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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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NY"G" if you cut all your fingers off, thats how many.

Come on Mando! What's up, only the people who pi** you off get talked too around here? :) You were just here! I should have worded my question differently? Perhaps if I had insulted you I could have got your attention? lol

NYG,

Im far enough from Miami(central FLA) that as long as the Dolphin game doesnt clash with the Tampa Bay or Jax marketing times, I have a good chance of watching it locally.

But Jax is the greatest thorn in the side because they are afc(CBS) and so is Miami. But if Miami plays a nfc game(FOX) and its not the same time as Tampa Bay, I have a good chance of watching it too. Otherwise is the internet.

Odin, that would be the fear too is that other govts would follow suit but I just see how this would happen. Monitoring the internet has got to be cumbersome and super expensive. Is there really nothing else for them to do?

And the part of this that makes me laugh is how the American talking heads gasped in awe when they learned that China was censorign the internet. Darn Communists!!

Mark in T,

From what I've read none of those bills have a great chance of being ratified. Sopa and the other still lay dormant and ACTA isnt even in Congress yet.

Im sure they're trying to find a very "watered-down" version of these bills so it doesnt offend the masses. That, or theyre waiting for a non-election year to slip them in on the down low. LOL

Phins 78,

I answered your question on cap space and it didn't post. Let me try again:

I wrote the Dolphins would be able to address one MAJOR issue in free agency. In other words, I don't believe they'll be able to have an offseason like 2010 when they added Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby -- two major additions.

They may have one major signing such as a QB -- Matt Flynn or Peyton Manning. Beyond that, they still have to sign either Soliai or Langford (but probably not both), draft and sign the rookies, and fill in with a couple or four lesser free agents, while still having cap money in reserve for the practice squad and the season (injuries).

Ireland said today he likes Yeremiah Bell and isnt likely to cut him. So perhaps they restructure, but I don't think they'll play hardball with him like they did with Carey last year for salary cap reasons.

I estimate the team will have around $15 million in cap space. I will have the actual figure as we get closer to the start of the new league year.

One thing to keep in mind is the difference between cap space and club budget. I am not convinced owner Stephen Ross will authorize spending to the salary cap. He has other monetary issues on deck, if you read the post above.

We shall see.

And the part of this that makes me laugh is how the American talking heads gasped in awe when they learned that China was censorign the internet. Darn Communists!!

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM

I use to laugh too. Now I lean more towards the disgusted side!

Pot meet Kettle!

sign flynn and lest roll

how about reducung the prices for the upper level seats and charge more for the premium seats .If a fan comes they will usually buy food beer soda and collectables. more people buying more products mean surplus money. If you wanna sit close pay more.If you don't have the funds to pay more or you are bring your family but still wanna enjoy game day.sit up higher. I'd go every week if if didn't live in Virginia.

YG,

I see what you mean... Well, good thing for those links as if the local is blacked out then you can fist pump, I mean punt to the Internet.

That, or theyre waiting for a non-election year to slip them in on the down low. LOL

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | January 27, 2012 at 05:11 PM

BING! BING! BING! We have a WINNER!

Netiher side wants to take on this issue during an election year.

Correct me if I'm wrong....I don't live in South Florida....but I've always heard that the stadium has been dificult to sell out and was built to a greater capacity than it should have been.

I've only ever attended one game there....Marino was QB....Phins were enroute to the playoffs....stadium was certainly, not even remotely filled to capacity. It's one of the very few dissapointing games I've ever attended in person. I chalked it up to an off day or something, but then I started paying a bit more attention and it seems it's always this way with that stadium.

It doesn't seem so much about winning and losing....sure, if they win, they'd fill a few more seats....but it just seems they've always had a problem selling out and packing that stadium.


NY"G" if you cut all your fingers off, thats how many.

Posted by: Clue | January 27, 2012 at 05:05 PM

Clue,

LOL.. I think with the way they finished last season and with a new HC, the NFL will want to show them one time or so, especially if they play really good. Also, guaranteed if we get a top QB or if Patten is healthy and they decide to risk him, they will show more.

