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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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* non-sellouts

And btw, I'm glad someone finally noticed how far away the field is from the fans. This makes our home field advantage worse. Talk about the complete opposite of the old Orange Bowl where the fans were right on top of the action. It was LOUD and created a real home field advantage.

Consistently winning would solve the seating problem.

Neither kris nor Odin nor Dusty nor Devil nor Aloco nor Lou nor CM etc were able to come up with ANYTHING.
Just a bunch of stupid, broke-ass, do-nothing, MF's

PriceMaster | January 27, 2012 at 11:53 PM

I'm pretty sure it's kris doing the imitations around here.
Let's face it all of the guys named kris with a 'k' that I know are Jewish.

PriceMaster | January 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM


I don't like involving myself in any petty blog feud but your reference about Kris with a "K" being a Jewish name (I imagine you meant to say K I K E ) is out of line. I'm NOT Jewish and have my difference of opinion with their policies in the West Bank and along that Hemisphere but respect their Faith and right to practice it like I do with a backward Evangelical like Newt Gingrich without resorting to name calling and mud slinging. I believe Mel Gibson is on the line for you, seems he needs the company!

fin4life | January 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM


Sure YOU MUD Sling.

Backward A_SS LIAR.


PriceMaster | January 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I don't see were I was offensive just making a point at your Anti-Semitic remarks. Your reply reads like that of a juvenile punk or ignorant B A S T A R D!! Either way it's NO skin of my chest tough guy!! A thought for you instead of venting all that pent up frustration online why not find a female to vent up your tension or go out and pick a fight with an actual person and get it over with!!


I never liked YOU anyway.



Fin4life, PriceMaster ,

Please go back to your respectful VILLAGE. lol

I have seen fans disguised as seats going back into the 90's. As for the stadium not filling up there are numerous viable reasons. All or just several working together may explain it.

- Fan apathy due to lack of winning. (Huge and can't be understated)

- Teams based in warm weather sites have the most inviting weather to do "other" activities.

- The tough economic times and the amount of financially qualified potential clients may be low per ca pita.

- Warm weather cities draw tons of out of state residents and those are typically not as passionate as the hometown, home grown fans.

- When you factor in parking costs, food costs, ticket costs, bathroom lines, some drunken idiot fans, sun in your eyes, crowds etc... sometimes the live experience is not all that compared to the 60" HDTV experience in the comfort of your living room with some good friends and drinks/food of choice.

As an out of state fan I have always wanted to have more rabid fans in the stands to cheer on our Fins and give them any advantage and support they can. It may take a number of years on playoff visits to stir that fan loyalty back up.

When the team goes 0-7 at home, who wants to shell out $200-400 to go home feeling bad?

Philbin has a big task ahead and I hope he is up to fixing it where many have failed. Please let the guy have some support and space with which to right the ship. No player wants to be booed at home and the Fin fans will let them have it if they under perform.

A good draft and FA will help along with attacking our easier (relative) schedule.


they need to do that it'd be awesome and it would help the home field advantage

PM, fin4life, Kris and others...

Can we just talk more football? Like the famous quote said "Can't we all just get along?"

Well even if not, if we just take frustrations out in the form of posing more genuine football chat then it can take your mind off arguments, name calling etc.

There is no censorship as Armando runs a very loose "all in the name of blog hits" blogosphere. So we are left to basically police our own free speech, Lord of the Flies style. Many times the self control, hold your tongue voices in many folks heads must be Rip Van Winkling Zzzzz. LOL.

Seriously though, lets put bad blood aside and keep chatting all things Fins if we can...hopefully we are all on the same side.


PM, I for one was beside myself pissed off when RB DThomas was the trade up and QB Mallet was allowed to get drafted LATER to a division rival no less. The Fins brass will rue that Ireland draft mistake later imho.

Hey beerphin,

You gonna check out the Senior Bowl today? Lotta QBs in that game trying to apply to the NFL.

In the end, I think this draft class will end up being kinda thin on QB's that end up doing much of anything at the NFL level.

