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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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Marshall is a tool bag.

cocoajoe, NY"G",

In order to make it interesting what do you guys think is the way to go regarding the Q.B. situation in Miami??

Juicy wet moist

I think you should shave it all off mmmmmmmmm


Feel free to drop your thoughts on the Q.B. quandry!

Yeah guys, almost rare to have intelligent conversations on our team that have some good give and take these days it seems. It's why I read mostly and jump in when I can't stand it.


I like what Philbin has to say as well but will wait and see how it translates.

Until we here from Philbin that he is interested in Flynn, I will regard him as 'just another QB'.

fin4, I'm still trying to get over last year. Could have got Mallett later....forget 3rd round? But passed.

What would I do? 1st, forget Manning unless he has a miracle cure. 2nd open up lines of comunication with Flynn. 3rd forget about Luck or RG3. 4th, Hope these other guys in the draft are better than everybody else knows they're not

Miami women =, more or less, Cuban women.

I think they could be very wrong about Flynn being better then Moore. If Donovan McNabb did exactly what Moore did this year they'd be saying the franchise QB is back.


I'm not totally sold yet on the Colts and Luck situation. I believe there will be an ugly divorce between Patten and Irsay and what does that have to do with Luck you may ask...

I'm just shooting from the hip but I'm absolutely positive that Andrew Luck is watching everything going on in Indy and with that... Luck may be wondering to himself if Irsey is blabbering every day to the press and tweeting BS about Patten, will Luck want to play for irsey when picked or will Luck say F this all I don't want to play for the Colts.

That aside... I would like to see what Philbin really would like to do with Flynn. We cant get any better at a diagnosis of a QB then that relationship.

Putting Flynn aside for now, I really would see where WR Blackmon is and if needed i would move up and take him. That kid is going to be an Instant PLAYMAKER. We NEED Play makers and that kid will bring them in regardless who the QB is (well almost) lol.

Oh yeah fin4, for sure. I mean how long have we wanted to believe? Seems like forever.

Not quite sure that any of our daughters will go for Brandon. Perhaps somebody else....

Let me repost this little tidbit from the interview Philbin and THE SCOUT Ireland did today...

Ireland said if he and Philbin disagree on drafting players A and B, “I have authority to make that decision. But in most cases, we may go with player C.”

Jeff THE SCOUT is already pumping his chest and letting the new HC Philbin know that THE SCOUT Ireland will decide who the HC Philbin will get to work with.

As I as well as most of you all been saying.. We MUST Purge the organization of all of the Parcells projects. Ireland was spared by Ross and now we will be left with more VALUE picks and looking under rocks for those acorns.


New coach Joe Philbin said Friday the team will “absolutely” make significant use of the no-huddle offense, will exploit matchup advantages and will use multiple formations to keep defenses guessing.


You are working with a bunch of NFL spoiled brat millionaire losers who are not in shape or conditioned to sustain the no huddle.

Please review the Home Opener against the Pats and how the millionaires were cramping and watch as Wake was thrown around like a rag doll by Rookie guards

Moore really played great for Moore, and Brandon Marshall is recruiting Flynn? Moore couldnt have played much better then he did and he gets no love, none. Is that right?

Yes, Reggie, you can dry your tears in them...thighs...

Think you may be right 'G'. You have to know by now, we have 0 chance at Luck and Ireland will never make a trade for RG3.

The only thing is, Ireland. Most of us would have gone by grades in the draft. But Ireland seems to know more than pretty much anybody else on the planet.


The spell check doesn't like being yelled at which is why it refuses to correct CAPITAL. lol

Yet another idiot in team management The only problem with ticket sells is that the team sucks and the owner and GM are complete idiots.

Nah, we are generous us Cuban oldtimers. Which would you prefer, ALoco, one of our daughters, our sons? No pork, we know.


Will the salary cap go up when the league year
opens it always goes up every year except last year because of the lockout?

ALoco.. Go for one of OC's daughters as he is $$$$$ loaded $$$$$. Also as a perk you will be intitled to a free analyzation of the medulla oblongata.

You must understand pork...

medulla oblongata... LOL


ALoco, I gotta know...what makes a pig dirtier than a cow? Remember what Vincent Vega said?

"Yeah but bacon taste good".


