Construction begins on improvements to Sun Life Stadium

Construction managers and engineers look over the plans at Sun Life Stadium.

The Miami Dolphins started official work on modernizing Sun Life Stadium, which opened on August 16, 1987, on Saturday morning. The project was approved with a successful vote by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners last Tuesday.

Improvements will include complete new seating, a shade canopy, concourse and concession upgrades and new video boards. The project is expected to be completed before the start of the 2016 NFL season.

One of the key points in the agreement was for owner Stephen Ross to finance $350 million of the construction expenses.

When completed, Sun Life Stadium will be a top-tier facility capable of attracting and hosting marquee events such as the Super Bowl in South Florida for the next 25 years. The Dolphins are prepared to bid for the next available Super Bowl in 2018.

"Today (Saturday) is an exciting day for the Miami Dolphins and South Florida as we mark the beginning of our comprehensive stadium modernization project," said Tom Garfinkel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. "Once complete, the stadium will serve as a global destination that will bring a diverse set of world-class events and significant economic benefits to Miami-Dade County."