Whatever shot the Fins take, be it draftee, FA, hold Moore and add whomever else, they need to hit on things. Even if we went to battle with Moore I think we would be better prepared to win than in the previous 4 years. Moore, while not a world beater, did some good things and it seemed like we had a shot in most games. With some seasoning and QB coaching maybe he can take a step forward?

Time will tell.


Rob ......

I chose/choose tom talk football.....look at my post earlier today......ideas for Armando.....Armando can chose to like them or hate them...it's his choice.....

I take exception to your post because.....you take the "it's everybody's fault approach"....

When if you read the blog.....you can EASILY see who who (multiple) cause/have been causing....the problems.....

Fin4life called out Price Master on some offensive stuff......as part of this blog community (rob)....you should acknowledge why he said WHAT he said....and chose for yourself what you feel is right.....if you agree with bigotry......then that's your Point of view....and you should stand by it.....


If you don't agree with Price Master's bigotry..... You should voice it.....and maybe you will help fuel the change on this blog that you may want to see.....

Without those that voice their opinion.....regardless of the subject.....then the blog is nothing.....

Fin4Life did that......

I respect it......wether i agree with him or not......I respect it.....

I think you should do the same....rather than scolding the many.....I would much rather you look at the conditions....then make a decision....and pick a side you agree with...whatever that side is......the choice is yours.....

Rob in OC.....

I try to learn people writing styles...not just read what is on the page....with all the imposterinjg....it helps me sift thru all the riff raff on this blog.....

Your style like many others...is unique....and many times before I get to the sign in part of your post....I already know rob in OC wrote it......

Tha is a source of pride for me.....I feel like it allows me to know you nd your thoughts on another level.....yours and many others....

I ask that you do the same with me....and others......don't just look at the pile.....find the needle in the haystack......learn the poster....try an differentiate between the ACTUAL poster....and potential imposter or troll......

Consider that these are not just words on a computer screen.....but for some of us......these are inner workings in to our deepest thoughts and feelings about a subject that many on here are deeply passionate about......

Gee, Wally, won't it be swell when our team starts winning again, and we can all talk football and junk and be pals again?

Sup Rob I'm watching Kirk Cousins and Brandon
Weeden for QB, two guys definitely on their radar.

I think those that know me on this blog know I'm about the Football content, period! I NEVER involve myself in any of the blog feud's because at the end of the day were all grown men and can either handle it or find a different forum for our base entertainment. I have NEVER had an opinion one way or the other regarding Mr. PriceMaster but apparently he's NEVER thought much of me or my opinions, BOO HOO!!

I WILL however leave the stupidity at the door with this post given that I come on this sight to discuss Football with other encyclopedia Head's on the sport and was just making an observation about something I believed out of line. I have known Kris on this blog for sometime now as well as Rob, odin and others referenced or commenting on the subject and felt like dropping my two cents and will leave it at that.

Rob, I to was NOT on board with the D.Thomas pick for one very specific reason and that was that I was high on Demarco Murray. If you remember back when we debated the topic with 0x80 who was an Ingram guy all the way at pick 15.

I discussed the Mallett thing with you at length and agreed the talent was there but the Crystal Meth allegations right or wrong dropped his stock and there must have been something to it given his slide. It wasn't like the Marino situation were it was alleged Pot smoking which you can overlook given we were all once kids ourselves but hardcore drug use and he hasn't really distinguished himself either with his journeyman competition for the back up duties in N.E..


Some folks here have shown some excitement for next season already given our new coaching staff.

Honest question here - how does this one differ from JJ, Waandshyt, Satan, Camoron, and Spordrano?

I want desperately to believe but the coaching carousel thing and the losing seasons are a serious impedance to Dolphin euphoria.

Anyway, I will be backing Philbin since he is our new leader.

Go Miami Dolphins!!


