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Dolphins struggling to keep season-ticket base at 30,000

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Mentioned within a compelling editorial from Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald regarding the struggles of the Dolphins is a compelling piece of news regarding the challenges the team is facing at the box office.

Per LeBatard, the team currently is “laboring” to keep the season-ticket base at 30,000.

In contrast, the team had roughly 60,000 season-ticket holders from 1995 through 2005.

It’s a stunning fall from grace for a franchise that is now struggling to be noticed among the other sports teams in its own town.  And it’s a downward spiral that could continue indefinitely, unless and until the Dolphins find a way to win on a consistent basis.

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56 Responses to “Dolphins struggling to keep season-ticket base at 30,000”
  1. fitzmagic1212 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:40 PM

    maybe they can get some more celebrity owners to drive up interest?? haha what a joke they have become

  2. drumnw says: Apr 22, 2012 4:40 PM

    hmmmm trade away/release the players that the fans want to see and dont draft ones that pan out…that is the formula for what is happening…get what the fans want, and there will be more of them in the stands

  3. david7590 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:47 PM

    Move to LA

  4. sportmentary says: Apr 22, 2012 4:47 PM

    Fans are ticked off at the clowns who run the team. It’s a clueless senior management team that has no place in this business. That’s including their inept owner.

    These idiots can stand their ground but where are the season ticket holders going? Not in their picket book, that ‘s for sure.

  5. zackattack006 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:56 PM

    Could a bad local economy be a reason for this? I mean it’s unployment rate is almost twice as the national avg.

  6. 4thquartermagic says: Apr 22, 2012 4:56 PM

    Your trying to tell me Miami has no real fanbase to go with a mediocre team?

    What was Matt Flynn thinking not taking his talents to south beach?

  7. 4thquartermagic says: Apr 22, 2012 4:57 PM

    Oh and no need to worry Dolphins. Once you draft Tannehill those seats will sell like hotcakes!

  8. toddpman7 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:06 PM

    As long as “dumb and dumber” are running the show its going to be more of the same unfortunately.

  9. jason49er says: Apr 22, 2012 5:23 PM

    This team should have traded for Tebow because even though they’d still suck just as bad they’d atleast sell some tickets and not face being blacked out on a weekly basis this season.

  10. zonedogz says: Apr 22, 2012 5:23 PM

    Welcome L.A. Dolphins!

  11. ampats says: Apr 22, 2012 5:25 PM

    I usually like to make quirky comments about other AFCE teams. I grew up in Miami Beach,FL and my family had season tickets to the Dolphins from 70-74.What was once a great franchise is become a complete laughingstock in what could be one of the most desireable places for a player to play given the right ownership and leadership.I understand the hurt and disdain by longtime Dolphin fans.

    I was shocked to see that the Dolphins have only sold 30K+ season tickets to date.

  12. section441 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:25 PM

    The Dolphins will NEVER move as they own their own stadium.

    As a 33 year season ticket holder, I can say the team has never worked harder to maintain and build up the base. Some tickets are incredibly cheap, they are offering perks on team events, and are holding raffles, giveaways, etc. The sure thing to fill up the stadium is a winning team. Every team with a losing team has empty seats.

  13. ezra954 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:29 PM

    I got away to keep fans in the seats don’t toss them for holding up a sign that just says 1-9 @ home makes me sick

    It’s just a thought from a fan that was tossed from a game because of said sign

  14. driverjim says: Apr 22, 2012 5:31 PM

    “It’s a stunning fall from grace for a franchise that is now struggling to be noticed among the other sports teams in its own town. And it’s a downward spiral that could continue indefinitely, unless and until the Dolphins find a way to win on a consistent basis.”

    Options:

    Fire Ireland for he appears to be a putz.

    Sell the team to somebody who cares about their bottom line.

    Move to a market where threats of baking in the sun/hurricanes aren’t much of an issue.

    Do nothing and become the ultimate laughing stock.

    There you go, take your pick.

  15. thewizardofbs says: Apr 22, 2012 5:31 PM

    The owner just bought 30,000 cardboard cutouts of fans to put in the empty seats so the stands don’t look empty on TV. Poor Miami fans are facing 8 blackouts this year, no home games on TV.

  16. lenke08 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:34 PM

    glad im a browns fan no matter what the fans fill the stadium. well maybe not in december but god willing that will change.

  17. Mr. Hand says: Apr 22, 2012 5:36 PM

    Yeah, but it’s the Jags who need to move to LA, right sheep?

  18. j0esixpack says: Apr 22, 2012 5:41 PM

    The organization’s main hope is finding a QB to replace Dan Marino.

    After this long they might as well skip the pretense and use every single draft pick on QBs in the hopes they get lucky a la Tom Brady.

