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Tarps could be coming to Miami

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One way to avoid the problem of not being able to put butts in seats is to cover the seats with fabric.

And that’s one of the possible strategies for Sun Life Stadium, where the powers-that-be have realized the place is too big.

Specifically, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald explains that the team has the largest upper deck in the NFL, with 35,000 seats.  The Dolphins want to reduce that amount.  The number could be lowered by removing seats, as the Redskins have done.  Or tarps could be applied, which then would be removed for, say, a future Super Bowl.

Likewise, the team believes that the stadium doesn’t have enough seats in the lower bowl.  “We have the furthest distance from the sidelines with our lower bowl in the NFL,” team president Mike 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.”

And so a renovation could be coming.  Once they figure out who would pay for it.

The bigger challenge is to get people to pay for seats, and the cheapest fix for that problem would be to cover up the ones that chronically don’t sell.

Then again, based on recent trends in Miami, they may need to cover up half the seats.

UPDATE 10:18 p.m. ET:  In my haste to get a few items posted during the gap between the completion of my annual physical on Monday morning and the two-hour drive home, I didn’t realize that Armando’s story was originally posted in January.  Since then, Dee has said that tarps won’t be used.  We (or more accurately “I” since I screwed this one up) apologize for the error.

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40 Responses to “Tarps could be coming to Miami”
  1. dawkinseffect says: Jun 18, 2012 12:23 PM

    might as well cover up the whole stadium and pray it collapses on itself

  2. calebrobertson17 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:26 PM

    Florida teams can’t fill their stadiums. Jacksonville, now Miami. How long before Tampa Bay?

  3. joetoronto says: Jun 18, 2012 12:31 PM

    It’s a damn shame what’s happened to the Dolphins.

    It’s been all downhill since Ross bought the team.

  4. playin2x says: Jun 18, 2012 12:34 PM

    Billion dollar teams asking for stadium money for the prices of tickets in today’s time they can afford to pay for it themselves 100 % in full

  5. dexterismyhero says: Jun 18, 2012 12:35 PM

    have Ozzie Guillen buy a bunch for Castros’ friends!!!!!

  6. tjigger says: Jun 18, 2012 12:35 PM

    Tampa Bay can only sellout if the other teams fans buy all the tickets. And that only happened 2-3 times in the last few years.

  7. kiltherl says: Jun 18, 2012 12:36 PM

    Does this mean they are going to LA?

  8. mtheparrothead says: Jun 18, 2012 12:37 PM

    Can we expect a weekly slam on their fans then? Something wrong when a metropolis that size is outsold by my jags

  9. ezra954 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:37 PM

    Try not kicking fans out for signs that says ” 1-9 @ Home makes me sick ” I know they do it because I am that fan and I want people to know what they did to me

  10. rcali says: Jun 18, 2012 12:38 PM

    Sounds like the owners of the ‘Fins are about to ask for a new public financed stadium or threaten to move the team to Los Angeles. That’s pretty much how it works in pro sports these days folks.

  11. captainwisdom8888 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:42 PM

    Playing professional football in Miami, Florida sounds like a dream-job to me. It just goes to show the disarray that organization has been in for years on end…nobody wants to rot on a pathetic, losing team.

    This team is in desperate need of a savior at the QB position, and though it is too early to say for sure…I don’t believe Tannehill is going to take this organization to the promised land.

  12. joetoronto says: Jun 18, 2012 12:42 PM

    mtheparrothead says:
    Jun 18, 2012 12:37 PM
    Can we expect a weekly slam on their fans then? Something wrong when a metropolis that size is outsold by my jags
    ***************************************************
    No, that’s reserved for the Jags.

    You guys will wear that till the cows come home.

  13. tomtravis76 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    Why dont you get a capable ticket sales staff instead of reps who sit and answer phones all day? If you cant sell the NFL, you cant sell anything, get another job.

  14. schmitty2 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    Wow, that woman looks to pretty to be sitting by herself

  15. upthegut34 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    Tampa Bay has had mostly blackouts the past two years. And their stadium seats about 9K less than Miami’s. Economy is down there. And ownership stunk.

  16. upthegut34 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:48 PM

    Interesting that Miami Herald blog entry is from January. Dolphins have said they won’t use tarps. We’ll see.

  17. kidpresentable says: Jun 18, 2012 12:49 PM

    “Can we expect a weekly slam on their fans then? Something wrong when a metropolis that size is outsold by my jags”

    They don’t get slammed nearly enough. You know how you can tell if a city’s fan base is filled with front-runners? When the PA announcer has to lead the chants. For example the “Let’s Go Heat” chants the guy had to start last night. If not for Wade’s recruiting of James and Bosh, are fans filling that arena?

