The NFL has already determined its intent to play out a full, 17-week season this fall under the belief that fans can be in attendance. Now, the Miami Dolphins are taking charge and laying out a scenario in which they can host fans at Hard Rock Stadium even under different safety concerns.
In an appearance on Good Morning America, Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel shared mock-up plans of Hard Rock Stadium entry and exits that would be able to safely accommodate crowds of fans this fall, along with other safety precautions that the Dolphins organization would implement.
“We would have times to come in for security at different gates so people would be separated out, in terms of when they enter the stadium,” Garfinkel said. “We would exit the stadium much like a church environment, where each row exits so people aren’t filing out all at the same time in a herd.”
Garfinkel added that in order to eliminate crowding lines at concession stands, fans within the stadium would be able to order food from their seats and pick up items when ready, just as restaurants have been carrying out curbside orders. Fans would required to wear face masks or coverings for added safety.
Of course, the largest safety plan for the Miami Dolphins and all NFL teams comes down to the sheer number of fans allowed in the stadium. Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium can hold as many as 65,000 fans but as physical distancing has come to define the pandemic, that number could be reduced to about 15,000 this NFL season in order to keep all spectators and stadium staff safe.
Hard Rock Stadium will become the first public facility to earn accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council – a division of the worldwide cleaning industry association ISSA – for its ability to implement rigorous cleaning and disinfecting, as well as preventing infectious disease.
“When our fans, players and staff are able to return to Hard Rock Stadium, we want them to have peace of mind that we’re doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible,” Garfinkel said.
In only a matter of weeks, Hard Rock Stadium transitioned from holding thousands of fans as the site of Super Bowl LIV to serving as a coronavirus testing site.