SBD/September 20, 2011/Franchises

Dolphins May Face Blackouts For Remaining Home Games If Ticket Sales Do Not Improve

Dolphins fans may endure TV blackouts for team's remaining home games
The Dolphins made their "best public relations move in a long time by taking measures to ensure Sunday's game" against the Texans at Sun Life Stadium was broadcast in the local market, but TV blackouts are likely "to become an issue again with a large volume of tickets unsold for four of the remaining home games," according to Craig Davis of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. The Dolphins have three away games and a bye week before returning to Sun Life Stadium for a matchup against the Broncos. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said having Sunday's game "available on television was an important decision to make, we thought." He added, "We have a lot of new faces on this team, and we want to make sure that fans get acclimated with those new faces" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 9/17). In West Palm Beach, Dave George wrote customers "have a choice, and increasingly customers of the Dolphins are feeling pretty stupid about fighting the traffic and emptying their wallets to watch the visiting team vandalize the scoreboard and run away laughing." All the Dolphins "have been recreating here for the last couple of seasons, despite an alternate universe of celebrity sightings and stadium special effects served up by team owner Stephen Ross, is disappointment" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/19). In Miami, Greg Cote wrote the Dolphins have "become a franchise once the mightiest in the NFL and now gradually dissolved to irrelevance." The team has lost 11 of its last 12 home games "in an endless pratfall dating back to late 2009." Cote: "Close to humiliating is what this has become. ... I begin to sincerely wonder about the direction of this franchise" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/19).

BLACKOUT WATCH: The Bengals announced Sunday's game against the 49ers at Paul Brown Stadium will not be televised locally. The team's ticket office confirmed that too many tickets remain available for the game to sell out (Bengals). The game was "supposed to be televised by Fox," and it marks the fifth straight "regular season home game that will be blacked out after a string of 57 straight sellouts in the regular season and postseason" (CINCINNATI.com, 9/17). 
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