Hard Rock Stadium to Re-Open Team Store Amid Rise in COVID Cases

Hard Rock Stadium

Getty Hard Rock Stadium prepares to host the Cincinnati Bengals in December 2019.

NFL fans are undoubtedly anxious for action since the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting the league year, and Miami Dolphins fans are no exception. The anticipation surrounding rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been more than talk—his new jersey has topped the sales charts since his drafting, in both white and aqua. And the Dolphins organization has been eager to continue capitalizing on their clouted QB. On Thursday, Hard Rock Stadium announced that beginning Friday, they will be re-opening their team store.

But as the Coronavirus continues to rage across the country, Florida has reported a massive spike. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports 49 deaths in the past 24 hours, and on Wednesday, Miami-Dade County announced their 20,000th known COVID-19 case as they re-opened its beaches for the first time since the pandemic began.

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Coronavirus in Florida

The rate of infections in Florida has been on the up-and-up for several weeks now, but on Thursday, the Department of Health reported the largest surge of cases in one day since March 30, at a whopping 1,698 new cases.

Miami beaches were originally scheduled to open on June 1. The opening was postponed amidst the imposed curfew on the country, which was imposed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez in response to the protests against police brutality that have occurred in the city.

As the government has started relaxing restrictions implemented by the virus, many other South Florida businesses have begun to reopen this week. Racetracks and casinos have been granted possible re-opening on Friday as well, so long as employees of the establishments do not test positive for the virus, and other entertainment and amusement establishments have been invited to submit proposals for reopening as of June 4.

The state’s total cases, as of the latest total, show 69,069 infections and 2,938 deaths—including 90 non-resident fatalities. While the rise in cases can be attributed to the simultaneous increase in administered tests, as the state begins to reopen public amenities and businesses, a continued rise in cases can be anticipated.

This Summer at Hard Rock Stadium

On May 26, the Miami Dolphins announced plans to open their home stadium to fans as an open-air and drive-in theater, as a way to entertain with social distance in mind. While an official opening date of The Outdoor Theaters has not yet been announced, South Florida residents and visitors can anticipate amenities such as food and drink delivery and restrooms.

Earlier this week, after coaches and essential personnel were admitted back into practice facilities, the NFL released plans for players to gradually return for offseason practices and camps. Head coach Brian Flores expressed his readiness for in-person work to proceed in a Zoom presser last week, with respect to keeping the players safe.

The team store’s reopening announcement assured adherence with safety protocols that many retail stores have taken to protect customers during the pandemic, but it is unclear what those might look like, or how many of their 23 in-stadium merchandise and apparel retail locations will be a part of the opening. To shop remotely, fans can visit the NFL Shop online.

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