    How about when the baseball team drew 5,000 per game, but when the Marlins made the World Series, suddenly everybody is a baseball fan?

    It’s a terrible sports town.

  18. emma333 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:11 PM

    Miami has the same size stadium as Everbank in Jacksonville. The difference is the market is much larger, plays in a more popular division and has been established decades longer. Tampa, who continues to have blackouts is has a stadium that is the same size as Everbank with the tarps.. and yet the Jaguars receive the most criticism and remain on the medias short list to move to LA.

  19. robert831 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:22 PM

    “And so a renovation could be coming. Once they figure out who would pay for it.”

    What a stupid comment… Sun Life Stadium is owned by Stephen M. Ross (95%) and H. Wayne Huizenga (5%). Why in the heck would you ask the question who would pay for it? It is one of the few privately owned stadiums.

  20. miamatt says: Jun 18, 2012 1:25 PM

    When Miami fielded a competitive team every year, they sold out every game in advance. A decade of mismanagement and, most importantly, decline in the on-field product is the reason there are too many seats in Joe Robbie Stadium.

    The Phins are correct to want to move more seats to the lower bowl and bring those seats closer to the field. This stadium was built to accommodate both football and baseball (Miami never gets the Marlins without it), and without a dime of public money. Unfortunately, debt from building this structure is ultimately what forced the Dolphins’ founding family, the Robbies, to sell the team.

    There isn’t a fan base in the world that will keep showing up after a full decade of decline. Win some games, challenge the Patriots, and the house will be full every game, with or without stadium improvements.

  21. NoHomeTeam says: Jun 18, 2012 1:28 PM

    kiltherl says: Does this mean they are going to LA?

    Gonna have to lose the orange and aquamarine color scheme. Also, the helmet-wearing dolphin on the helmet. And the ring of fire he’s jumping through.

    Maybe go with a gray and white theme — actual dolphin colors. Could be kind of bland, so we’ll throw in some “ocean” blue for accent.

  22. exibitsman says: Jun 18, 2012 1:40 PM

    They will never sellout any games in that area there fan base is a
    Hundred miles

    North of the stadium location the owners need to build a new stadium in north. West palm. Were there fan base is.

  23. chazzmon says: Jun 18, 2012 1:44 PM

    Dolphins are hurt for even more reasons. This is an event town, and major front runners. Put out a good product and you have chance of getting fans, if not the loyality doesn’t go that far.
    1pm games in September & October although a real home field advantage are brutal for fans to sit through.
    No QB and not much of an offense since Marino retired also hurts. Winning games with defense & special teams is boring.
    The stadium is also in a lousy neighborhood.
    If they win though it’s still their town.

  24. smoothaswilkes says: Jun 18, 2012 1:45 PM

    Why tarp the seats? Lower prices, donate, create a fan club and build seat packages around membership, market to cold weather cities that travel to Miami for games… I could do this all day. Why can’t the Dolphins organization?

    Oh yeah, because the “So let’s just tarp the seats for a season then ask the city for money to renovate the lower bowl and make more money off the taxpayer’s back” is a much better solution. And Florio is right, it is the cheapest way to handle the situation.

  25. mykl954 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:47 PM

    How is resurrecting a 6mos old speculative article newsworthy or good for anything other than percolating a failed ex-ambulance chaser’s hatred for the Fins over the perceived way they mistreated his homey wee Patty White?

  26. jakek2 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    Time to just cut Florida off from Georgia and let it float away out into the Atlantic with its horrid franchises, octogenarians, gun-toting neighborhood watchmen, juries who can’t convict baby-killers, an overpriced amusement sewer (er theme park), and driveable home depot.

  27. bchapman2011 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:57 PM

    So who is your source on the tarps? Mike Dee who is in charge of the situation said last week that there is absolutely a zero percent chance of the stadium being tarped. He did say that Miami would be creative in eliminating seats next season but he dismissed the tarping or covering of any seats. It must be so slow in June that you resort to making up stories and sources.

  28. omegalh says: Jun 18, 2012 1:59 PM

    hmmm…going to the beach for free and seeing a bunch of hotties in bikinis OR going to a horrid football team for $500 bucks a person. Tough choices in Florida.

  29. opinion157983 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:21 PM

    “And the ring of fire he’s jumping through.”

    That’s the sun in the background. He’s not jumping through anything.