ALoco.. LOL


Take your meds. Man.

I could read alocos post all night, this guy should do comedy.Him and his brother Soiled Bottoms.

God-am, Man, my daughters all resemble Salma Hayek.


Me, I was unlucky. When less older, I resembled Elvis Presley(which many women didn't like). Perhaps the cat.....

Nice posts on the Q.B. question guys, had to step out for a minute but if you want my thoughts??

Flynn while putting up good numbers is fools gold! I get this vibe regarding him which tells me, PRODUCT OF THE SYSTEM. Like Rodgers who would probably in all likelihood have tanked in Miami if thrown to the fire 05. I really believe players are tailored to systems and he drew GOLD in G.B.

P.Manning is a player to take into consideration because people talk as if he were done and forget that he was cleared to practice in Dec. but held back by an owner who made up his mind regarding Luck, "IF" Peyton can play he will be better than Favre was in 2010, mark it!!

If it's the draft then we wait and see and take someone early 2nd round like Tanahill and Weeden late, just me but if it is through the draft take more than one player at the position I say.

My older son, although he is my spitting image, was luckier as he has a really big dong.

Oscar, Old Elvis or Young Elvis?

Which QB is dat?

The Dr.s held out Peyton. Peyton is done. Forget it. Multiple neck surgeries. One tweak, one bad hit and he is out six months. Anyone thinks Peyton is going to come to Miami and win a SB is dreaming. He won only won SB on a better team than we have.

Listen. It's a matter of balance. Always has been. GN.

I was thinking we need a QB who is serious eye candy. Marino was beyond attractive and so are the majority of NFL greats at the position. I select Dan Marino Jr. who is the splitting image of his dad.

Armando don't pay attention to these bafoons. I love reading your articles and listening to Armando and the Amigo in the am. Keep doing what you do and giving us the heads up. Thanks!


Manning will play again and you will regret thinking he was done because the man is driven by the game and is looking more than ever to prove himself given everybody is writing him off!


Your picture on the blog is sexy!! I ask though why your radio show picture looks so ugly! It doesn't even look like you with that olive oil tan.

Alright when left alone on the blog I guess I'm out!!!!


Get the boat ready cause it's time to give my boys a ride. We fight while you sit in your jacuzzis, jeezz I should have been a swabee.


Ignore the facts all you want. It wasn't Irsay that held him out.

What makes you think Peyton is going to walk on to a brand new team, brand new offense, brand new coaching staff and with the SB????

Crazy man. And I do believe a healthy Peyton is the best in the game...even still. No way. Dream on.


You out there??


In the 2010 year Peyton had to deal with the loss of collectively Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez and replace them with Jacob Tamme at TE and Collie and Blair at WR in the process he won his Div. and played I thought his best Football. Say what you will but he isn't the block headed Favre and will go to another team and absorb there way and his and succeed, it's MHO.

We have to see what happens with the new coaching staff. There is no other option. FA and draft will indicate success or failures!

Number one; winning consistently solves this problem. Number two; Ross is very rich and makes a lot of money, he can afford to do this construction project. The NFL and it's owners need to stop relying on taxpayers to prop up the league when it is the most successful league in the world.

Build the Miami Dolphins for the long haul, win consistently, and the seats will be filled. Don't become a second Jacksonville!

2010 was one year. Peyton, who I admire immensely, still only won one SB. With a stable team, stable coaching and great players.

My only point is, those who think after so much time off at his age will pop onto a new team with a new coaching staff and take them to the SB is really far fetched.

The Giants are getting pumped up in their weight room for the SuperBowl and when you open the door to the room you here:

REO Speedwagon.

There's a reason for the lack of conditioning in game one vs the Patriots. Tony Sparano's idea of conditioning work and heavy training was each guy had to eat a pepperoni pizza in under 2 minutes and then gulp down a 2 liter bottle of Coke afterwards. The belch meant they were ready to go.

Bringing in Peyton will only be wasting time. He will be 36. At that age, only the supremely healthy have a chance. The team is young, don't burn another 2 years on an old injured veteran. This is not the Peyton we knew.

That was a FAST TWO Minutes!

I just got a "Breather" Fin4, what's up?

PS: Fake Odinseye While I was "OUT",

Your NOT even Funny!



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