SBD/July 29, 2013/Franchises

Dolphins Ticket Sales Well Ahead Of '12 Pace, As Franchise Tries To Avoid Home Blackouts

Dolphins new season-ticket sales are up 31.4% compared to the same time last year
Ticket sales for the Dolphins are "noticeably outpacing 2012 and there are encouraging signs that the home opener will be a sellout," but plenty of inventory "remains, and, given last year’s historically low attendance, the franchise has little place to go but up," according to Beasley & Neal of the MIAMI HERALD. Dolphins Senior VP & Chief Revenue Office Jim Rushton said that the franchise will “'absolutely' have more season ticket holders than they did in 2012, when just 40,192 full-year packages were purchased." That was the "fewest season tickets sold by the franchise in three decades." Rushton would "not say exactly how many 10-game packages have been sold, but he did say that their new season-ticket sales were up 31.4 percent when compared with sales at the same point last summer -- the third-highest jump in the league." The Dolphins drew an average of 57,375 in '12, "their smallest gate in 23 years." Meanwhile, Rushton said that the Dolphins have had "great success with their new three-game promotion ... and are luring casual fans with competitive single-game pricing." Kids 15 and under can "get into any home game for $15 (with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket), and the Dolphins have made lower-bowl seats available on an individual game basis." The Dolphins last year "elected to use the league’s new 85 percent capacity blackout rule, meaning they could get their games on television locally if they sold 51,000 of their non-premium seats." But team Owner Stephen Ross "still had to regularly buy out blocks of tickets to get over that threshold." Rushton said that a decision has "not yet been made on whether the Dolphins will use the 85 percent provision again" this season (MIAMI HERALD, 7/28).

FORGIVE & FORGET? In West Palm Beach, Andrew Abramson reports Dolphins C Mike Pouncey wanted to apologize for wearing a hat supporting former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez but the team "wouldn’t allow it." Pouncey's brother, Steelers C Maurkice, on Friday told reporters that Mike "wanted to apologize but was told not to by the Dolphins." Maurkice Pouncey said, "I'm sure Mike wanted to apologize, but that's how they handled it." Before Mike Pouncey spoke to reporters last week, he "spent several minutes speaking" with Dolphins Senior VP/Media Relations Harvey Greene. Pouncey, through Greene, "declined to comment" yesterday on his brother’s statement (PALM BEACH POST, 7/29).
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