The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football franchise based in the Miami metropolitan area. The Dolphins compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium. They are the only team in the division that was not a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). They began play in the AFL in 1966. In 1970, the Dolphins joined the NFL when the AFL-NFL merger occurred.