Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A ray of hope?

You may have heard about it reported on by a few sources: the players and owners have been meeting and there remains at least a ray of hope that a deal can be struck by July 4th.

I have a little more context for you: these are "mediated sessions" meaning there are a few people in the room who have nothing to gain through the negotiations.  Also in the room are a couple of owners, at least one key person representing the owners interests, some players who are interested in striking a deal, and at least one person representing their broad interests.  Noticeably absent are all the lawyers, D. Maurice Smith, and Roger Goodell.

They are talking in about their differences.  What is it each side wants? What would make them happy?  There's no judgement here, its really about laying out what they want.  Then, it comes to them seeing where there is common ground.  Could we trade off something we want for something you want?  Is there a number between the two that would work?  And so on.  The key issues will be discussed, and they undoubtedly will cover everything that's important - number of games, free agency, long term care, salary caps, the draft, and all of the other stuff....

I have no insights into what the discussions are, only that they're discussing them.

Once they have gone through it all, then its off to meet with the larger audience.  The owners will all meet as a group and see if the proposal is workable.  And then get to the business of deciding about their own issues: revenue sharing, licensing deals, etc. that affect how they distribute their portion.

The players will discuss with their lawyers and D smith to see if it fits with that they want.

Then, I suspect that they will have to meet again to talk about any counter-proposal-changes that may happen, and they'd decide on whether a deal might be reached.

The motivating factor is not money, per se.  Its about the legal system.  The court told both sides that if they couldn't work something out, they would step in through the context of their legal motions and make a deal *for them* that likely won't make either side happy.  Then, essentially, they have no control over how their own game works.

In the meantime, the courts have issued continuances in thei legal cases, meaning that they won't hear arguments - or rule - until there is progress made.

Now how this figures into the very specific anti-trust case, I'm not sure.  But we will see.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And speaking of tickets

The Miami Dolphins today announced that fans will be able to purchase individual game tickets to select home games starting Tuesday, June 14th at 10 a.m. The games that will be on sale are as follows:

Friday, August 19 - Carolina Panthers (Preseason)
Thursday, September 1 - Dallas Cowboys (Preseason)
Sunday, September 18 - Houston Texans
Sunday, November 13 - Washington Redskins
Sunday, November 20 - Buffalo Bills
Sunday, December 4 - Oakland Raiders

Individual game tickets start at just $45 per seat/per game. Lower Level, Upper Level and Club Seats are available. Fans can also purchase full season tickets or 4-Game Flex Packs which offer savings over the individual game ticket price and special benefits. In the event any games are not played due to the labor situation, full refunds will be given for those missed games. To purchase individual game tickets, full-season tickets or 4-Game Flex Packs, fans should go to or call 1-888-FINS-TIX (1-888-346-7849).

Tickets through the Dolphins Express bus program will also be on sale. The Dolphins Express offers fans in West Palm Beach, the Treasure Coast and Southwest Florida with a convenient way to get to the games, courtesy of Duffy's Sports Grill and the South Florida Ford Dealers. For information on Dolphins Express, fans should or call 1-888-FINS-BUS (1-888-346-7287).

Single game tickets to the other four home games against the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets will be announced at a later date.

You better rush right out and spend that $45, because you wouldn't want to save that money and buy tickets on say, StubHub, for $15 when you know they're actually going to play now would you?

Man $45 to see a preseason game?  That's crazy.


Pay cuts

According to ESPN:

Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, coach Tony Sparano and his assistant coaches received a pay cut on June 1. In May, the Dolphins cut salaries of support staff 10 to 20 percent. The percentage was larger for higher-paid employees, and all employees were told they'll return to full pay when the lockout ends. CEO Mike Dee blamed lagging ticket sales resulting from the lockout.

Owner Stephen Ross said employees will either receive back pay when the lockout ends or get time off to compensate for the reduced pay.

Wow, blame lagging ticket sales.  Nice.

I would feel a might insulted at a comment like that since the labor dispute is the much more likely cause.

Anyway nice to hear that the staff will get money back or days off to compensate.  But I have to wonder when they'd take those days off, since they'd be in football mode when the labor deal finally comes together.