When the 0-2 Miami Dolphins take the field this Sunday at their newly anointed Hard Rock Stadium, their focus will be on defeating the 0-2 Cleveland Browns. Football fans, however, will find many new things to see, do, and taste at the renovated home of the Fins.
Team president and CEO Tom Garfinkel introduced the innovative additions that incorporate the flavors and culture of Miami into the game-day experience. They include the first 100 percent organic fare in a major U.S. stadium and the introduction of two craft beer taprooms.
The stadium has partnered with Goldman Global Arts to create the world's largest indoor street-art gallery, turning many of the stadium's industrial-looking spaces into colorful, thoughtful artworks. Garfinkel said that the art Miami's Wynwood Arts District was the inspiration for the stadium gallery and that "art creates a sense of place and purpose and is something that everyone can enjoy."
Artists from around the world were commissioned, and the project is a work in progress. Right now, 12 murals are on display throughout the stadium, and additional works are slated for release throughout the season. Artists include the London Police, Peter Tunney, Vhils, Crash, Momo, Jen Stark, 1010, Logan Hicks, and Felipe Pantone. In total, 19 murals from ten countries will be on display. Goldman Global Arts cofounder Jessica Goldman Srebnick said the goal of the project is "to bring art and culture into an environment that typically didn't have art and culture."
Though art feeds the soul, people still need food and drinks as sustenance to enjoy a big game. In the past, the Dolphins have tried to bring local food into the stadium to complement the usual burgers and dogs found across the country. In years past, the stadium has offered fare by local favorites such as Versailles, Sushi Maki, Bru's Room, Crumb on Parchment, and even Sloppy Joe's in Key West. This year sees only a few additions to the restaurant lineup, but they're innovative.
The major announcement was the addition of Grown — Ray and Shannon Allen's organic fast-casual restaurant. Two stadium locations (128A and 242R) will offer wraps, salads, and fresh-pressed juices and smoothies. Menu items include a wild-caught salmon burger, a Havana wrap with wild-caught shrimp, and a Mediterranean wrap with grilled portobello mushrooms. Kids can chow down on organic, free-range panko-encrusted chicken tenders with sweet potato chips and fruit — a healthful alternative to the usual fried fare.
Ray Allen says he's been eating organically for years. "I've eaten this way for about three-quarters of my career. I made myself learn about food to become a better athlete." Allen says it's important for parents to make sure their kids eat clean and to educate themselves about food. "Eating right falls on the backs of parents. You can't make excuses. We're taking far more medicines and eating food tainted with pesticides. This is happening." In addition to the regular menu of delicious, organic options, Grown will offer vegan, gluten-free, and Paleo items.
If you're looking for a more traditional experience, there are still burgers and beer. Shula Burger joins the ranks with five locations inside Hard Rock (114A, 142A, 222, 250, and 345A). The beloved coach's restaurant features burgers made from a blend of premium Black Angus beef, short rib, and brisket.
The stadium also features two taprooms featuring 16 South Florida beers on tap, including Funky Buddha and Wynwood Brewing Co. An additional 36 beers in bottles and cans feature South Florida favorites from MIA Brewing, Islamorada, and others. So raise a frosty one for the Fins!