SUN LIFE STADIUM
The 2011 season marked
the 18th and final season for the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium as
they move into their new stadium in 2012. Opening in 1987, Sun
Life Stadium (then
called Joe Robbie Stadium) was the first stadium built primarily for
football, and later used permanently for baseball. Miami Dolphins (NFL) owner
Joe Robbie first lobbied for a new stadium in 1984 for the Dolphins.
After a site was selected, construction began December 1, 1985.
In August 1987, the first football games was played at the stadium. Three levels
of seats enclose the entire stadium. When
the stadium was built for the Dolphins, Joe Robbie insisted on a
rectangular grandstand layout that was wider than needed for
football believing that baseball would possibly come to Miami. The
stadium hosted 13 pre-season baseball games prior being award the
and has had several names over the years. Originally known as Joe
Robbie Stadium, it was renamed Pro Player Stadium in 1996 and
renamed Dolphin Stadium in January 2005. In May 2009, the stadium's
naming rights were briefly bought by Land Shark Lager, a beer that Jimmy Buffett markets in a deal with Anheuser-Busch.
The facility is now known as Sun Life Stadium after Sun Life
Financial purchased the naming rights for $7.5 million annually for
In 1991, Major League Baseball awarded South
Florida a baseball franchise. In order to accommodate baseball
several changes were made at Sun Life Stadium. Retractable seating
on the north side of the stadium was added, a baseball press box in
the southwest corner of the facility was constructed, dugouts were
built, and a hydraulic disappearing pitcher's mound was installed.
On April 5, 1993, the Florida Marlins played their first game at the
stadium. Three main
levels, consisting of 75,000 orange and teal seats surrounded the
playing field. The majority of the seats in the upper deck, except
behind homeplate were closed for baseball, giving Sun Life Stadium a
seating capacity of just over 36,000. At various
times throughout the Marlins tenure at Sun Life
Stadium tarps have covered many of the upper decks
to lessen the effect of having empty seats during
the baseball season. Built
mainly for football, the outfield fence had many quirks and
different angles providing for some interesting plays in the
outfield. The left field wall was 33 feet high as seats for
football were retracted behind the fence. Nicknamed the teal monster, an
out-of-town scoreboard was located here until 2010 when it was
replaced with advertisements. Two HD videoboards are
located atop opposite ends of the upper deck to provide fans with
video replays and scores around the league.
Although the Marlins played at one of the worst stadiums in
baseball they have had several successful teams, winning
the World Series in 1997 and 2003. The Marlins played their last
game at the stadium on September 28, 2011 against the Washington
Nationals. They moved into their new ballpark, Marlins Park, in April
2012. Sun Life Stadium will remain home to the Miami Dolphins and
the Miami Hurricanes (NCAA).
FACTS & FIGURES
Florida Marlins (MLB), Miami Dolphins
April 5, 1993 (MLB)
330-L, 360-LC, 434-C, 361-RC, 345-R
-Owner: Stephen Ross &
-Former Name(s): Joe Robbie Stadium (1987-'96), Pro Player Stadium
(1996-2005), Dolphin Stadium (2005-2009), Land Shark Stadium
Rights: Sun Life Financial
Financing: 97%: private funds, $10 million by Marlins for
renovations in 1993
SUN LIFE STADIUM SITE
2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami, Florida 33056
AT SUN LIFE STADIUM
World Series: 1997, 2003
Al Leiter's no hitter on May
Edgar Renteria's Game 7
single in the 11th inning of the '97 World Series.
Griffey Jr. hits his 600th homerun on June 9, 2008.
Slugger Award winner Hanley Ramirez in 2008 & 2009.
Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan.