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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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Now that the morning team is up... I poised a question last evening/night to the nigh crew..

Can anyone name me a PLAY MAKER which Jeff THE SCOUT Ireland has provided to the team????

The ONLY Play maker that I would place that title on would be the FG Kicker, you know what I mean?

With that in mind.. There wont be any QBs in the 1st round as Luck, RG GONE so I say that we immediately pick a PLAY MAKER who is going to IMPACT the team all around. I say move up if need be and go all out and take WR Justin Blackmon.

We walk away from the draft with a PLAY MAKER who even with an average QB will bring in the ball. He can catch the unmatchable and to me... Is by far the BEST WR to come out of the draft since Rice, Duper and Clayton.

If we don't move in and take Blackmon, Ireland is going to waste the pick on another "VALUE" project.

This team would immediately be upgraded with Blackmon. It will impact not only our Offense it will impact our Defense, the fans, the league and Philbin will look like a hero as we strive towards a playoff and Bowl.

Again... Who do we have that can be called a PLAY MAKER. Nada, Zilch.


Nobody is giving up a chance for Luck, RG3 or Blackmon. Nobody, so forget about them, ain't happenin.

Look how much Atlanta gave up for Julio Jones, and he was a minor impact, not worth what they paid.

I'd trade up for Blackmon but Ireland has gotten a few really great playmakers. Marshall, Dansby, Wake


Normally I would agree with you but on this one I have a different view.

And what did Marshall, Dansby, Wake do for the team to call them play makers? Marshall is living off his success from another team as we ain't winning. Dansby and Wake play makers may as well signed in as Present.

Wake had one monster season and last season a rookie guard on opening day tossed Wake around like he was a rag doll.

We need Play makers like the Giants have in Cruz, the Pats have in the TE, the play makers like the Old Lawrence Taylor, Clayton, Duper, Rice.

Marshall, Dansby, Wake all 3 just showed up and signed in Present.

Now.. If you bring in Blackmon just think of the potential. Now you need to defend with double Marshall, Blackmon. It opens up even more holes for Reggie to run his butt off and takes pressure off the QB, D.

In closing the only player who proved his worth was Reggie Bush. Reggie to me would be the MVP of the Dolphins. If Marshall, Wake and Dansby as well as the rest of the team had the work ethic that Reggie Bush does, we would be talking about the playoffs.


Julio Jones IMO will never be 1/2 as good as Blackmon is. Check out the Sports Science on Blackmon. SC doesn't just do clips on anyone, just those that are great, not just good.

Sport Science: Justin Blackmon


Brunch time catch you all later and have a great day.

F''k Blackmon. Its ALL about getting us a QB.

Finally somebody making me understand what a WC offence is all about(Irishphan on the Phinsider), at least from a receivers standpoint. Very quick off the line, square shoulders to the QB in 2-3 seconds, short routes YAC important, plays every down in a quick, up-tempo attack. Thanks.

Sports science can make anyone look like a star. They made Devlin look like the most accurate passer yet he went undrafted to us and never made it on to the field. Loser Losman was ahead of Devlin, that is really bad.

If they are going to run the WC offence, seems like Marshall will do great in it.

Those catches in the video are not that impressive, He has a big cushion to fall on with no linebackers around to crash his rib cage.

Great receiver, great hands though, unlike Marshall butter fingers.

Still, you guys are dreaming. Luck, RG3, Blackmon will not be available. Teams don't let those kind of players go. They don't give up rare chances, once in 20 year chances to take players like them.

You got mad because I mentioned anther Blog? According to the present rules of Internet, I believe you have to suk your dik.

Ironically, Henne's getting injured has really hurt the team. Moore coming in and playing well may have saved idiot Ireland's job, plus Henne had us in midst of the running for Luck.

It was a down season yes but 1000+ yrds from WR and RB and A defense ranked at the top of the league makes me believe they are doing alright there... Yes Blackmon is great but he'd still be a #2 next to Marshall... Marshall just needs to be more consistent and stop dropping passes... I think he'll be fine. Blackmon would make it way tougher to guard Marshall as well so it'd make everyone look better.

Yeah, I forgot that in the WCO you must catch everything away from your body.

Blackmon will be better than Marshall. Marshall does not have great hands plain and simple. He drops way too many balls. He is a distracted player. None of that will ever change. We overpaid for Marshall.

"I still don't know what West Coast offense is".

