Between the announcement of the new CEO and discussion about his donation of $200 million to the University of Michigan, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross did make one statement yesterday that impacts the on the field product this year. Or, more specifically, our ability to see the on the field product this year.
Ross guaranteed no blackouts for the Dolphins in 2013.
Under NFL rules, a game must be sold out 72 hours prior to game time in order to be televised in the local market. That's been tough for the Dolphins in recent years, where Ross has had to buy thousands of tickets himself in order to ensure the team does not suffer their first local media blackout since 2000.
This year, there is a lot of positive feelings around the team, and the ticket sales are starting to tick up, according to the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley. The Dolphins have had the second largest number of new season ticket holders in the NFL this year. Single game tickets are up nearly 80% from this time last year, including the already sold out home opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
While ticket sales are moving in the right direction, the team is still using the NFL's 85% capacity mark as their sell out threshold. The team is not yet ready to move into actually capacity sell outs. And, even at the 85% mark, the team may not sell out every game.
Which is where Ross' guarantee enters the situation. If the Dolphins cannot reach the 85% capacity mark before the 72 hour deadline each week, it's safe to assume Ross is ready to once again buy the necessary tickets to keep the Dolphins on local television.
It sounds like, for at least another year, even if you don't go over to Sun Life Stadium, you're guaranteed to be able to see the Dolphins in Miami.
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