    Every other position might as well be plugged with journeymen until they find a proper QB.

  19. blackdonnelly says: Apr 22, 2012 5:42 PM

    Put a winner on the field, and they will come.

    That’s all.

  20. totallydisgusted says: Apr 22, 2012 5:48 PM

    you can not be lousy and uninteresting in a city that has so much to do. its too easy for fans to find something else to watch.

  21. 305phinphan says: Apr 22, 2012 5:49 PM

    Wins = ticket sales

    The Dolphin fanbase has been loyal to this team for the past decade with no signs of improvement. You can only beat a dead horse for too long. Until this team does SOMETHING to produce wins on the field we will hit Mr. Ross where it hurts the most….his bank account!

  22. driverjim says: Apr 22, 2012 5:56 PM

    And this guy calling himself a six pack appears to be one to those sun-baked people.

    Dan Marino, great as he was, never won a Super Bowl ’cause he had no team around him. You can have Rogers, Brees, Brady, Manning, Rivers and the like on your roster all you want . . .

    You’re only going to get somewhere with a TEAM. Now, before you inflate like a blowfish understand this: the quarterbacks mentioned would be worthless without an O-Line that can protect them; a receiving corps to catch the rock; running backs to offset the passing game to confuse a Defense; and a Defense that can at least not act like parade ballons or swiss cheese (read as: pushed around or leaving holes all over the place).

    The Fish need a little of everything. Don’t be afraid to say it. Kinda like Denver needs a little of everything ’cause there’s no chance Manning will stick around another decade plus (knock on wood just to survive the season!).

  23. lv00799 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:57 PM

    Small fan base should =name change to Miami Minnows.

  24. laxcoach37 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:57 PM

    Yeah! more Negative Press for the Dolphins. Before you Fans from other Teams, pour it on… remember this is not a bad football team and can beat anyone; but rather a bad organization. We are also still the Winniest NFL team to date. I bet we have more Fans around the country than some Teams have in total. I would go to some games if I lived in South Florida, but even die-hard for almost 40 years, I still would not buy Season Tickets. My TV, Food, Drink, Friends etc. are way too good to pass up at Home.

    BottomLine: like any other business, put out a decent product and the Fans will buy. Why not open NFL Ticket up to ALL Fans? Not just DirectTV, my Time -Warner Cable does not even have NFL Network? If you limit the options; you limit the appeal and the money. The NFL and all it’s “Buddies” love monopolies. The TV revenue is way more than the Stadium filled is worth. Blackouts are coming and will only make this worse.

  25. FinFan68 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:11 PM

    The local fans in Miami are slowly but surely becoming the east coast version of LA fans. Many won’t support a team that struggles even if there are signs that the team is moving in the right direction. Blast Ireland/Ross all you want. Yes, there have been some SNAFUs and some awkward situations but Ross is willing to spend money and Ireland is a decent talent evaluator. Ross just needs to stop trying gimmicks that cater to the dumbest fans and starstruck celebrity wannabes. Concentrate on building a good football team and the fans will come back. All they have right now are a few die-hard fans and a bunch of people that are only concerned with being “seen” within certain social circles… just like the Laker crowds of the 80′s/90′s.

    A franchise QB would cure Miami’s woes and those guys are not easy to find. The team has talent but they lack true leaders that can inspire/motivate. As bad as they have played lately, they have always been competitive. Strong leadership/coaching wins many of those close losses. Maybe Philbin can fix that.

  26. phinfan says: Apr 22, 2012 6:14 PM

    Fire Ireland

    Drive Ross out

  27. dolphan22 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:32 PM

    Where is the negative press for teams that’s actually picking in the top 5?? Yet I see a dolphins “negative” post everyday almost…maybe I’m crazy,but I realistically think the media does not like the dolphins at all..especially this site.

  28. dolphan22 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:36 PM

    Throw a “what are rams gonna do about a defensive coordinator” or “why tebow chose jets over hometown team”,what about “who are the jets receiving options besides holmes” I’m just saying…there are 1000s of negative things you can say about other teams,but we are the only constant…I don’t get it.

  29. bostonhasrealhockey says: Apr 22, 2012 6:37 PM

    You were complete at dolphins struggling

  30. sod61 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:40 PM

    I am a 51 year old lifelong dolphin fan. i am ashamed to say we have the worst fans in the nfl. Miami should be thankful they have a team and continue to support it or risk losing it. last season was the best. after we lose to pats first game, 5o,000 “fill” the stands for the next game against houston. I can understand a crowd like that at the end of the season but not the 2nd game. not surprising though after years of watching any late season opponents fans being louder than ours or watching half the stadium leave midway thru the 3rd quarter if we are behind.

