As a teenager growing up in Miami, I used to love to go to Dolphins games in the Orange Bowl. Things were a little different back then. I could have a great time for less than 20 bucks. They had the 10 dollar cheap seats and bus fare was about a buck fifty, so that left me a little over 8 bucks. Back then that would get you about 2 sodas and 2 hot dogs.
Things have changed a little since back then. To start with, that 20 bucks today won’t even get you a parking spot in the cash lot across the street from the stadium! I did a little research just for the heck of it. I picked the Redskins game. This is based on a minimum of 2 tickets because let’s face it, not many people are going to go to the game alone. For 2 tickets and parking, $132. That gets you in the gate. Want to get you and your kid a hot dog and a coke? There’s another 20. And you had to drive to the game, so unless you live in extreme north Dade or south Broward County, you’ve used at least 10 bucks worth of gas or more.
So there you have it. It’s going to cost an average minimum of $162 for 2 people to go to a game. Now if you want to bypass your refreshments and rough it in the heat without them, you can get by for $142. Want to save $25 more? I guess you can have someone drop you off and pick you up. There is a Wal-Mart with a big parking lot a few miles down the road. I suppose you can park there and walk. Hopefully not at night though. The stadium isn’t in the greatest neighborhood. So you can eliminate parking and get by on a bare bones minimum $107 for 2 tickets in the nose bleed section where you’ll probably not be able to see half the game! All this to see a team that has been mediocre at best for the past decade!
What is the point of this article? Well, some in the media, some up north and some who I have no idea are labeling South Florida fans as fair weather or bandwagon fans. Dolphin fans and media in other parts of the country are saying WE need to support this team. South Florida is being called the worst sports area in the country. They say the economy shouldn’t matter, it’s bad everywhere and others support their team. I say to them, OK, if it’s not that bad, why don’t you buy tickets and hop on a plane and fly down here and show your support. If it’s embarrassing to you, why don’t you do your part?
I hear things like, well the Heat sold tickets. Guess what? The Heat did what it took to put an exciting championship caliber team on the court! They kept Dwayne Wade, brought in Le Bron James and Chris Bosh and went to the NBA finals. Since the Dolphins last made it to the Super Bowl in 1985, the Marlins have won 2 world series, the Heat have been to 2 NBA finals, winning one and even the Florida Panthers have been to the Stanley Cup finals! Not to mention that the University of Miami Hurricanes have won 4 national championships in that time frame.
The Dolphins have been mediocre at best for pretty much the last decade. In today’s economy, mediocre is a tough sell. I personally know people that had to give up season tickets because of reductions and cuts at work. Does that make them any less of a fan? Those of us that are suffering the hardest should support those that are thriving the most? Because we can’t we are an embarrassment?
So season ticket sales are in the range of 40,000 and that is a 28 year low for the Dolphins. Maybe it’s a combination of the economy being at all time lows and getting worse and the Dolphins mediocrity of late? I couldn’t tell you. I can tell you that even though many of us have taken pay cuts or lost jobs altogether doesn’t mean we are any less of a Dolphin fan. If we are embarrassing anyone, I’m sure we are all sorry.