Dolfans Not Buying Enough Tickets

Dolphins have lockout, economy and recent history to blame for weak sales

By David Hill
|  Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011  |  Updated 9:09 AM EDT
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The Miami Dolphins said Monday their final preseason game will not air live on local television, as not enough tickets to the contest at Sun Life Stadium were sold in time for the blackout deadline.

Instead of seeing the game live on Thursday night, South Florida TV viewers can watch the game on tape-delay late Thursday night at 11:30 on WFOR and Friday at 8 on Channel 33.

Dolfans do not see the need to shell out the cash to watch the roster battle for third-team tight end and emergency long-snapper play out live, which sounds sensible enough to us. The economy does not exactly support pricey trips to see fake football right now.

But the Dolphins are apparently having trouble selling out some of their regular season home games as well. The Miami Herald reported Monday that games against Houston, Buffalo and Denver are "so far from being sold out that the club is warning fans the only way to see them might be to buy tickets."

According to the Herald, over 13,000 tickets remain unsold for the September 18 Week 2 game against the Texans. That still would put more people in Sun Life Stadium than an entire three-game series for the Florida Marlins, but that is a lot of empty seats in the Dolphins' eyes.

Games against Dallas and Washington are also in danger of being blacked out, the Dolphins are saying. The only games not in danger are the opening and closing games against the Patriots and Jets and a December game against Philadelphia.

Before everyone panics about the prospect of a season of Dolphins blackouts, remember two things. 1. The Internet exists (we won't tell you how, but illegal broadcast feeds of just about every sport can be found if you search well enough). 2. The Dolphins might just be overstating their worries to sell tickets that were likely to be sold anyway, just sooner.

Beyond that, is it really that surprising that after the past few years of Dolphins football South Floridians may be less willing to buy tickets? Miami went 1-7 at home last year, the second time in 4 years that has happened (Miami won 1 home game in 2007 as well).

The months-long lockout this off-season (which team owner Stephen Ross defended) did not help ticket sales, either. With area unemployment at 11.3%, it is even easier to see why the Dolphins are seeing lower ticket sales.

The Dolphins are currently riding a streak of 101-straight home sellouts, but that could come to an end next month. But in many regards, the Dolphins have themselves to blame if that does happen.

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