Armando,

In your response to Phins78, that's exactly what I've been posting here. It's not going to be Flynn and Mario Williams or Peyton and Williams. Thx for confirming that.

Needing pass rushing help, I can see a Flynn(FA) and Coples(#1 draft pick) scenario. Mocks have us taking Riley Reiff(#1)but I dont see that unless Coples isnt available.

Still I cant see such a high pick just to solidify RT. Especially after Pouncey #1 last year. Its just far too soon to justify such a high pick again on the oline with so many other pressing needs. We just need a better pass protector than Columbo was, not a #9 overall pick at the position.

Phin78,

Stepped out for a minute and just caught your posts my way in that last blog. You say the thought of trading Wake borders on retardation and I would normally agree except for the fact that he is a liability in the 4/3 covering R.B.'s out of the backfield and the T.E. goes without saying as well as being had in run support or don't you watch the games and when you do are you one of those that only pays attention on replays??

If you watch him play you notice his great up field burst in the pass rush but for some reason his bad lateral movement and slow reaction when pressed in pass coverage.

I believe he can net a King's ransom in the open market and whether you call it retarded or not believe the possibility is being exploited. In this S.B. you have a speed phenom in Pierre Paul opposite Tuck and Osi but all play at over 270 to go with there speed giving them a little extra SOMETHING late in the year which I would take in a player like Wake if not for his deficiencies outside of the pass rush.

I don't care for the Tuna way and am not so dense that I don't see the need to get faster but it's fans like you so in love with certain players that don't see the holes in their respective games. You probably would tell me that Jake Long is HOF material when to me he's overrated as well by a long shot, pun intended.

Armando,

here's a shot, since you're inviting:

"Jeff Ireland and coach Joe Philbin discussed as openly as they felt comfortable issues of interest."

That sentence needs a few commas or some reconstructive surgery. I Know it's Friday! Peace.

Peyton Manning would begin the season at 36yrs of age. So signing Manning(healty) over Flynn would mean two things:

A. Ross Ireland without a doubt believe we're ready to win a sb within the next two years. Personally I dont believe we're Peyton Manning away from winning a sb within the next two years.

B. We better at least draft a qb 2nd rd this draft. Manning will be 39yrs old in two seasons after this upcoming one.

Flynn's youth and the reality we are not a Peyton Manning away from winning the sb may superceede our thoughts on signing Manning over Flynn. Even if Manning's healthy.

Reality suggests Manning has two years of greatness left max. Even Marino sucked at 38-39yrs old. Hope Ireland-Ross dont overlook this.

Fin4,

You sound like you're only considering Wake as an OLB in the 4-3.

What about Wake playing RDE?

You know in a 4-3 Wake would pretty much be turned loose at RDE.

The ROLB would have have coverages and containment on that side.

I'm not trying to start an argument or anything. Just wondering if you have ruled Wake out as a RDE?

fin4life says Long is overrated, so who are the people that vote him in every year?

odin,

I believe both Wake and Misi are primed for the switch back to their respective positions before being made OLB's but "IF" the question is what they are as OLB's in the 4/3 then I have to say liabilities both and that is the discussion old friend.

Only team that would give Wake huge dollars in fa is a team that already has one great pass rusher and needs another.

Being in a position to get Coples, even if we have to move up a couple spots, Why on earth would you get rid of Wake? With Coples we would still need a "complimentary" pass rusher. Every defense needs one.

marino was the man in that playoff game vs seattle his last year

fin4life says Long is overrated, so who are the people that vote him in every year?

Sko | January 27, 2012 at 05:35 PM

Name recognition goes a LONG WAY!! In the NFL if not how do you explain Long getting in to the Pro Bowl last year. I believe the WAR HAMMER a baller but won't put him up there as HOF material just yet.

Sherman = Henning II

Trading Wake means we're sold on Misi being at least a complimentary pass rusher. Where have we seen that evidence?

Even if we get Coples, we still need a really good complimentary pass rusher in Wake. One step forward then one backwards is not how you move ahead.

If you dont believe me, try with your own two feet sometimes and see if you dont end up at the original starting point. Moving forward then backwards is not moving ahead.

long is damn good

HOF'r? How many HOF'rs were in that category after 4 years? A few percent at most.