  30. jakek2 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:36 PM

    omegalh says:
    Jun 18, 2012 1:59 PM
    hmmm…going to the beach for free and seeing a bunch of hotties in bikinis OR going to a horrid football team for $500 bucks a person. Tough choices in Florida.
    ———-
    After you leave, both leave you feeling depressed.

  31. jpaq68 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:54 PM

    “miamatt says:
    Jun 18, 2012 1:25 PM

    The Phins are correct to want to move more seats to the lower bowl and bring those seats closer to the field. This stadium was built to accommodate both football and baseball (Miami never gets the Marlins without it), and without a dime of public money. Unfortunately, debt from building this structure is ultimately what forced the Dolphins’ founding family, the Robbies, to sell the team.”

    Actually, Old Man Robbie built the stadium specifically NOT to have baseball played there. It was only after he died and his children could not afford the inheritance taxes that they were forced to sell 15% of the team and 50% of the stadium to H. Wayne Huizenga, with the intention to pursue a Major League baseball expansion franchise.

  32. rajbais says: Jun 18, 2012 3:03 PM

    How unfitting is this: stadium tarps with a glitz and glam owner!!!!

    I hope no one uses the Mike Dempsey (1010 XL AM radio in Jacksonville) excuse “the stadium is too big for the market!!!”

    Worst excuse for stadium emptying ever!!!

    At least Fins fans confess to embarrassment!!!

  33. opinion157983 says: Jun 18, 2012 3:33 PM

    “Actually, Old Man Robbie built the stadium specifically NOT to have baseball played there. It was only after he died and his children could not afford the inheritance taxes that they were forced to sell 15% of the team and 50% of the stadium to H. Wayne Huizenga, with the intention to pursue a Major League baseball expansion franchise.”

    That’s not true. Miamatt was right. Looke up sun life stadium on wikipedia and look at “conception and construction”. “At his request, the stadium was built so only minimal renovations would be necessary to ready it for a baseball team.” I’m sure there are other sources out there as well.

  34. twyger says: Jun 18, 2012 3:40 PM

    bchapman2011 says: “It must be so slow in June that you resort to making up stories and sources.”

    HAH!

    If that’s the excuse… it must be slow all year. lol

  35. johnnyquick says: Jun 18, 2012 4:05 PM

    “Then again, based on recent trends in Miami, they may need to cover up half the seats…” or fill the seats with more dummies!

  36. jboyxl73 says: Jun 18, 2012 5:47 PM

    It’s not because Miami’s fan base is 100 miles its because they haven’t been great since Marino .New England’s fan base covers six states sells out every game …If u win they will come ….

  37. i10east says: Jun 18, 2012 7:45 PM

    Rams to LA, Dolphins to STL.

  38. DonRSD says: Jun 18, 2012 9:28 PM

    Ross shouldve sold the Marlins some land in the parking lot for their stadium.

    you ever been, to Joe Robbie? there is no place to add seats closer to the field unless they lower the field by 10 feet.

    as a Giants fan, im still pissed they moved Giants @ Dolphins to London in 2007.

    its too hot down here to go to a game.
    even in december, its too hot.
    id rather go to the bar or stay home and watch my giants in sunday tocket or any other team, than watch the dolphins.

    doesnt make matters better when the dolphins have taken over the browns as the worst franchise in professional sports.
    the fans……dont know about anything besides miami sports and what homer joe rose spews on am radio.

    long live sid rosenberg……greatness is coming back to 640am in august and i can go back to listening to am radio down here :)

  39. mtheparrothead says: Jun 18, 2012 9:45 PM

    @joetoronto,

    Whether it makes sense or not right? Just because you scream the loudest and longest doesn’t mean you win or that the point is valid

  40. finfanjim says: Jun 19, 2012 11:32 AM

    Those who deride Miami as a bad fanbase is clueless.

    As a Dolphins fan from Boston, I’ve seen plenty of empty seats in Foxborough, Orchard Park and the Meadowlands when the teams were bad. Less than 20,000 for Pats games in the early 90s.

    I’d been going to Miami for games since ’97, a season ticket holder since ’99. With Marino, they sold out. With playoff teams in the early 2000s, they sold out.

    With the economy, and the different regimes since JJ use stopgaps and journeymen for QBs, the fanbase has dwindled. I’m not flying down for a team that starts 0-7.

    If Tannehill shows he’s a franchise QB and this team starts winning, it will sell out again. Pretty simple.

    Oh, and for all the goobers who say Miami is weak because opposing teams travel well, who the hell wants to go to Buffalo or Foxborough or even NJ in the winter? Miami games are an excuse for sports fans to take their families on vacation. I also see Dolphins fans travel well and get at least 5-10,000 in those stadiums, even if it’s nasty out…

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