The Miami Dolphins want you to know that they are working towards changes to the stadium they have called home for 25 years. They want you to know that without those changes, they will have a hard time landing future Super Bowls. Mike Dee is out front on this project and so far, the only thing they are doing is talking. And talking. And talking.
The Dolphins have been working on these “additions” for a few years now but visit the stadium and you will see that nothing is really new or changed. The overhead “awning” has not been added or even contracted for. The additional seating that would bring fans closer to the field hasn’t been contracted. The Dolphins, according to CEO Mike Dee is trying to get the public to help fund the projects but the local Miami area counties aren’t buying it.
Even with the threat of losing 300 million plus in Super Bowl revenue.
The NFL has new stadiums popping up around the league with covered roofs and no threats of rain. They even awarded the big game to the new stadium in New Jersey where the Giants and Jets play. Miami may be one of two cities being considered to host the 50th Super Bowl but without making some real changes things are not going to get done and if the team loses the 50th to San Francisco as some believe will happen, getting any funding for the stadium will be impossible.
The Palm Beach Post hosted an article today about this very issue. The stadium is in good shape for a facility that is 25 years old. The fact that the stadium benefits from the weather and stifles normal wear, the stadium isn’t a draw for many reasons. The PBP points out that the Dolphins will be increasing their Wi-Fi capacity for fans but that is more or less a so-what kind of enhancement.
Yeah, I get to text my friends and set my fantasy line-ups. Where are the needed changes?
The proposed cover is a great idea. It shades only the fans and blocks some of the rain but leaves the field untouched. More importantly it will deflect noise back towards the field increasing what is the weakest NFL home field advantage. The Dolphins have the most upper level seating in the NFL. Over 30,000 seats. And rarely are they filled…o.k. never are they filled over the last ten years.
Another goal of the team is to move the stands closer to the field. Due to the Marlins stay in the stadium, the Dolphins have the furthest seating from the field. It’s a factor in noise production that leads to disruption. Of all the changes proposed, those two give the Dolphins an advantage on the field. Yet, again, neither have been contracted out.
The Dolphins need to increase the product on the field without question. Winning will bring fans back into the stadium, but they need to start realizing that fans have also gotten lazy over the last two decades since the Dolphins were able to routinely fill the stadium to capacity.
Wide-screen HD televisions have made the game experience something that can be left to the die-hard’s. Comfort of home with AC and endless beer is more a draw than long lines, 7 dollar 12-oz cans, over-priced hamburgers, $20.00 parking, blistering sun, and the gasoline to get there. The economy has done no favors for the fans who have been steadily declining around the league.
The Dolphins hoped that increasing the fan experience outside the stadium prior to kick-off would bring fans back but instead they got laughed at for the “orange carpet” celebrity arrival rug and the constant celebrity this and that turned many fans off in the face of the team losing.
All of these problems are solved of course by the team actually winning on the field. Sort of. A winning team will not bring the Super Bowl back to Miami and no city can afford not to have the 300 plus million in revenue generated by the week long event. In order to achieve that, renovations need to be made to the stadium and the sooner the better.
The proposed renovations will help lure the NFL back to Miami, help lure fans back to the stadium, and help the team win by increasing the fan noise to disrupt the opposition. Winning won’t bring back the NFL and the changes won’t bring back the fans without the winning. They pretty much go hand in hand.
While Stephen Ross, Jeff Ireland, and Joe Philbin are trying to build a winner on the field, Ross and Dee need to work on the off-field stadium issues. Get that done helps the city of Miami and the Miami Dolphins football team. For now, seems more like it’s just talk awaiting for someone else to step in and take over.
Personally, I would love to attend a game with new additions. Removal of upper corner seats and seats far more closer to the field on the field. The upper cover would make it far easier for me to bring my son who isn’t used to the blazing sun while still being able to enjoy an outdoor feel. There are things on the field that the Dolphins can’t control, there are things with the stadium that they can.