MIAMI, AUG. 16 -- At first glance, 2734 NW 27th Ct. doesn't look like prime real estate. The crunched shell of a Pontiac sits outside the front door and beside it lies a stick inscribed, "Use this to ring the bell if the grating is locked."

That's not necessary today, because Shawn and Sheldon Stewart are outside preparing for what they are convinced will be a money-making proposition.

One block away stands the brand spanking new, 75,000-seat Joe Robbie Stadium, which opened tonight to great acclaim as Robbie's Miami Dolphins played the Chicago Bears. Named after the Dolphins owner, who financed the $100 million project with private money -- most of it out of his own pocket -- the edifice, situated 16 miles northwest of downtown Miami, also is a technological innovation.

There is a video-replay screen, 27 feet high by 36 feet long, at each end of the stadium. The playing field is grass, but its designers promise firm footing 30 minutes after a one-inch-per-hour downpour. In the prime Club Seats, there are air conditioners to help beat the Florida heat as you watch the game -- after the valets park your car.

But with fewer than 15,000 parking spaces, not everyone can be accommodated. That's where the Stewart brothers see opportunity.

"We won't solicit anyone, but we think we can get at least five or six cars on here," said Shawn, 16, pointing to his front yard four hours before the inaugural game, which Miami lost, 10-3. "Someone came out at 11 this morning and asked if they could park here."

"That's okay," says Shelton, 14. "We'll let them but we won't let any Tom, Dick or Harry park here. We've got friends who want to park here, so we have to think of them."

The young entrepreneurs planned to charge $10 for each car. The plan met with the approval of their mother, Norma, who expressed just one reservation.

"The boys are excited," she said. "I just hope I can sleep at night. I'll make sure the windows are tightly closed and hope."

The fact that Stewart has pause for concern and that her sons are anticipating financial rewards are all testimony to hope and faith, mainly that of Robbie. Faced with a quadruple rent increase at the Orange Bowl, Robbie was conducting feasibility studies for a stadium in south Florida more than a decade ago. Most of the feedback he received was decidedly negative. In 1981 he asked for a one-cent sales tax increase to finance a new stadium on the border of Dade County, in which Miami is located, and Broward County to its immediate north. The proposition was soundly defeated by voters in both counties.

Faced with the prospect of losing money to the point of having to sell the team, or of moving the team out of town, Robbie hit upon a third option -- building a new stadium himself.

"Before embarking on this project, I was perhaps more skeptical than anyone about the feasibility of constructing a stadium with private funds," Robbie said in a letter celebrating the stadium's opening. "But as we began to seriously consider the project, calculations showed that, if enough executive suites and club seats were leased, we would have sufficient money coming in to support a bond issue at a reasonable interest rate. So we decided to go ahead, and one of the most intense experiences of my career was the marketing campaign we launched for the leases."

That was in 1984, and the idea was met with almost total scorn. But it soon became obvious that there was something to it. Within eight months of the initial announcement, 90 of the 216 sky suites (at $29,000-65,000 per year on a 10-year lease) were sold, as were 6,000 of the 10,000 Club Seats. That brought in enough money to entice local banks to get involved. Clearing of the site began in July 1985, with the groundbreaking ceremonies held that December.

"Knowing Joe Robbie, he can get it done, he can get anything done,' said Harmon Garrin, a 15-year season ticket holder from Plantation, 15 miles north of Miami. "Look at this. I'm sitting outside, underneath air conditioning -- Joe will take care of everything."

"Together we celebrate tonight a special achievement one no one else has ever achieved, a stadium built entirely from private funds," Robbie said.

"This stadium is a monument to a free, competitive enterprise system and showed that anything government can do, we can do better. People working together can accomplish anything they set their minds to."

Garrin was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon for the new stadium. Garrin had three Dolphins season tickets in the Orange Bowl, but the real estate appraiser purchased four spots along the 35-yard-line in the Club section of the new facility at a cost of somewhere between $600 and $1,400 per year, per seat. To get those seats, Garrin had to commit to a 10-year lease, the first year of which had to be paid four years ago.

"I enjoyed the close quarters and it was in an exciting part of town," Garrin said facetiously of Orange Bowl's location, adding, "It was really a long ride and the parking was difficult. {These seats} cost a lot of money, more than I'd care to say, but the Dolphins are worth it."

Garrin and his family arrived at the stadium at 2:15 this afternoon -- "We were the fourth car on the lot" -- early enough to avoid the one glitch in what has already began to be known as the Fish Bowl. As ceremonies took place inside the stadium with Robbie, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and other dignitaries saluting the team's two Super Bowl championships and five AFC titles, fans outside were struggling to get into the building.

It was a situation expected to continue, at least for the first few games. When the team held a family day earlier this month, there were just two routes into the stadium on roads designed to handle neighborhood traffic, not thousands of people coming to a major league stadium.

"I was right around the corner {on family day} and it took me 20 minutes just to get here," said Norma Stewart, pointing to a spot less than 50 yards away.

The gala evening did not come off unblemished. Besides the traffic problem and the Dolphins defeat, Miami all-pro quarterback Dan Marino dislocated the fourth finger of his right hand in the second quarter. He was hurt when Chicago's Otis Wilson tackled him after a fumbled snap from center. The Dolphins say he is expected to miss four weeks of playing time. Jim Jensen replaced him and played most of the game.

Robbie can't do anything about Marino's finger, but he has made plans to ameliorate the traffic congestion, in the form of a road leading to the stadium directly from the Florida Turnpike. The cost of the road, scheduled to be completed next spring, will be about $25 million. No one is certain where the money for the project came from, but then again, no one would be surprised if, when the work is done, it's christened the Joe Robbie Freeway.