Fin4,

Thanks and I TOTALLY agree.

Trying Wake at OLB in the 4-3 is retardation.

Misi, even worse.

So far, we've heard Philbin say we'll use both, the 4-3 and the 3-4. Knowing which will be our Base D would go a long way in determining these kinds of things.

Thanks Armando.

fin4life fair enough. But trust me I'm objective. And I feel I'm a bit more objective than you.

I AM NOT a fan who falls in love with a player just because he's on my team. I'm 41 years old and have been around the block. I'm not some dumb kid, understand that moving forward here.

The reason I say I may be a bit more objective than you is because you said we could get s kings ransom for Wake but while saying that you seem to fail to recognize his talent and contribution to the team in which you are removing him from. If we can get a kings ransom for him than he must be pretty damned talented right? I understand perfectly the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3 but you are dealing in black and white. You're assuming the Phins will run either a 4-3 or a 3-4 and there seems to be no in between for you.

I'm here to tell you that we have the horses to run both, a hybrid, which is what they've been talking about and is what we did for 1/3rd of last season. Wake has his place. You give Wake up for what? What's your kings ransom? A 2nd round draft pick that is unproven? That we will have to use to replace Wake?

You see holes in his game, I know, everyone does. Every player in the NFL has holes in his game. You seem to think we will turn a draft pick for Wake into a pick of Lawrence Taylor.

We should have traded Marino (in his prime) in your scenario. No mobility, throws 5 yard passes a hundred miles an hour (loved when ppl complained about Henne for doing this and blamed the receiver drops on him)and was stubborn about the running game to a point he would cancel the coaches run call to pass the ball.

I love Marino! Just making a point. EVERY PLAYER IN THE NFL HAS HOLES IN HIS GAME. I watch every game bud, have been for 32 years. I watched Cam Wake cover running backs this season, not the best, but not thew worst. And his pass rushing skills are what we count on him for, not coverage skills. That's why the coaches make substitutions.

Thus far, Misi's only pass tush move is the bullrush. Its not effective becuase olineman know he doesnt have anything else in his passrush arsenal to beat them.

At least Wake has the blinding speed to more quickly get around them. Still if Wake had more moves he could consistently be a 15 sack a season rusher. Because Wake doesnt have the full arsenal, you probably get a mid to bottom 2nd rd pick for him at best in a trade.

I rather keep him and draft Coples. Maybe we can trade Misi for a 3rd to a desperate team, but probably a 4th rd pick at best.

The Dolphins have signed an Offensive and Defensive coordinator today. If you want to read about real Dolphin news and not about garbage like stadium seating and what Mike Dee is up to these days then go to my blog "Omar Kelly" on wwww.sunsentinal.com

There you will read about how the Dolphins are loading up to move up in the draft for a real QB. RG3!

You will also read about my concerns about our coaching staff. Dolphin coaches of color are being replaced by white cracker coaches who are to school for cool.

You will also read about how Chad Henne is being given the cold shoulder around the NFL.

what team would ever want henne

Breed,

I'm not advocating trading Wake but as an OLB in the 4/3 you can't tell me you don't have your apprehensions. As a RDE in the scheme with another 10 pounds on him then yeah!! He could be very effective especially if you use him as a pass rusher exclusively but not as a OLB. You know enough to know that he isn't suited, in that regard how about a straight up trade for Timmons who was born to play the outside 4/3 and is being miss used in Pitt.

fin4life when Long is in the hall of fame you can buy me a drink.

Seriously you have to get off of Longs jock. The guy plays through injuries you and I would cry about. Coaches and players in the NFL have voted him to be one of the best.

For the life of me I can't figure out why you think you're more intelligent about these things then the people who actually work with him and know the business.

I build additions, decks, and enclosures for a living. I'm betting your one of those customers who thinks he's going to tell me my job even though he works in an office.

'I watch This Old House so I know more than the professionals'!