He is on track to break records 1000+ rc yrds every season he's been in the league... maybe 1 yr he didn't not sure but still I'd say there are maybe 4 WR better than him in the entire league.

Blackmon maybe better in a few years but he won't be better than Marshall next year. Not likely...

"I am beguinning to understand that the WCO is the same sh-t, only faster"

He is on track to break records 1000+ rc yrds every season he's been in the league... maybe 1 yr he didn't not sure but still I'd say there are maybe 4 WR better than him in the entire league.

Posted by: beerphin | January 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Marshall gets more balls thrown to him because he gets in the QB's head. That is why he has 1000 yards, But his dropped passes all take away from the other receivers. Marshall is an ego maniac that demands his own personal goals be met ahead of the team. Marshall is at best the #10 receiver in the league.

Marshall is not quick or fast. How often does he take it the distance? He is a possession receiver with bad hands.

Marshall is extraordinarily fast especially for 6'4 He is a very legit deep threat. And yes he had some drops but he is still a very dangerous weapon. If he makes those catches that he can make then you'd be singing a different tune. I'm sure he will work on it for next year

I'd throw to Marshall every time if my only other options are Bess and Hartline.

I do think they should get another WR to get pressure off Marshall for sure. I wonder how much Reggie Wayne has left in his tank?

Marshall was named The Beast for a reason. He's had the misfortune of having Check Down for a QB most of his time here.

Black them out!!!!!! I am sick and tired of looking a half filled stadium at best. Maybe these people in Miami and surrounding communities might actually start to support the team by going to game.
Black it out every single time. I can promise people would change there thinking.
Everyone KNOWS the game is going to be on regardless. Thats why they do not go.

Don't get me wrong but Hartline and Bess are slot guys We need a legit #2 opposite Marshall

Yes we need a legit #2 WR but a QB is the bigger need.

definitely agreed

Moore played well and I dont think Flynn ia any noticeable improvement to Moore. If they bring in Flynn he'll be handed the starting job, even if Moore is better.

moore is a backup qb nothing moore, with flynn u get a guy who already knows the offense front and back and has potential to be a very good starter. we already know moore isnt

If he makes those catches that he can make then you'd be singing a different tune. I'm sure he will work on it for next year

Posted by: beerphin | January 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM

If if if he makes them, but he doesn't. Thinking that will change is wishful thinking. It has been an ongoing problem. What will change next year? If he couldn't correct it this year, he won't correct it next year, or the year after.

I see it more as fluke than a lack of talent.

He said he was working on it this year many times. Means nothing without results. Working on it only means he wishes he was better, but he isn't.

He is a beast, but he is not great at getting open, he hasn't been getting much yac, and he has butter fingers. I don't expect any of that to change.

He beats double coverage regularly

Anthony, said > Yes we need a legit #2 WR but a QB is the bigger need.

Correct. We MUST address the QB position as well as the D and O line. The secondary absolutely sucks and has sucked for as long as i can remember.

That is the reason why I am so agressive on getting WR Justin Blackmon.

The QB issue IMO will NOT be resolved in this draft. It will have to be through FA as always with us.

We blew our chances at Luck which would most likelyt solved our QB concern for 15 years. So let's walk away with a Playmaker WR Blackmon.

otherwise who are we going to waste the 1st round pick on??? A punter as Ireland picks...

I am SICK of VALUE and ACORNS. While every other team is picking Play makers we pick crap.

It's the same Parcells mentality which THE SCOUT Ireland has.

I like Jermichael Finley and Reggie Wayne as UFA signings


Ross/Ireland cant make the team better. Doubt they can sell tickets either.

Marques Colston or Carl Nicks will not be staying in NO so those two guys are definitely well worth a look at as well

Marshall needs another young WR like Blackmon to bring out the beast as we knew him. Blackmon would open Marshalls eyes and give him an incentive to compete. I actually could see Blackmon being the #1 receiver and Marshall 2. regardless what we number them, we would have a tandem of WR which we haven't seen since the Duper Clayton Duo.

YES.. They both had Marino but this kid Blackmon just catches balls. great hands and body. In fact.. if i had to match Marshall and Blackmon up one on one I would without any hesitation bet on Blackmon. He IS that good and better.

let's bring back the Dynamic Duo with Marshall and Blackmon and watch the "W" numbers grow upwards.

