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Dolphins concerned about capacity at Sun Life Stadium

The Dolphins visited The Herald offices Friday as part of a tri-county tour of the newspapers serving the region the team claims as its own.

During the meeting with Herald reporters club president Mike Dee, general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Joe Philbin discussed as openly as they felt comfortable issues of interest. The football aspect of the meeting is covered in this story that discusses, among other things, Miami's plan to use both the 3-4 and 4-3 scheme on defense in 2012, according to Philbin.

On non-football matters, Dee took the questions and discussed a coming Super Bowl bid by South Florida, stadium improvements, and other matters. And in discussing the need for stadium improvements, he mentioned the possibility that capacity at Sun Life Stadium needs to be adjusted.

The reason for that is, well, the Dolphins think the place is too big.

"We have the furthest distance from the sidelines with our lower bowl in the NFL," Dee said. "We have the fewest number of seats in that lower seating level between the 20 yard lines, between the goal lines, in the NFL. Not just the facilities that compete for Super Bowls. We've got to fix that ...

"At the same time, we may look to amend capacity in areas where we may have too much. Right now, we have the largest upper deck in the NFL -- 35,000 seats. The next facility in line is 27,000. The Redskins took 10,000 seats out of their upper deck this past year. We're looking at all those things to retrofit the stadium to today's standards."

That creates something of a problem for the Dolphins. And here it is:

The best way, the right way, to fix the capacity issues Dee mentions is through construction and refurbishing Sun Life Stadium. There's nothing like taking seats out of the upper deck that is too big. There's nothing like adding seats in the lower bowl that is not big enough. That is the optimal approach.

But that costs money. And neither the legislature, nor local politicians are volunteering to pay for that. The public would likely vote down a ballot measure for such expenditure. And owner Stephen Ross is in no hurry to spend the multiple millions of dollars it would cost to do the project.

So the reconstruction idea doesn't seem workable.

What's next?

Well, I don't know how the Dolphins would add seats in the lower level without actually adding seats physically, but they can definitely adjust the numbers of seats in the upper deck without actually touching the place. They can simply ask the NFL to consider certain seats basically invisible. The Dolphins can just lower capacity by giving the NFL a new capacity number and then not selling, say 10,000 seats in the upper deck, for at least one season.

Other teams -- Jacksonville for example -- have done it. Unable to fill an extreme number of seats, the Jaguars just threw a tarp over whole sections of seating. The Hurricanes do it at Sun Life for their home games. The Miami Heat did it for a couple of years before LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade on the roster and seating demand skyrocketted.

The Dolphins can simply pick out a section of seats and cover the area. Or they can just black out certain seats or sections from being sold and those would simply be empty on game day.

All of this, by the way, affects you -- the ticket buying customer.

You see, as the Dolphins figure a way to attack this problem, the capacity of the stadium hangs in the balance. If the club is successful in lowering that capacity, either through construction, putting a tarp over sections of seats, or simply blacking out seats electronically, then achieving a sellout becomes easier.

Games are on TV!

You get to watch!

If the Dolphins don't find a way to lower capacity, and the tickets go unsold, the club would have to make a decision whether to rescue local TV-watching fans -- as it did multiple times in 2011 -- by purchasing its own tickets.

I have news for you: The club really doesn't love purchasing its own tickets. No business wants to buy its own product. It is not profitable. And that might lead to a decision not to purchase the unsold tickets. And that means ... no games on TV!

Your Sunday is ruined :(

So the looming decision on how the Dolphins address their stadium capacity issue, particularly in the upper deck, is a big deal to folks who watch the games on TV -- which happens to be a majority of fans. If capacity isn't decreased or ticket sales boom, the club may decide purchasing its own tickets is not a practice it wants to continue.

Blackouts ensue. Not good.

(Oh, one way to solve this without changing capacity? Sign Peyton Manning. Not advocating. Just stating logic.)


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Mr. Aloco, you are very mistaken about the Super Bowl.

Tom Coughlin has an enormous penis that inspires his team to greatness. The Giants (could there be a more appropriate name for a Coughlin-coached team?) will crush the Patriots.

Bill Belichick's penis is not nearly as large.

Mike Sherman and Kevin Coyle are your Dolphins coordinators

NFL Network reports that the Dolphins have agreed to terms with Mike Sherman to become their offensive coordinator and Kevin Coyle to become their defensive coordinator.

Now how come this news isn't reported by Armando and his in the know people is beyond me.

While you are busy writing about seats and stadium capacity, real journalists are writing about our new coordinators.

If they did something novel, like win, none of these topics would matter in the least. But hey, they won a Super Bowl 37 years ago, so who am I to complain......

Didn't we just hire an OC and DC today?

