The Miami Dolphins and Hurricanes announced its limited stadium capacity plan at Hard Rock Stadium for the 2020 season, and it comes with a number of cautions.
The Dolphins plan to host 13,000 mask-wearing fans at the home opener versus the Buffalo Bills on September 20, which is approximately 20 percent of the stadium’s 65,326-seat capacity.
The same protocols will be followed for the Miami Hurricanes‘ home opener against UAB on September 10.
“The number of 13,000 wasn’t a target or something we were trying to hit; it was just a function of the physical space we have if we create pods of 2,4,6 seats and we distance them six-feet apart, where does the capacity end up?” Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel said at a Monday afternoon press conference. “And it ended up at 13,000.”
Garfinkel added that the organization had been began searching for the right plan to ensure a safe and socially distanced fan experience which would include minimal contact.
Miami worked closely with the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and became the first stadium worldwide to receive GBAC STAR accreditation in May.
In order to receive the accreditation, Hard Rock Stadium completed 20 program elements with specific performance and guidance criteria which centered on cleaning, disinfection and prevention practices.
The Dolphins’ protocols include socially distanced seating clusters, masks to be worn all times when not eating or drinking, upgraded air conditioning to improve air quality and mobile touchless entry into the stadium with staggered gate entry times.
Additionally, tailgating has been canceled in 2020, and the stadium will open two hours before kickoff instead of four. The stadium has changed the restroom experience from manual to touchless and will go cashless for food service, parking and retail.
“If you are someone who doesn’t want to wear a mask, this isn’t a place for you,” Garfinkel stated.
Season ticket holders will be given priority to attend games, based on their tenure as a holder. The Dolphins are giving season ticket members the option to roll their 2020 membership into the 2021 season without
Both the Dolphins and Hurricanes are giving season ticket members first priority to purchase individual tickets based on their tenure. All season ticket members have the option to roll their 2020 payments into the 2021 season while still retaining their seats, tenure and benefits.
UM is also offering a refund of all payments.
Nonetheless, Garfinkel and the Dolphins are telling season-ticket holders that are at risk from COVID-19 to stay home this year and roll over to 2021.