I would agree with that but that means trading up to #3

Just so you all know.. i am NOT 100% convinced that Andrew Luck will be wearing a Colt uniform and here is why.

Andrew Luck is NOT a stupid kid. he comes from a solid family and is financially set as well as set on his major in the Engineering field.

Don't think for one moment that Luck isn't reading, seeing and hearing all the crap from the Drunk Colts owner irsay towards Patten manning.

Patten Manning IS THE COLTS, NOT Irsay. Manning has put Billions into Irsays account and for the past 11 years has provided the Colts two visits to the Superbowl and numerous playoffs. Patten IS the Franchise.

With that.. Luck just may say F this Owner. if he is going to treat the Manning issue like he has, tweeting crap against patten like he's a politician, etc, why would he want to be a Colt?

Perhaps he may tell the Colts that he wants to be traded as he doesn't want to be working for such an owner.

It's not about paying Manning $28M as patten has made more on the outside then his salary with the Colts. It's about the way Irsay is handling Manning.

Basically he is being treated like a practice squad player. We are talking about Patten manning.

He deserves the respect in his departure just like Marino, Elway, etc.

So don't count Luck in as a Colt just yet.

NY "G", Thats nonsense the Colts already announced they're drafting Luck.

Luck is going to Indy no doubt...

Well we all know it's all going to change back and forth during the Combine. right now Blackmon is listed as the #8 pick by NFL Scouts inc.


1. Andrew Luck* QB

2. Matt Kalil OT

3. Robert Griffin III* QB

4. Trent Richardson* RB

5. Quinton Coples DE

6. Morris Claiborne* CB

7. Riley Reiff* OT

8. Justin Blackmon* WR

9. Dre Kirkpatrick* CB

10. Luke Kuechly* ILB

There is always Alshon Jeffery in 2nd and Streeter in 3rd rd that would compliment Marshall well

Blackmon is going to Rams (2) or Browns (4) depending on which gets RGIII

TGH and beerphin,

The Colts can announce all they want to.. The Kid dosent have to play for the Colts or any other team correct???

Of course the Colts WILL draft Andrew Luck. Luck may elect to not wanting to play for the Colts.

He may opt to be traded... It's happened many times before.

There is always Alshon Jeffery in 2nd and Streeter in 3rd rd that would compliment Marshall well

Posted by: beerphin | January 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM


Are their moms hookas?

Luck will be in Indy for a long time.

Reggie Wayne prolly would love to come back to Miami

honestly it might be smart to trade down and land Tannehill to go with Sherman and get another 2nd rd pick

Listen.. Andrew Luck is going to be picked by the Colts. The same Colts which for all intent and purposes is into the rebuilding years. new OC, DC, GM, etc. It's not like Luck is coming to a proven team as THAT is all gone with the Coaching and GM and Manning.

Will Luck elect to want to be a Colt? I say that he may opt to play elsewhere or be a Colt.

Time will tell but If I'm Luck I would want to play for a team that isn't in turmoil. The drunk owner irsay is daily and sometimes twice a day tweeting and doing interviews to fix the Public relations mess that HE has made.

Just this morning he turns two faced that he and patten are ok but they are NOT.

Remember... Drunk Irsay said long time ago that even IF Patten is healthy he will draft Luck or RG3. Now he puts a spin on how he's looking out for pattens health which is all BS.

Patten will decide with HIS medical Dr on his future not Drunk Irsay.

Hence folks is exactly why I am not convinced that Andrew Luck would want to play for a drunken owner irsay.

The Kid has way to much respect for Patten Manning and has a strong Family and beliefs. Why would he want to walk into Irsays mess.

Time will tell.

It's been fun all. You have a fun day and catch up with you later this week.

NY "G"

Dolphins concerned about capacity at Sun Life Stadium

Bloggers concerned about Armando at Dolphins In Depth.

Christ! Make something up if have too.

Have to agree with your comments on Blackmon NY G. We have just about a zero (0) chance of getting RG3. And less than zero chance on Luck.

Blackmon might still be around. But do you really see Ireland picking him?

LOL Odin but it's that time of year where Mando 'disappears' for a while

NY "G".....

It's PEYTON.....PEYTON......you got that......PEYTON......

You would think that after 14 years and multiple QB records and a SB....you would know how to spell his name.....

Not to mention GOOGLE Ann various other print publications that spell his name daily.....

PEYTON....not patten....

PEYTON....P EY T O N........


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