The Dolphins have yet to decide whether and to what extent they’ll take advantage of the relaxed blackout rule, which allows games to be televised with as few as 85 percent of the non-premium tickets sold.
Regardless of the final decision, team president Mike Dee tells Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post that the Dolphins will try their best to ensure that no game will be blacked out.
“Our goal is always to do everything we can to keep the games on local television,” Dee said. “And market and sell and do everything we can to sell as many tickets as possible, and hopefully get to that point in time when we can sell out the games organically.”
On multiple occasions in 2011, the Dolphins paid 34 cents on the dollar to purchase the unsold non-premium seats, which ensured that the home games would be televised locally. This year, they can reduce the requirement to as low as 85 percent of the non-premium seats. If, however, the stadium sells out “organically,” the Dolphins automatically will be required to surrender 50 cents on the dollar for every ticket sold above the adjusted threshold to the league office, up from the usual 34 cents.
The challenge for the bean counters in Broward County will be to decide whether it makes more sense to spend 34 cents on the dollar to buy the remaining tickets if the chosen limit is too high, or whether to pocket only 50 cents on the dollar for any tickets sold over the minimum if the chosen limit is too low.
Either way, a choice has to be made, soon. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says the deadline is July 15. The Dolphins believe there are two deadlines, with the final deadline coming on August 9. Which would make the July 15 deadline, you know, not a deadline.
We’ve sought clarification from the league office, and we’ll update soon. Obviously, if the deadline is July 15, all teams that may be struggling to sell tickets will have to spend one of the last sssslow weekends of the offseason fretting over the question of how low can we go?