Seriously, a customer once asked me, "are you sure that's right, that's not how they did it on This Old House". He was a dentist. People are idiots.

marino was the man in that playoff game vs seattle his last year
Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 27, 2012 at 05:41 PM

_______________________________________________

Oh yeah!!!! I frequently watch Youtube clips from that game.

huge third down throw to tony backed up at his own endzone

CHEAPO ROSS DOESNT WANT TO SPEND ANY MONEY! ITS NO WONDER WE STINK!

Phin78,

Fair enough I'm 40 and been watching since memory has served me, I was actually one of those kids you see in their team uniform on TV along time ago. My point isn't whether Wake can play RDE in the 4/3 but whether he can play outside in the scheme.We need to see what is available at the position in FA and later determine objectively what suits the direction, that is my point in a nutshell.

Clearly, is sick of buying Fins tickets......just like us!

Jake Long is finished. So many injuries...

huge third down throw to tony backed up at his own endzone
Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 27, 2012 at 05:59 PM

_______________________________________________

That's the money play right there! That ball was fired out of a howitzer where only his man could get it! Freakin' spectacular catch too!

Phin78,

Again I am not saying Long can't play because the WAR HAMMER as he is referred to is tough as nails but to claim his career Hall worthy is crazy and he is beginning to remind of the often injured Tony Boselli. By the way many a great player especially on the OL is looking from the outside in at the HOF so if he doesn't make it you buy me a Chivas on the rocks, fair enough Bud?

That play got that whole drive going!

Omar Kelley cant spell and worships Jesus

Phin78 @5:56,

I wouldn't pretend to tell you how to craft your profession and the beauty of sports is we can watch them and base opinions. You say I know more than the powers that be and when it relates to Ireland I don't doubt a bunch of us do but that aside your opinion is neither more correct or incorrect than mine.

man i miss that stuff wolf, always had a chance. glory days. kc playoff game when he hits clayton with lewis going for int

Ross is sick of buying Fin tickets. Well, so are we! LMAO!

The Dolphins drew more fans at the Orange Bowl when they had a good team.

MANDO,WHOWILL POST LONGER TONIGHT, ODIN OR FLIPPER BREED?,MY MONEY ON ODIN,HE GOT A 12 PACK OF PABST BLUE RTBBON BEER AND WENT AND GOT 2 DOUBLLE WHOPPER WITH CHESE, WHILE FLIPPER ONLY HAS GOVERMENT CHESE AND CRACKERS TO EAT.MANDO WHAT SAY YOU?

What on Earth did they finally say they are going to do? Simpler, Man.

This guy @ 4:17 is obviously the price master character....the style is unmistakable.....

Armando....is that how you want your blog represented.....

Maynard!

OF COURSE ONE OF ODINS HOTTIES MIGHT STOP BY AND ODIN WOULD HAVE TO STOP POSTING..BUT IT WOULD ONLY BE FOR 3 MINIUTES
(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

You will also read about my concerns about our coaching staff. Dolphin coaches of color are being replaced by white cracker coaches who are to school for cool.

Omar Kelly | January 27, 2012 at 05:55 PM

LMFAO!! I know it ain't the real Omar but damn funny indeed!!

Ha!

That's the money play right there! That ball was fired out of a howitzer where only his man could get it! Freakin' spectacular catch too!

Posted by: wolfman13 | January 27, 2012 at 06:05 PM

Yeah, but he threw that ball way to HARD!

ROTFLMAO!

I have always enjoyed matching wits with the next Moment.

Phin78,

The dentist asked you about this old house, huhh?? That's actually real funny.

MANDO,WHOWILL POST LONGER TONIGHT, ODIN OR FLIPPER BREED?,MY MONEY ON ODIN,HE GOT A 12 PACK OF PABST BLUE RTBBON BEER AND WENT AND GOT 2 DOUBLLE WHOPPER WITH CHESE, WHILE FLIPPER ONLY HAS GOVERMENT CHESE AND CRACKERS TO EAT.MANDO WHAT SAY YOU?

Posted by: ALoco | January 27, 2012 at 06:18 PM
What on Earth did they finally say they are going to do? Simpler, Man.

Posted by: oscar canosa | January 27, 2012 at 06:19 PM

Little "Smalls", Whazzup?

You ready for the NIGHT TRAIN!

Maynard!

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