  31. upby3 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:42 PM

    I am a Raiders fan so I totally understand the discontent of the Dolphins fan base.
    Unfortunatley if you are a true fan, you live through the good times and bad. Like it or not.

  32. kobra71 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:57 PM

    I am a die heart Dolphin fan! But I am not a season ticket holder nor go to games because I just cant stand the heat sitting out there for 3 1/2 hours plus I don’t walk so good. But I do support my team in every way other then going to games. But I have to say this team is a joke!!! We need to get rid of the owner and General Manager. Neither one has no clue what they are doing at all. I reserve judgement “right now” on are coaching staff till I see how he coaches this team. But I do wish are owner would fire the GM and sell the team to someone who actually knows the game!

  33. fredmartin121 says: Apr 22, 2012 7:03 PM

    Phins have been relevant for seemingly a few minutes — Parcells’s first couple years before he bailed when the circus came to town — in the last decade.

  34. MichaelEdits says: Apr 22, 2012 7:04 PM

    Maybe they can use a second-rounder to draft some new season ticket holders.

  35. vetdana says: Apr 22, 2012 7:13 PM

    Poor Miami fans are facing 8 blackouts this year, no home games on TV.

    and the NFL is idiotic to think that blackouts are going to drive fans …back into the stadium !!

    Blackouts will only drive away..fan interest in the team !

  36. rajbais says: Apr 22, 2012 7:15 PM

    Serves them right!!!!

    All they needed to do was fire Sparano AND Ireland after 2010 and not keep Carl Peterson and do the Harbaugh interview with NO vacancy!!!!

    Stephen Ross (graduate of the most overrated school ever, University of Michigan) is the NFL’s worst owner!!!

    It also serves him right to see J-LO divorce minority stake owner Marc Anthony because she can get away from him and the soon-to-be dreadful Fins!!!!

  37. phinfan says: Apr 22, 2012 7:25 PM

    Did PFT turn into Professional Fins Trashing? Seems everyday we find a new way to put a negative spin on Miami..wtf pft

  38. promickey says: Apr 22, 2012 7:46 PM

    Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland are certainly not to blame. Consider that a very elite billionaire Wayne Huizenga owned the Dolphins and gave
    complete control to those esteemed coaches and VP of Operations that he hired. Actually three
    coaches; Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban and Bill Parcells who was in charge of getting some
    talent. A former scout told me when Parcells was hired; How out of touch he was with today’s NFL
    offenses, that he recruits big slow players and that he leaves an organization early. Well it all has
    happened and now others take the blame. Moreover Jimmy Johnson and Nick Saban also left. All took the money and ran to leave the Miami Dolphins’ organization in chaos and without a definitive type of direction. Wayne Huizenga wanted to dress up the organization so he hired a guy like Bill Parcells who is known by NFL insiders and scouts as a very poor personnel guy. Parcells does not identify talent nor can he recruit skill position players. Do you need more proof than the drafting of Pat White and Chad Henne? So now the Dolphins must recover from the hiring of two big name coaches and another big name former coach who was hired by a desperate to sell owner. The Dolphins have fallen to the low they are today due to an owner who left the job to the very elite coaches who simply took the money and ran without finishing the job. I see things turning around with Joe Philbin as coach and mentor to Ross on how a team or organization should be built. He’s a different personality type from the money grabbing high esteemed coaches of the past. He will use the successful model from the Green Bay Packers and build his own reputation.

  39. wannstache says: Apr 22, 2012 7:52 PM

    To FinFan68:

    Give us an example of Ross actually spending big on either players or coaches. And not him SAYING he’s willing to spend big, but him actually spending big. Stories leaked to the media by the organization about his willingness to spend don’t count.

  40. mcjon22 says: Apr 22, 2012 8:15 PM

    Unfortunently, the damage is done. The new ownership chased away the die hard fans with all the glitz and celebrities, orange carpet and night clubs. They made the game a side show in a circus and alienated the majority of the fan base. To just say its because they haven’t won is short sighted. Those Wannstedt years were terrible and they did go 1-15 remember, and still had at least 65 k in the stands. The problem is Stephen Ross and the fact fans dispize him. Unless they win BIG, nothing will change.

  41. alonestartexan says: Apr 22, 2012 8:20 PM

    dolphan22 says:
    Apr 22, 2012 6:32 PM
    Where is the negative press for teams that’s actually picking in the top 5??

    —-

    Well…

    The Colts have won about 8/10 of their division championships the past ten years..

    The Redskins are pretty inept, I’ll give you that.

    The Vikings were in the NFC Championship Game a couple seasons ago..

    The Browns, I’ll also give you, they’re inept but atleast their fanbase buys tickets.

    The Bucs, well.. they went from Super Bowl Champions to inept to Youngry to inept again, but they’ve won a Super Bowl in the last 30 years.