Or did that news not make it out to the public and press in Miami?

NYG, The Herald reported Sherman and Coyle were Miami's coordinator's yesterday -- BEFORE THE NFL NETWORK.


Sko, if that is how you feel, you are welcome to go read the "real journalists."

I covered the coordinators already.

Uh Mando I have been replying to your tweets today, asking u about OC & DC hirings yet u do not respond. And still nothing mentioned here. What gives??

Enjoy the day old coordinator stories guys.

By the way, Sherman is not expected to retain any of the old staff's offensive coaches.


Cmon now how dumb do u think we are?? That was the speculation piece. Why u letting LaCanfora steal the news on this??

Thanks I guess u just threw us a bone...hahhahah

Sorry for hitting the nerve Mando........this will always be the blog I come though

just sayin...

Mondo, Signing Manning who, by the way, has nerve damage in his throwing arm with a good chance of not recovering, is not a very good idea from a business stand point. And Manning is 36 yrs old and his body is beginning to age. I wont purchase a ticket to watch an aging QB with nerve damage, walk the sideline.
I would have thought the Dolphins would have had their fill of signing, aged, injuried QBs?


I read that but it dint say they were hired! The NFL said the Dolphins have agreed to terms and contracts to be signed.

It was not reported on your blog as you seem to report everything else like the Capacity of Sun Life.

Which topic is more important Armando? The SUN Life seating capacity or who Philbin's OC and DC are?

Come ON Man...

I will say one thing in defense of our beloved Armando. He is head and shoulders above the ding dongs at the other SFla paper. SS. Those guys write like 2 sentences and that's their story. I'm like are they seriously getting paid to write that %^&*

Not by signing manning, by drafting rg3!

NYG, I see your point. I probably should have put up the blog saying it was agreed to.

The TRUTH is at this very minute, the contracts are still not signed. They will get signed but not done yet.

Guess I missed the boat.

Did NY G just: C'mon Armando?

I think he did-LOL.

Armando, NY G does make a Good Point............C'mon Now!

Not to pick on you Armando but...

You post here that "I covered the coordinators already???

So if we are to run with that I take it that next time when you start posting that XYZ is being interview as the next Head Coach that the reporting ENDS there correct? Because if the next day or two later that interview lands him the job as HC, it's not worth reporting correct?

Am I missing something?

Dragonfly, I didn't say I advocate signing Manning. I've already written that I'm against it.

But it would sell tickets, that for sure.

OK Mando So Please advise us once contracts are signed. Before the yahoos around the country get wind of it.


Thanks and forget about my post 4:36 after your reply

Ohio, I'm fine.



The capacity is too big for this garbage team. They should move into the Marlins new stadium and Ross wont have to buy so many of his own tickets...

How about petitioning the league for revenue. If they can convince the league it would be more economical to host the pro bowl there every year combined with a super bowl every 4th or 5th year maybe the league would contribute funds. I live up north but I personally liked it a couple years back when both were played at the Joe. It seemed like more of an event having both games played in the same stadium. As for those upper deck seats...Hang on to them....Winning does wonders. Until then, how about an autographed hat or photo from the players for those who buy seats up there. Has to be cheaper than buying their own tickets. And the tarp idea is for LOSERS. It has to be about winning now!

ROTFLMAO @ this article! Stop it you're killing me!

Now the reason we cant fill the stadium is it's too large? hah-hah-hah-hah............. Stop it you're killing me!

Yes, lets adjust the stadium, opposing teams fans will love that. It'll place thier fans closer to the field. ROTFLMAO..............

Now the opposing offenses can "shush the crowd" when we're on defense, then rev them up when we're on offense. ROTFLMAO............

Didnt Mike Dee have the "honor Tebow" idea? Froget firing Ireland right now. Lets fire Mike Dee first! LOL.....................

Armando, whilr you're here I just want to thank you for giving me my "Laugh of the Day".

In one small beutifully written paragraph:

Salguero: The reason for that is, well, the Dolphins think the place is too big.

I read that and laughed so hard I almost puked ;)

Did NY G just: C'mon Armando?

I think he did-LOL.

Armando, NY G does make a Good Point............C'mon Now!

Posted by: odinseye | January 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM


LMAO thanks.

They should just throw a tarp over the whole thing and fold the team..

Well who was the first S. Fla. reporter on the NFL Network after the Philbin decision was in.....Mando...Wanna take it from here??


The same thing Florio said on your PFT conference I had previously blogged here. "It makes the most sense for a healthy Peyton Manning to go to the Ravens".

It would just be so nostalgic to see that happening. Plus, Flacco isnt elite yet. Peyton's Ray Lewis' best chance of getting a final sb ring before he retires.

