The Miami Dolphins' newly minted Hard Rock Stadium is ready for fans. It now offers a shaded canopy, giant LCD screens, and the ability to pay for parking using SunPass.
Unfortunately, unlike past years, there aren't many new food concessions to talk about — the annual media dine-around to sample goodies from Versailles or Michelle Bernstein isn't happening this year. Though there's not much in the way of new food and beverage inside the upgraded stadium, there is something notable happening in the parking lot — and it may change the way Miami tailgates.
The Miami Dolphins have partnered with Uber to create Uber Tailgate, a designated area for people to tailgate without having to worry about driving to and from the stadium.
The Uber Zone is a dedicated area in Lot 14 of stadium parking. Each home game, 20 spots are held for tailgating groups. Spots can be secured online, though they're not cheap. Each designated area starts at $250 (and increases depending upon the popularity of the game). The good news, however, is the cost can be shared by a group of friends, making the price a little easier to swallow. People in your group do not have to arrive together, and they will be allowed entrance to the Uber Tailgate zone without any additional charge.
Each Uber Tailgate package comes with a private ten-by-ten-foot tent, a table, a grill, and a cooler with ice. The price also includes one round-trip fare on Uber (with a maximum dollar amount of $15 each way).
The area needs to be reserved in advance, no later than the Thursday before the desired Miami Dolphins home game. Right now, there are no season passes for the tailgate area. Game tickets are not included in the Uber Tailgate price.
Once you reserve your space, you can bring your own food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages (though the 21 minimum drinking age applies). There's also no electricity, so leave the computer at home and enjoy an afternoon with friends (there is, however, a phone-charging station).
In addition to the option of bringing your own supplies, there's the choice to purchase food at a provisions store, set up before every game. Items for purchase include basic tailgating needs such as the following:
- Four burgers and four buns for grilling ($16)
- Four hot dogs and four rolls ($12)
- Hummus and pretzels ($8)
- Chips and salsa ($17)
- Crudite ($4)
- Assorted water and soda ($12 for a six-pack)
- Domestic beer ($18 for a six-pack)
- Imported beer ($21 for a six-pack)
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The Uber Tailgate area closes 30 minutes after kickoff. When the game starts, you can check your supplies at a designated spot. There's one caveat: Perishable items such as leftover food, drinks, and beer will have to be thrown out and cannot be stored in the bag check area. But you've got a ride home, so just finish off those last few beers. The bag check in the main tent is open for up to two hours postgame to retrieve your items.
Though the price is a little steep, there are obvious benefits to the Uber Tailgate experience. You don't have to clean that nasty grill after an afternoon of revelry, and you don't even have to schlep anything to and from the game. But the best perk is the fact that you have a safe ride home after partying with friends. So have that last brewski. Uber is your designated driver.
To reserve an Uber Tailgate spot, visit hardrockstadium.com/uber.