  42. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Apr 22, 2012 8:32 PM

    Everyone wants everyone else to buy tickets so they can watch the game on TV, with AC, in Hi Def. But the thing is, all those other people want the same thing.

    Why pay $200 for corner end zone seats and parking when $150 will get you Red Zone Channel? And if that means you don’t see the Matt Moore/David Garrard led Dolphins? Oh well.

    Of course, I’m still an idiot because I have season tickets. Forever. And it hasn’t been easy. I’d love to bail, bit I go with my son and it’s a bonding experience. If not for him, I’d have given up a ling time ago. Probably 2004.

  43. ghjjf says: Apr 22, 2012 9:02 PM

    Miami is the ultimate bandwagon town. Wins is the only thing that will fill up the seats, and that’s assuming those “fans” have nothing better to do.

  44. 305fan says: Apr 22, 2012 9:05 PM

    To all posters suggesting the team be moved, go f*#k yourself. Lots of teams have slumps yet they stay put, only to improve in time and become winners like the Pats, Jets, and lions. The problem here is our idiot owner and moron GM. Change that and things will improve.

  45. doob187 says: Apr 22, 2012 9:09 PM

    I am a Dolphins fan in California, and I have been one for decades through the good times and the bad… but how long do we haft put up with the bad times. Ross needs to retrieve the 1%’s of the team from the minority owners… ditch the orange carpet, fire Jeff Ireland, get a football minded GM, get a QB for ****s sake, and restore this once proud franchise to what it once was. It’s time to climb out of the clown car Ross… If you build it they will come

  46. getsome99 says: Apr 22, 2012 9:51 PM

    This is typical of the Miami fans. The Cowboys have been mediocre for 16 years, but have a much better fan base who supports them through thick and thin. Even with an owner like Jerry Jones who makes horrible personnel decisions. When Miami starts winning, they will pick up a new generation of fans and hopefully the fans who are giving up their season tickets don’t come back. They can go reminisce about the glory years of Dan Marino and the ZERO Lombardi trophy’s that he brought to South Beach.

  47. db105 says: Apr 22, 2012 10:56 PM

    Might help if the Phins ticket office would do a credible job in relocating season ticket holders to better locations. Most season ticket holders that I know are always told that better seat loocations are not available.

  48. db105 says: Apr 22, 2012 11:16 PM

    Are there any season ticket holders that have had any luck with seat relocations in recent years?

  49. FinFan68 says: Apr 22, 2012 11:27 PM

    wannstache says:
    Apr 22, 2012 7:52 PM
    To FinFan68:

    Give us an example of Ross actually spending big on either players or coaches. And not him SAYING he’s willing to spend big, but him actually spending big. Stories leaked to the media by the organization about his willingness to spend don’t count.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    OK, how about two? Dansby, Marshall…I’m sure there are probably more examples but these guys were/are paid towards the high end for their respective positions and a legitimate argument can be made that they were paid too much when they were acquired. As for the coaches, it was widely reported and confirmed by Harbaugh that Ross made a huge contract offer. Stop buying in to the negative media hype and think about things for yourself rather than relying on the consensus opinion that is often wrong.

  50. brianbosworthisstonecold says: Apr 22, 2012 11:28 PM

    Miami needs movie magic to fill the stands. ILM could do it.

  51. foreigncarnut says: Apr 23, 2012 12:21 AM

    SOme of the NFL rules are self-defeating. Not letting the games be broadcast locally if the seats are not filled just propagates less interest. If fans can’t watch them on TV, they’ll do something else on Sundays. Then the more Sundays they do something else, the less football is on their mind and the less inclined they are to watch when they are on TV.

    Trying to punish fans for lack of interest does not work. To create interest, supply an interesting product.

    So far ownership seems clueless to this.

  52. dirtierwater says: Apr 23, 2012 1:04 AM

    Bah, I don’t see that this franchise is doing wrong. They’re building through the draft, ie, not blowing their cap on driftwood. Sticking to defensive principles, and are more often then not, pain-in-the-butts to beat. An impact player on offense would equate to immediate wins (and seats), imo.

  53. swagger52 says: Apr 23, 2012 1:05 AM

    Rex Ryan was almost right…Can somebody in the weak AFC East beat New England besides them…oh wait..not even them.

  54. goblock0 says: Apr 23, 2012 1:29 AM

    If you had a grand or two, who would you want to watch…the Fins or the Miami Heat.

    It’s not even close.

  55. mmcdan133 says: Apr 23, 2012 5:58 AM

    Priorities are different there. Martinis are 30 dollars, sunglasses are 400, mani/pedi 120, acting lessons 150/wk. How are they supposed to afford dolphins tickets?

  56. thehawg says: Apr 23, 2012 8:20 AM

    The seats are to far from the field.

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