"Your Sunday is ruined :("

That sentence should have read "for those of you who have no life, your Sunday is ruined".

So let me in on this.. If the games are not sold out and if Ross elects not to purchase the seats.. The game will be blacked out?

Does that mean that I cant watch the game with an illegal link??? lol

Looks like Coyle worked with Duffner in Cinci and Sherman & Philbin worked with him in Green Bay.

Did the fins sign him too? I mean...yet?

Why I am getting Censored?? W T F!!!!!!!!!!

"Your Sunday is ruined :("

That sentence should have read "for those of you who have no life, your Sunday is ruined".

Posted by: Phins78 | January 27, 2012 at 04:44 PM




When I read the blog topic, I had the same exact reaction. I thought Armando was just trying to be funny, until I finally stopped laughing hysterically enough to read it.

Im still rotflmao! Fire Mike Dee now! LOL

Anyone else need to take a shot at me? It's friday. Almost quittin' time. Get in while the gettin' is good.

Duffner not DONE yet. But expected.

I have to say that this has been the funniest Friday on here ever...

The distance from the stands to the field has always been the issue with this stadium.. From hanging over the field at the Orange Bowl to grabbing binoculars from the lower levels... Multi-use stadiums sux...

Armando you still here? Can you answer this question? I'm a laymen when it comes to the slary cap.

Armando wrote;

"Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland declined to share information on the Dolphins salary cap situation when he met with the media Tuesday. Doesn't matter because lack of specifics aside, it is clear the Dolphins cannot be full-blown buyers in free agency when it begins in March.

The Dolphins will not be able to address all of their issues in free agency. Thank God for the draft.

But the Dolphins might be able to address one major issue in free angency. One.

So which one should it be?"

The Dolphins are 15 million dollars under the cap right now. Some of that will go to signing draft picks and our own free agents.

But that doesn't count players who may leave or be cut. If they let Solai and Bell go we will have a ton of space correct? Odrick could move inside in a 4-3 as well as Starks. Reshad Jones or Jimmy Wilson could move to SS. At that point we would have close to 20 million dollars to spend?

So am I wrong or is that plenty of money to sign a few good free agents with? You say we will only be able to sign one. With close to 20 million dollars we should be able to do more than that right?


Games only get blacked out in 100 mile radius. People who post the games on the internet usually have the nfl ticket. Games are not blacked out on the nfl ticket. Just the Local networks.

You're a good sport, Armando, thanks for the update.

You are too kind, Turd. Thank you.

Does that mean that I cant watch the game with an illegal link??? lol

Posted by: NY "G" | January 27, 2012 at 04:45 PM


I was thinking the same thing, but now it's no laughing matter.

Check out the bill the Semate and House have put together. I think it's called SOPA!


The team should focus on winning more games then the seats will always be filled. See how that works.


Yea signing Manning to sit in the training rooms all year stretching his neck would really sell tickets.

Odin, good thing about the internet is that it doesn't belong to the USA. INternational sites and living in Canada, means they can take their SOPA and shove it.

YG and odinseye,

So basically we are all good even if blacked out we can watch with a link.


With all the links out there I'm sure someone in the TV trailer at Sun Life will text out a link.

to much crying on this blog, get a life people. Bill

Mark in T,

You may wanna consider the ACTA bill even more. Here's why:

.............. SOPA and PIPA are stalled (or dead) in the halls of the U.S. Congress. Yet, there may be a bigger, perhaps more dangerous threat to Internet freedoms on the way, called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.

At least that's how U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa sees it, telling an audience, "As a member of Congress, it's more dangerous than SOPA. It's not coming to me for a vote. It purports that it does not change existing laws. But once implemented, it creates a whole new enforcement system and will virtually tie the hands of Congress to undo it."

Armando do you have any Armani suits in your closet?

IT'S 5:00 clock Somewhere!

YG, How will the ACTA bill censor the internet anymore than the SOPA or PIPA bill?

YG, what US Congress decides to do has no impact on me. I live in Canada, and the sites I use are based out of the UK. Now if they do something here or the UK, then I will cry.


I here you and I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I live near the US/Canadian border.

Still, as one of things the US GOVT is notoriously known for, it wouldn't introduce this bill unless they've figured a way to profit from it.

I just have a sickening feeling that other Govts. will use this as a model and quickly "Get in Line".

I HOPE I'm wrong.

(Fingers tightly crossed)

I wounder how many PRIME TIME games the Team will get this upcoming season.

What's the difference between buying your own tickets as opposed to not selling them? Instead of worrying so much about selling tickets, shouldn't they worry more about making the team better and the rest will come? Build the team and they will come. Now, some say Manning is the savior. No kidding? For how long? A year? Two? Is that what the team needs?

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