It appears more likely than ever the Hurricanes will open 2016 at their newly renovated home.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told reporters Friday that his soon-to-be-named stadium will be complete enough for his franchise to play a Sept. 1 preseason game against Tennessee.
“I know we will be playing,” Ross said, elsewhere commenting that the “last piece of steel” is going up at the stadium Friday.
By extension, that means the Hurricanes should be able to play their Sept. 3 opener against Florida A&M there. In case the stadium was not ready, UM Athletics Director Blake James has a backup plan in place. That would likely include moving games to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.
The Dolphins moved one of their preseason games there, fueling speculation that the project was behind schedule. The Dolphins said the NFL requested that move.
The latest price tag on the work, highlighted by a canopy to shield fans from the sun and rain, is $500,000. When work began, it was $350,000.
Ross said even though games will be played at the soon-to-be renamed stadium starting in early September, minor work, including cosmetic, will continue as the regular season starts.
Ross expects the general reaction to be that installing a canopy “looks easy,” but it has been so complex that he has been on the phone, checking up on things, every day since January from his New York base.
“There’s no way you can be late,” he said.