Three Miami Dolphins and nearly two dozen other VIPs simultaneously smashed guitars in the end zone Wednesday to christen Hard Rock Stadium as the new name for the team’s home.
“I’ve never broken a guitar before,” receiver Jarvis Landry said with a grin. “There’s a first time for everything.”
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, safety Reshad Jones and rapper Pitbull also were involved in the ceremonial smashing. It came at the end of a news conference to announce the naming-rights deal that is for nearly $250 million over 18 years.
The agreement will help pay for a nearly completed $500 million stadium renovation that includes a canopy over the stands and new scoreboards.
The stadium, which opened in 1987, is home to the Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes and Orange Bowl game, and will be the site of the 2020 Super Bowl. Brazil’s national soccer team will play six or seven games at the stadium in the next several years, and Real Madrid has scheduled a game at the stadium next year, the Dolphins announced.
Hard Rock is the eighth name for the stadium, most recently known as Sun Life Stadium. Hard Rock International, based in Orlando, Florida, has restaurants, hotels and casinos in 70 countries, including two hotels and casinos owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The NFL approved the naming-rights deal while the tribe is involved in a federal lawsuit over whether it is conducting illegal gambling in its casinos because key parts of the tribe’s gambling agreement with the state have expired. The Dolphins’ deal is with the company that owns the Hard Rock brand, not the entity that owns the Florida casinos, the NFL said.
Hard Rock “is a name that is synonymous with music and entertainment,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “To eliminate any potential confusion, both the Dolphins and Hard Rock agreed that there would be no gambling-related advertising in or around the stadium, which otherwise would have been permissible under our policy.”