JJ didn't have the sideline in him anymore and was dreaming of the cushy TV work and his new wife. Wannstedt was and is a glorified assistant at best. Satan didn't have the heart to stick it out in the Pro's. Camaroon is at best a Q.B. Coach and Sparano had no business running a team based on his resume alone!

Philbin has spent time at least around a more modern O approach to the game and while he didn't run the play calling must have picked up a thing or two for his shot on the carousel. The hiring of Sherman will help given he really had the Pack and Favre firing on all cylinders when he ran the show my question is Coyle who makes the leap from DB Coach.

Neither kris nor Odin nor Dusty nor Devil nor Aloco nor Lou nor CM etc were able to come up with ANYTHING.
Just a bunch of stupid, broke-ass, do-nothing, MF's
PriceMaster | January 27, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Who you calling broke?!


I'll try to keep my head up.
Been a long dry spell for the Dolphins.
Getting antsy about the Dolphins returning to relevancy.

Yo Ross, every stadium that houses a crap team is too big Duuuhhh!


You and me both Brudda!!

I heard Ross took an interest free govt loan on his real estate, and used that money to buy the Dolphins. Then sold off ownership pieces for cash. Sounds like a mini Madoff. And now he's too cheap to renovate the stadium or add a dome?

I'll be playing my usual role as Good Soldier. The same as I always do with every new group of Coaches.

I was against Henning even before our Division Title and never wavered. It didn't keep me from being the Biggest Dolphin Homer out there.

The Sherman hire still makes me nervous, but not nearly as bad as I felt when Hennings was appointed.

The point I'm making, when Parcells came aboard, I jumped on his bandwagon. SpOrano, Pasqualoni, Hennings and all. Too bad it was all a mirage.

Well, here we go again with Philbin. I'm all in. For the first time in a LONG time, I have hope again. I'd take Philbin and Sherman over SpOrano and Henning, Today, tommorrow and yes, I would've gladly taken them along with Parcells back 2008!

Compared to what we've been working with the past 4 years, I think we just made a Quantam Leap of an upgrade!


I heard something to that affect as well and your observation does lend itself to pause when considering Mr. Ross!

Compared to what we've been working with the past 4 years, I think we just made a Quantam Leap of an upgrade!

odinseye | January 28, 2012 at 02:40 PM

In that regard I don't know how anybody would disagree, quantum leap, quantum physics, these are the voyagers of the Star Trek enterprise type stuff, light speed Chewie, umm I mean light year leap!

Hey! You guys can't compare Ross to Madoff. That's just unfair!

Madoff would have fired Ireland YEARS AGO!

Never seen this blog before but after reading a few dozen posts I must say you guys have got to be some of the most boring, mentally flacid people on the face of the Earth.

There must be a better Dolphins blog out there. Seeya!

With a new coaching staff on board would it be unreasonable to ask that the Dick Satan Memorial Bubble be relegated to history.
I have no stats but could this help with early season home games in the sweltering heat?
Point is - anything to gain an advantage.


Posted by: Davis, CA Fin | January 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM

Hope Not!

I'll hold the door for ya!

Hey! You guys can't compare Ross to Madoff. That's just unfair!

Madoff would have fired Ireland YEARS AGO!

odinseye | January 28, 2012 at 02:44 PM

LOL! And probably ver true!


Try the SS. I get the impression you'll fit right in.

Now Kick Rocks Honky!!!!


Don't let the door hit you on the A S S on the way out cupcake!

Davis, CA Fin

I believe it's spelled flaccid.
Would be nice if you could insult with some measure of an educated mind.
Say hi to Ted Ginn for me!

With a new coaching staff on board would it be unreasonable to ask that the Dick Satan Memorial Bubble be relegated to history.
I have no stats but could this help with early season home games in the sweltering heat?
Point is - anything to gain an advantage.

Tim in Tampa | January 28, 2012 at 02:50 PM

I'm all for getting rid of the bubble!


I'm getting a little old for Robbing Banks, but I get the feeling you and I could still commandeer a Sports Bar or two.

