Saturday, September 06, 2014

Why Is Miami 'The Worst Sports Town in America?' Hint: It Probably Isn't

More than a few hundred Patriots fans will fly out of Logan Airport either Saturday or early Sunday morning, bound for Miami, in what is, for some, an annual ritual of the NFL season. When the Patriots play in Miami, flight attendants have come to understand what to expect on the flight down and, particularly following a full day of tailgating and in-stadium libation, on what can be a boisterous return trip home.

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The title and the content don't match at all. Nearly every team has fans fly to away games. The dolphins have tons of fans that go to the jets and pat games. so what is your point?

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Just presenting an "outsider" perspective on Miami. Since the Patriots are in town this week, I thought I'd give a point of view.

Yes, every team has opposing fans visit, but Miami is unique in how it happens. I have talked with many fans over the years. Regardless of the sport, fans will make a trip to Miami to see their team play. If it happens to be when the weather is bad "at home" they're getting a vacation in Florida AND get to see their team play for about what it costs for them to see a game back home.

Fans in south Florida may be ambivalent or front-running-phonies, so that leaves lots of available tickets at affordable prices.

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We do see more opposing fans as the season progresses and it gets colder up north especially when the Jets are in town. They are the most obnoxious fans in the league when it comes to Dolphins/Jets games.

Now if you want to turn the tables, Dolfans NYC will be hosting another MetLife Takeover. Last year they purchased 350 tix in two sections and put together one hell of a tailgate. Last year Fergie, Nat Moore and others stopped by and in years past even Ross has stopped by.

This year they have 600 tix together so it gets pretty wild to hear J-E-T-S Sucks Sucks Sucks on TV in the jets stadium. They get pretty loud. But you would have a great time.

It is a Monday night game this year so it may not be as convenient for traveling as a Sunday afternoon game.

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On a personal note, when I lived in West Palm throughout the 80's, I went to 90% of our home games because if I wanted to watch them play I had only two choices:

Even with great teams we hardly sold out the OB so to watch them on TV, I would have had to drive up to Vero Beach in order to get out of the Miami TV area to avoid the blackout. That wasn't gonna happen.

The other was to attend the game which, luckily for me, my friend's father had great seats or I would grab whatever I could if those tix weren't available.

The problem, as I see it, isn't so much that the team stinks. We hardly sold out going to super bowls. I can remember car dealers buying the last few thousand seats on Fridays to avoid a blackout.

I think the reason we don't sell out so much is that there are so many other things people can do outside in 70-80 degrees. You can golf, water ski, fish, go to the beach, walk around, go for a drive, etc, etc.

Up north, going to a game in 40-50 degrees may be the only outdoor event available after being locked up inside all week at work. Not everyone lives near a ski slope and it wouldn't be cold enough for ice skating.

Just my "Theory of Non-Attendance" where the rise in the number of open seats is directly proportionate with the rise in temperature.

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Good points Carl. And yes, for those of you not in the know, attendance in the perfect season was not as great as you might think. Games regularly had empty seats.

I saw many games in the 80s, and never had trouble getting a seat, even near kickoff. Except one. The game against the 85 Bears was the only time I was shut out...

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Wow...I watched that game in a bar in Boyton Beach with my best Fla friend who loved the Bears.

Too bad you couldn't get in because that may have been the greatest Dolphins game in the OB.

The another classic game I can remember there was the '83 Orange Bowl when the Hurricanes beat Nebraska by a finger tip.

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A friend and I were at UM in '85, so we just went back to the dorm, and watched the game there. I want to say we were back before the 1st quarter was over, since traffic was easy at that point. I was surprised at how hard it was to get tickets to that one. Maybe if I was as crafty and wiley as I am now, we could have gotten in. :)

That '83 OB was great. I watched from home, knowing there was NO WAY I was going to be able to swing a ticket. I did wind up going the following year, and it was a lot of fun (though not the same)

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Miami may have front running fans, but what is wrong with that? People want to watch a winner. After this week, I'm sure the stadium will be a bit more full. That is what slapping the Patsies gets ya...

And even with a poor team for most of the past 10 years, the Phins have sold out most of their games, so I wouldn't call it the "worst sports town"... by a far margin.

Ask New Orleans how many games they sold out before 2010. Ask New England how many tickets they sold before Parcells showed up. Ask Atlanta about home game blackouts prior to 2005. Ask San Francisco about ticket sales in the years between Mooch and Harbaugh. Ask Jacksonville if they even have a football team. Ask San Diego how many people buy tickets, even when the team is good.

When this franchise puts a quality product on the field, you can be sure a rabid fan base will show up to games. Look at the Heat. Heck, look at the Dolphins from 1970-2000. About 30 years of one of the most rabid fan bases in America. I still don't remember a stadium as loud as the one we had when the '84 Bears showed up.


If you want to look at a bad sports fan base, look to places like Los Angeles which, despite being the #2 market in the US, they can't seem to keep an NFL team.