The Miami Dolphins stadium is being put to good use since nobody is going to be playing football there for a while. The NFL team recently announced that it will be repurposing Hard Rock Stadium as a massive drive-in movie theater temporarily, capable of accommodating more than 200 cars for a single showing. A second, smaller screen is being set up on the property as well.
This new venture is called The Outdoor Theaters at Hard Rock. The big screen is, based on some photos, inside the stadium itself, with cars parking where the football field would normally be to watch the massive screens that are already in the venue. There is also a smaller open-air venue located in the South Plaza of the property. This is meant to accommodate smaller groups to watch content on a large screen. Both screens will showcase classic Miami Dolphins content from the team's 54-year history, as well as classic movies, concerts, commencement ceremonies and other events.
A schedule has not yet been released, but it is expected to be revealed soon. The stadium screen will be able to hold as many as 230 cars. Patrons will be able to order and pay concessions from their car online that will then be delivered to them. Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice Chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel had this to say.
"We've spent several weeks planning this to be able to provide people with a safe option to go out and enjoy movies, classic Dolphins content, concerts, and celebrate 2020 graduates. It's a fundamental human need to physically experience and celebrate events and experiences together, and we're trying to provide options for everyone, where they can be safely socially distant and socially present at the same time."
While not often as extravagant as watching a movie in a stadium that typically hosts NFL games, drive-in theaters have seen a massive resurgence in recent months. Most theaters in the U.S. have been shut down since mid-March, leaving people with few options. The few drive-ins that remained open in the country saw an uptick in business, which prompted others to set venues on the fly. Because it doesn't take much more than a screen, a projector and an empty parking lot, setting up a basic drive-in experience isn't nearly as complicated as putting together a traditional theater.
As far as traditional theater chains such as AMC and Regal go, it is expected that theaters will attempt to reopen in July. Social distancing measures will be in place, with staggered seating and extra sanitation taking place between screenings. None of the chains have fully revealed their plans for reopening at this time. If this works out in Miami, perhaps other sports teams will follow suit and make use of these spaces in other ways. This news was previously reported by The Morning Call.