Davis CA--

This blog would be a LOT better with the subtraction of one guy who is on here morning, afternoon, and night day after day posting his completely useless and insipid crap (and making up sad, imaginary tales of sexual conquest to cover the dreary futility of his real life)

But other that him, there's some interesting folks here.

It depends on the Bank and the plan, Brudda!

As far as the bubble goes, I'd rather see training camp resemble The Shula Era.

During the season, especially the second half, I could see using it at times in an effort to keep the team fresh. Also, to beat bad weather in preparing for the upcoming game.

But as far as OTA's and Training camp, LOCK THE PLACE UP!

R2D...........never mind. I'm not even in the mood for pretending.

Little "Smalls", why you starting up with me?

Shouldn't you be getting ready for the game today? You know, re-upping on the Meth?

Good Luck and don't get "GOT"!

The practice bubble is not a factor whatsoever. It's something completely inconsequential the fans have latched onto.

Fact is, heat is rarely the reason it is used. It's mostly for those occassions when it's raining so hard (or lightning threatens) that an organized practice would be impossible to conduct.

The Dolphins would be stupid to NOT have it---just as pretty much EVERY team in the NFL has one (or use of an indoor practice facility of another type).

You think the Packers or Steelers or whoever is practicing outdoors in the cold so they're "tougher" than the other guys? They're not.

Look, the reality is that Miami was a better at home when the TEAM was better. Just as cold weather on the road meant NOTHING to the Dolphins when they had superior teams.

The practice bubble has no impact on any of it.

The fact you responded without having even been mentioned by name speaks VOLUMES.

Well, at least you recognize yourself!


Like the bubble plan and don't loose sleep on the B.S. I for one enjoy your very colorful out of the box posting to keep it lively.

Valhalla! By the way did you know that WW11 Germany lived and died by the Nordic myths?

The practice bubble has no impact on any of it.

Posted by: Get Real | January 28, 2012 at 03:09 PM

Well, we have the right to an opinion.

Shula has an opinion on the bubble and made some very insightful comments on the subject.

I personally agree with Shula and he believes it has an impact.


The fact you responded without having even been mentioned by name speaks VOLUMES.
Well, at least you recognize yourself!

Posted by: R2D2 | January 28, 2012 at 03:13 PM

How could I not know what and whom you're referencing?

You've been saying the SAME OLD TIRED CRAP for the past three years.

I'm in a GOOD MOOD, I got work to do and a game to watch today, so unfortunately, I haven't the time to play with the Tardo.


You think the Packers or Steelers or whoever is practicing outdoors in the cold so they're "tougher" than the other guys? They're not.

The practice bubble has no impact on any of it.

Get Real | January 28, 2012 at 03:09 PM

You are wrong! The Bills in there hey day practiced in the elements in order to let Kelly get use to the winds and cold for his throwing hand ect.. and it payed dividends given you didn't want to go to Orchard Park in Jan. Same with Miami and the 1:00 P.M. Kick off in Sept. back when teams couldn't deal with the intense Fla. humidity but the Dolphins were all to use to after Training camp. The truth is it does give a bit of an edge and in Football it's all you need come the 4th Qrt.

If Shula was coaching today, I have no doubt he'd be using it just as EVERYBODY in the 21st Century NFL uses one.

I revere Shula, but as for relevance today I think I'd go with what winning organizations like the Steelers and Patriots do---which is using indoor practice facilities when needed.

This idea of being "toughened" to the weather is a complete myth. Right up there with the Old Wives Tale idiocy about "thick" and "thin" blood.

Hell, I was born and raised in Miami and when I moved to Minnesota I found myself complaining about the cold a LOT less than the locals did.

Went looking around (surfing) for some Dolphins news.
Not much out there.
Here's a tidbit from RotoWorld................

Sherman won three division titles as Packers head coach from 2000-2005, breaking the franchise record for rushing in 2003 and for passing in 2004. Sherman has used the West Coast offense at every coaching stop and figures to be the primary play-caller in Miami. Texas A&M prospect Ryan Tannehill, widely considered the third-best QB in the draft, played under Sherman and could be an option for the Dolphins in April. A coaching veteran of 35 years, Coyle is expected to bring a 4-3 scheme to the defense.


