As of Monday morning, the Dolphins did not know what, if any, structural damage Hurricane Irma caused to Hard Rock Stadium, and won’t until engineers are able to get into the property and perform an inspection.
“All we have is a visual inspection by camera right now,” a team source told the Miami Herald. “We think the stadium may have experiences some tornado activity based on radar tracking.”
The stadium, with its brand new canopy, is built to withstand Category 4 force winds. Irma’s impact on South Florida didn’t reach that level of intensity.
However, tornadoes did rip through the area, and Marlins Park appears to have suffered some exterior damage from the storm.
Dolphins coaches, players and staff evacuated to Los Angeles late Friday after the NFL postponed their Week 1 game against the Buccaneers to Nov. 19. The team is in place to play the Chargers on Sunday.
Team CEO Tom Garfinkel provided live updates from surveillance cameras when Irma was lashing Miami Gardens. The footage showed that trees had been felled by the strong winds. The team recently spent a considerable amount of money beautifying the outside of the stadium.
The team will remain in Southern California through next Sunday, and depending on the condition of its Davie training facility by then, it could practice in West Virginia next week.
The Dolphins are not scheduled to play a home game until Oct. 8. The stadium and its surrounding grounds are in the final stages of a half-billion dollar renovation project.