The Miami Dolphins will host the AFC division rival New York Jets this Sunday, in a game that is typically on of the easiest to see out. The Jets are the number one rivalry in South Florida, plus Miami is full of transplanted New Yorkers, meaning Sun Life Stadium is usually overrun with Jets fans. However, this year, the Dolphins have not been able to reach the NFL's threshold to declare the game a "sellout."
The Dolphins could be facing their first local television blackout for the first time since 1998.
This season, the NFL has allowed teams to lower the "sellout" mark to 85% of the capacity of the stadium, not including suites and club level seating. The Dolphins are reportedly short of that mark this week, despite playing the Jets and coming off a 35-13 dismantling of the Oakland Raiders in Miami last week.
Normally, the team must have reached the sellout mark no later than 72 hours prior to the game. The Dolphins requested, and received, an extension until Friday to try to sell the necessary tickets. The number still remaining has not been released, but typically the NFL will only grant an extension if the team is close to reaching the mark.
"We are hopeful of having the game sold out, but we will see what the ticket sales update is tomorrow and make a decision from there," Miami Dolphins senior vice-president of media relations Harvey Greene told CBSMiami.com
Over the past year, to include last week's Raiders game and most of the team's 2011 home games, the team and its corporate partners purchased large numbers of tickets to keep the games from being blacked out. The team, however, thought this game would sellout on its own.
The Dolphins could still buy the remaining tickets for this week's game, paying just over one-third the value for each ticket.