Dolphin Do-Over

All those megascreen high-definition TVs are helping spur an improved fan experience at Dolphin Stadium, says Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel.

A 60-inch, high-definition TV used to be a $5,000 luxury item, but at $500, more people are tempted to stay home and watch games, he said at a meeting of the Downtown Council of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.

The new stadium experience will start in the parking lot. Pedestrians crossing the street were holding up traffic. But now fans will be able to cross over new pedestrian bridges. That should cut the time to exit to 20 minutes, which means more fans will be comfortable staying to the end of games, Garfinkel says.

Construction work at the stadium started behind the scenes during the 2014 season, and work is now halfway through its first phase.

It will be done by the end of August for the first preseason game, Garfinkel says. “Failure is not an option. We have no where else to play.”

Fans will also find all-new seats, bathrooms, concessions, plumbing and IT infrastructure. And after this season, the team will put on a roof over the seating area and add four new scoreboards.

The stands will be moving closer to the field, which should make the stadium louder and more intimate, Garfinkel says. Thirty new seating areas will have half-moon tables and chairs with casters between the 35-yard lines with TVs. They’ll be closer to the field than club-level seating. “We’ve done a lot of things that haven’t been done before,” Garfinkel says.

One reason team owner Stephen Ross is spending $400 million on renovations is to land another Super Bowl in Miami. Garfinkel says the team is pursing the 2013  Super Bowl plus the 2018 and 2019 college national championships.

The team is also putting technology efforts into enhancing player performance, Garfinkel says. Saliva tests are leading to customized shakes for players after practice. Another technology monitors players” number of steps and heart rate as they practice. These can help avoid is soft-tissue issues like pulled hamstrings, Garfinkel says.

A Ph.D. in statistics is doing a lot of analytics work, which can help make better-informed decisions, he says. “I’d vote on the 98 percent outcome instead of the 2 percent outcome.” ?

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Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.