him 100% ownership. Since 1991, several million dollars have been spent to upgrade and renovate
The stadium has been home to the Miami Dolphins since 1987 and to the Florida Marlins since 1993. However, stadium management has
indicated that the Marlins must find a new venue by the end of their current lease. It has been the site of the FedEx Orange Bowl game since
1996, except for the January 1999 contest between Florida and Syracuse, which had to be moved due to a conflict with a Dolphins playoff game.
Dolphin Stadium has played host to four Super Bowls in 1989, 1995, 1999, and 2007, with another scheduled in 2010, two World Series (1997
and 2003), and numerous concerts, featuring entertainers such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Billy Joel, Chicago, Genesis,
Gloria Estefan, Guns N' Roses, The Who, Hall & Oates, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, and The Three Tenors.
Other events held at Dolphin Stadium have included international soccer matches, Monster Truck shows, Hoop-It-Up Basketball, RV and Boat
Shows, the UniverSoul Circus, and Australian rules football exhibition matches and numerous trade shows. The Stadium also plays host to the
yearly Shula Bowl, a game played between Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University, only when FAU hosts the game (FIU
hosts the game at their own stadium, FIU Stadium, every other year). In 2006, Dolphin Stadium will host the high school football state
championships, sanctioned by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).
Dolphin Stadium has been home to many commercials and feature films as well, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the football-themed
movie, Any Given Sunday, starring Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx and an episode of The Simpsons called "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday",
where Homer and his friends visit the stadium for the Super Bowl.