Dolphins Roll Up Orange Carpet; Shift Gameday Focus From Celebrities To Football
When the Dolphins open their home schedule Sunday against the Raiders, the spotlight will be “off the glitterati and back on football with the emphasis on maximizing the fan experience," according to Craig Davis of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. The Orange Carpet that was added in ‘09 “mostly ticked off long-time fans, and a decade of disappointment on the field fueled the perception that owner Stephen Ross cared more about rubbing elbows with celebrities than winning.” Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said, "We don't really feel that football wasn't at the core of everything we did. Unfortunately, the perception was different than that. And perception is reality." So the carpet has been "rolled up," and vignettes on the video board of celebrities "calling for ‘fins up’ have been axed.” The videos will be replaced by "crowd shots and music as well as short features on players.” Due to “popular demand, the old Dolphins fight song will be played after every touchdown when the Dolphins are leading.” Meanwhile, Dee said that season-ticket sales are “on track to exceed last year's 42,584 by the end of October.” Also, Dolphins Prime has been “added as the top end of the club level experience.” Those who purchase tickets in several designated sections "have access to an exclusive indoor area with all-inclusive buffet and beverages,” with valet parking as “an added perk.” The 1,600 seats in those sections “are being offered at 2011 prices ($525-$600 per game), which didn't include the added amenities.” Dee said that they are “about 80 percent sold.” In addition, the Dolphins are “partnering with AT&T and Cisco to have the stadium wired for multicasting and WiFi to enable fans to stay tuned in and accommodate video streaming on smartphones and tablets” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 9/9).