I wanted to explain something to everyone: Some of my friends and I are considering giving up our season tickets. And I've been a season ticket holder for a decade or so. Why? That's the tough question. Let's be clear about one thing, though. The coaching situation is not the reason, although it did piss us off.
I'll break it down into a couple of categories:
(1) Expense. Spending $40-$70 per game is a lot. Plus parking. That's not to say its not "affordable" since there are only 10 games a year, but its money that *could be* spent elsewhere.
(2) The commitment. I love the Dolphins. But, it sucks to be tied to 8 Sundays at the end of the year, especially when you don't know which ones they'll be until after you've spent the money. Add flexible scheduling, and its possible that everything could change, anyway. Plus, there's the commitment on game day. For a 1pm game, we leave around 9am, and tailgate for a few hours. We head in just before kickoff, and then come back out and tailgate for another hour or so after the game. Because of traffic, the best we can do is leaving an hour later, say at around 10, but otherwise everything remains the same...if we left any later, we might miss the opening kickoff, crazy as that sounds.
(3) The fan experience. The Dolphins have done a good job at doing little things to make the experience "better." But, the fact is, its still freakin' hot out there, for at least the first few home games. And with concession prices at the ridiculous level they're at, it's kind of crazy. Oh, and with the subtraction of a game this year so the NFL can have a game in Europe, it seems like a slap in the face to those of us who have been loyal. See also my comments about ticket prices being raised in the club level, and you see that its not *all* great for the average fan. And we don't know what our ticket price is going to be yet in the nosebleed section.
And finally, (4) The fans themselves. Its supposed to be a family friendly environment. But, lots and lots of people take the hours before kickoff to get liquored up. And add the effects of the sun, and you've got some truly wasted people around you. They're unruly. They're rowdy. They're obnoxious. They throw up (trust me on this one, its not an experience I want to have again!). And worst of all - they fight. Its a freakin' football game, and you're an adult. What the $%^$*$ are you fighting for?! [Remind me to tell you the story about a fight this one Dolphins fan had with the police a few rows in front of us].
I did want to also make a comment that lies somewhere between the last two, and that's about fans from other teams "invading" Dolphins stadium. Its common. Its prevelant. And they can be exceptionally obnoxious, because they know that unlike Philly, New York, or Oakland, they'll mostly be left alone. I find that to be off-putting. I don't care if they come to the games. That's fine. I do care when they "take over." There are very few teams around the NFL that don't have nearly all their tickets sold through season tickets. Miami is one such city. Maybe, just maybe, if the Dolphins would try and accomodate the fans a little bit more, it would change this a little. They really don't.
So, for these very reasons, we are considering not going back as season ticket holders. Sure, I might still go to a game or two, but it will *never* be the same.
I went to the NFL experience (http://www.superbowl.com/features/nfl_experience ) on Saturday. For the most part, it was enjoyable. If you've never been, the best way I can describe it is "like a carnival"...you had all these things set up like the field goal kicking competition, and the 40 yard dash (both pictured) which you could participate in. It felt like one of those fairs that comes to town and leaves.
Or, you could get autographs from some NFL player, but you didn't know who, exactly, would be there, or when.
What kind of bugged me was that there were a lot of blatant advertisements throughout. Everything had a sponsor, and because their banners were so prominently displayed, there was no mistaking who plunked money down.
...and what confused me was that while it was all "free" once you got in, you had to spend $15 per person, plus $12 to park!!! With all the sponsorship, I was wondering why that was the case. Is the NFL hard up for money or something? Most of the people working there were volunteers, meaning they're only gettting free admission, a Tshirt, and possibly food and drink. So, why such a steep admission?
Was it worth it? Maybe as a once-in-a-lifetime event. But, when the Superbowl returns in 3 years, I doubt I'll head back out to this.
I have told people I talked with that it was fun, and I do recommend it. But, don't expect too much...