Good post.

You guys DO understand the bubble is only used occassionally, right? You DO understand the Dolphins spend the overwhelming majority of camp practicing in the oppressive heat and humidity, right?

This is what I mean about fans latching onto something that is inherently ludicrous. Somehow, this whole "bubble" thing has morphed into the Dolphins having some kind of air-conditioned, Club Med training camp, where their 'toughness' and 'edge' has evaporated.

It's total nonsense. Know why Miami has lost their edge? The PLAYERS haven't been good enough.

Valhalla! By the way did you know that WW11 Germany lived and died by the Nordic myths?

Posted by: fin4life | January 28, 2012 at 03:13 PM

The Norse we're a warring culture. I thought it a fantastic piece of propaganda for Hitler to affilate his Military with the Mythology.

Unfortunately, then with the Jewish and the SkinHeads of today try an use it to justify the prejudices and rascist beliefs.

Nothing could further from the truth. Any and ALL men are judged on their OWN merits. Nothing more, nothing less.


What's everyone's favorite college QB excluding Luck & RGIII?

get real, I think you're 100% right that Shula would be like anyone else today and use indoor practices when he had to.

I'm an older guy and remember going to many Dolphins practices back in the glory days at Biscayne College.

When the weather got really bad, Shula would cancel practice and take the team back indoors. I saw it happen MANY times. These people thinking he would have them practice no matter what the weather don't know what they're talking about I was there!

Get Real,

Old Wives tales aside there is a reason teams like G.B. and N.E. have lost there home field edge as well as Miami and it's called pampering there players!! You didn't dream of going to Foxboro or Wisconsin late in the year in the past but since the bubble phenom I tell you Atl. has beaten up on G.B. at LAMBEU FIELD post season or how about the Pats unable to take advantage of the elements until the Ravens gift wrapped it for them last week. You do a double take to the 2001 AFC Champ. game were the much better Raiders walked into a heap at Foxboro and you get the sense that the Pats were more ready for the game and the elements.

After 02/05/2012 there will be no more football until OTA's.
Anybody got the antidote for football withdrawal symptoms?
And no I can't afford my own tropical island full of naked women.....hmmmm.....poor me huh?

Green Bay and New England have the two best home records in pro football over the past few years. The Packers won the Super Bowl last year and the Patriots are in it now.

And you're trying to make the point they've "lost their edge?!?"

Uh, yeah.

Tell me, back in the 1970's when both the Packers and New England were bad organizations losing a TON of games, how "tough" were they practicing outdoors?

Just a weird theory, I know, but you think maybe the PLAYERS have a lot more to do with winning and losing?

Get Real,

Do you watch games and were they are played or is it strictly SportsCenter Bud?? The 2010 Packers ran the table on the road, through philly, Atl. and Chitown. The Pats have been HOUSED in the post season of late were they hadn't even advanced past game one since 2007. This year they needed Lee Evans to drop a TD and their Kicker to miss a ship shot 37 yrd. F.G. to advance. The art of playing in the elements in all actuality was lost when the Vikings went indoor way back in 82!!

All B.S. aside though IF you have a 2nd rate team like we do you won't beat the best in HELL whether that's the cold or heat.

There's only one NFL team that doesn't use an indoor practice facility of some kind.

The Bengals. Also noted for being one of the losingest franchises in the league over the past 20 years as well as the cheapest.

That's it. The other 31 teams ALL use it.

With that being the case, it has zero relevance to winning or losing since every single team aside from one has the same competitive advantage (or disadvantage) depending on your viewpoint.

To me, it's no different than the switch from leather helmets to plastic ones or coaches wearing headsets on the sidelines. Things change, and practing indoors on occassion is just another change.

Much ado aout nothing.

ayy!! chiwawa

Sr. Get Real,

I would like to get indoors with you Sr.!

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