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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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I am voting for Ernest Borgnine on Tuesday. He is neither a fascist, a creep, or a snake oil salesman.


I use the Miami Herald to stert my grill., It's the only thing it's good for.

Marshall had a good game but lets not go overboard here ppl, this game has no defensive shemes, hardly any physical contact from defenders and it was the PRO BOWL(Glorified Flag football game)......

Marshall made two great plays in that game for TD's, I'll give him that but honestly I'll take that with a grain of salt the way players and coaches approach this game......

We need to see more of this in the Real football world....and less drops...just sayin!!!

Odin, Coalition is DB.And probably Pricemaster too.

Posted by: Just passing by. | January 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM

You think so? DB?

That would really blow me out of the water.

It's just aggravating. I've been coming here a long time talking Dolphins Football. I know I go off on tangents, but I always try to be entertaining and humorous. I mean, that's all I was ever good at was entertaining.

This loser just wants to hate and swing on my nads. Not my kind of people Man, not my kind of people!

Do you have a favorite quote? I have one. It's from Paul McCartney when he was with the Beatles:

When all the Broken Hearted People

Living in the world Agree

There will be an answer

Let It Be!

That's MY shyt Man!


Agree Odin, I just find it funny that one minute he's saying he wondered how Marshall would do with the Elite QBs and 15minutes later saying it was nothing more hen a flag football game., I'll bet Yesterdays gone will be showing up shortly.Rock On Odin.

It's still early, but I want to nominate this as:

**POST Of The Year**

Guys! I'm grateful that you've treated me respectfully on the Odin question. You are gentlemen and I thank you. But I respectfully request that you analyze his comments the way I do, as an opinion, as worthless as mine! That's all we do on this blog, is post our worthless thoughts, although collectively, they are better than the managements!

Posted by: redsky | January 29, 2012 at 10:38 PM

At the risk of sounding like Tony, we're all just Dolphin Fans and this is what we do.

Nice Redsky, Kudos to YOU!!!!

Photo #91 of the cheerleaders link, middle girl, lower smile: nothing but lips

In the meantime, work on those stories! I'm counting on you!

Posted by: Sorry, but it's the truth | January 29, 2012 at 11:43 PM

I got a story for you.

Way back in the day, before my Hard Headed asss learned his lessons, I used to come down to Panama City once a month and pick up TWO KEYS at a time.

I used to get it from some "REAL CUBANS". Cubans I trusted with my LIFE!

That's how I went to Prison and that's how I know where their Housing Sandusky.

I didn't smitch on nobody, I ain't hiding from nobody, and I sure as FVCK ain't running from nobody.

While you were growing Fat and Lazy, whinning about Castro, I lived it Home Boy!

I wouldn't even let you lick my spit off the side walk puss bag. Now quit talking so loud, Fidel might here you!


Its looking more and more like Flynn will be the next QB and I expect Ross and Ireland will make a fuss over how great he is but in reality he will be no better then Matt Moore. of course he'll play even if he's worse.

I give the Phins some credit for making themselves available on the papers "turf" and subjecting themselves to whatever those media outlets deemed appropriate.
Thought it was interesting that Philbin had index cards on the table for talking points. He seems squared away, bit boring, but knowlegable and seems to have a pretty solid idea of his vision for a successful team.
Also liked that he mentioned patience and confidence that winning will come. The mention of a hurry up offense almost made me wet myself. WHEN IS THE LAST TIME WE USED A 2 MINUTE OFFENSE BEFORE TRAILING A GAME OR WHEN THERE WAS LESS THAN 2 MINUTES LEFT?
Anyway, I thought all members of the Phins came off in a positive light...

Thx Odin! Goodnight all!



Posted by: NICK M | January 30, 2012 at 01:20 AM

Marshall cheated. He played while everyone else agreed to take the day off.

Joe, well you got yourself a perfect P$

Where is Mando...nice for no new blogs this weekend...keep up the hard work man...geeze Mando, Cote out-storied you man!

Dolphins wideout has a record setting day at pro bowl and mandouche can't write a sentence on it? Officially the worst blog. Idiot.

Marshall like the Fins, they only play when it doesn't count. Put them on the spot and they wilt like pansies.

Hello Dafodil. Would you like to accompany me to a party at The Ministry of Silly Walks.

The difference between the way Marshall played in the Pro Bowl and during the season is he knew he wasn't going to get hit in the Pro Bowl.

"Manning and Flynn will pick their next team and Marshall will be the deciding factor" - Omar Kelly.

Has Omar ever been known to be correct? Manning is so far away from being where he needs to be at this point that everyone who knows him has already stated that he will probably retire. His neck is not healing at the pace he and his doctors would like to see and the possibility of him playing at all this upcoming season is zero.
As for Flynn, the bandwagon party has been going on for some time just like it was with Orton, Kolb, Palmer and Vince Young. Flynn is a unknown commodity, has fewer starts than Kolb had and somewhow people think he is going to be the savior of the team. They speak of him as though the team would be signing Aaron Rodgers instead of a 7th round pick that had a lackluster career at LSU and has been doing nothing over the 4 years he has been with the Packers.
Omar needs to get a grip on reality. If a player like Flynn is going to go to Miami it's going to be because of the coaching staff and the money; not because Marshall is there.

If anything Marshall has shown, in the past, he can make a quarterback's life miserable if he doesn't agree with the play calling.
Therefore, a quarterback may be more unwilling to work with him and stay away from Miami.

Marshall = constant headache
Wake = over 30 and figured out
Bush + Thomas = Red Cross on standby
Bess, Hartline, Wallace, Roberto Moore = who?
Sean Smith = Maybe he'll tackle the next guy
Yeremiah = YeahRetire
Mike Sherman OC = dated Teddy Roosevelts daughter

Morning Folks. I'm not hearing good things about Peyton. Sounding like he's done. Reports (or gossip, however you want to take it) are that he's still not getting full strength back in his arm. There's still like 1/2 year for him to recoup fully, but I'm not getting that warm and fuzzy feeling about him. With our past history with FA's not working out, the FO might be smarter to take a pass on a situation filled with this much doubt.

People are still talking Peyton? He's done. Even if he gets healthy, how long before extensive practices cause him problems. High risk low reward for a 36 QB struggling to recover from multiple neck surgeries.

The Peyton Manning going into the HOF is not what he will ever be again.

you're such a schmo.
did you go to shmo college? where they professionally tune you into an off-key rut?

We wont have to tarp the upper deck if the front office knew how to build an NFL team. Years of lamo drafts and trading our draft picks for has beens have kept us below 500.

yeah, Joe Philbin is such an exciting man that we expect 120 or maybe 130 thousand people each week pay money to come see him.

The Dolphins can become Florida's NFL Team instantly be bringing in Tim Tebow. It would kill the Jaguars franchise and knock another hole in the Bucs franchise. But it would secure the Dolphins for a decade.

The Dolphins should have one concern, and only one concern. That would be putting a winning team on the field more than one game in a row. More than one year in a row. Te rest is bull.

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