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Dolphins to Keep Stadium Capacity at 13,000 Despite Governor's Decision


The Dolphins announced on Wednesday they will continue to host only 13,000 fans per game at Hard Rock Stadium for the remainder of 2020 despite a ruling from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

DeSantis announced Phase 3 of Florida's re-opening amid the COVID-19 crisis on Sept. 25, which included the re-opening of stadiums within the state to full-capacity. Florida is home to three NFL teams, as well as a number of college football teams. Hard Rock Stadium has a capacity of 65,000, but the Dolphins opted to keep their capacity at 13,000 for Sunday's loss to the Seahawks

Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel addressed DeSantis's ruling on Wednesday. Garfinkel said the team will "continue to follow CDC guidelines," noting that the 13,000-person capacity "can keep people safe in a socially distanced environment."

"We'll continue to follow CDC guidelines and put everyone's safety first and monitor things as they go," Garfinkel told ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "Right now with positivity rates where they are, we feel that we can keep people safe in a socially distanced environment, which is our 13,000 capacity."

The Buccaneers and Jaguars have not addressed their capacity protocol following DeSantis's ruling as of Wednesday afternoon. Super Bowl LV in February 2021 is slated to be held in Tampa, and DeSantis said he expects the game to be held in front of fans.

"We're going to be able to host the Super Bowl in February. We expect to do a full Super Bowl," DeSantis said in September. "We’re going to show that we’re going to be able to do that."

Miami currently sits third in the AFC East at 1–3. Brian Flores's team will travel to San Francisco on Sunday for a matchup with the 49ers. The Dolphins' next home game will be on Oct. 25.