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Engineers to inspect Miami stadium for possible tornado damage

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Palm trees blow in the wind near the Haulover Park Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Station at as Hurricane Irma passes by on Sept. 10 in North Miami Beach, Fla.

MIAMI >> A possible tornado was reported near the Miami Dolphins’ stadium during Hurricane Irma, and structural engineers will inspect the complex for potential damage, a person familiar with the situation said today.

The person confirmed the planned inspection to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins had not commented on the condition of the stadium. The team’s complex in Davie, Florida appears to be fine in the wake of the storm, the person said.

The condition of NFL stadiums in Tampa and Jacksonville were yet to be determined as well, the NFL said.

Marlins Park was also being assessed, another person said. Photos posted on social meeting showed possible storm damage to the outer facade of the retractable roof.

The Dolphins will open their season Sept. 17 at the Los Angeles Chargers. The Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been scheduled to open their seasons Sept. 10, but the game was postponed until Nov. 19 because of Irma.

The NFL is not close to making a decision regarding this week’s games, said Joe Lockhart, the league’s senior vice president of communications. On Sunday, Tampa Bay’s delayed season opener is scheduled at home against the Chicago Bears, and Jacksonville has its home opener against the Tennessee Titans.

“We’re having a different conversation than we thought on Friday,” Lockhart said. “Miami and Tampa Bay received less than expected, and Jacksonville probably received more. … Looking at Jacksonville and Tampa, we don’t have any definite word. We’re still doing assessments. We hope to have something in next few days.”

The Dolphins evacuated from South Florida before the storm’s arrival and will practice in Oxnard, Calif., this week to prepare for their delayed start of the season. The Dolphins will have a team meeting Sept. 12 and will practice beginning Sept. 13 at the Dallas Cowboys’ complex.

The Dolphins’ first home game is now scheduled for Oct. 8 against Tennessee. Their stadium has a 1-year-old canopy designed to withstand a Category 4 hurricane.

The Marlins begin a three-game series in Philadelphia on Sept. 12 and are scheduled to return home Sept. 15 to face Milwaukee.

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