Dolphins-Jets may be blacked out locally
Due to lagging ticket sales, Sunday's showdown between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets may be blacked out locally.
September 20, 2012|By Craig Davis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Surprisingly, the Miami Dolphins have yet to sell enough tickets to ensure that their No. 1 rivalry game will be televised Sunday.
The Dolphins were granted an extension by the NFL until Friday in the hope of selling 85 percent of non-premium tickets needed under the league's revised blackout policy for Sunday's game against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium to be televised locally.
"We're hopeful of getting it on local television. We're still hopeful of selling this game out," Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene said Thursday. "We said last week that we would be looking at this on a week-to-week basis."
The Dolphins bought up an undisclosed number of tickets to get last week's home opener on television. The Jets game was expected to sell well enough on its own merits, considering numerous New York fans in South Florida and the Dolphins coming off an impressive victory against the Raiders behind rookie quaterback Ryan Tannehill. Factor in Tim Tebow and former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano with the Jets, and the game offers arguably the most compelling story lines of the eight-game home schedule.
Several thousand tickets still needed to be sold, according to a source.
The relaxed blackout rule adopted this season reduced by about 9,000 the number of tickets the Dolphins must sell in the 100 and 400 levels at Sun Life Stadium to 51,128 for the game to be aired in the local market. Tickets for the club level and suites are not part of the blackout equation.
Previously a complete sellout was required 72 hours before kickoff.
The Dolphins have had 110 consecutive regular-season games on local television since an Oct. 18, 1998, game against the St. Louis Rams was blacked out. Last year the Dolphins and their broadcast partners and sponsors purchased thousands of tickets for the majority of home games to get them on the air.
"As we've said many times, keeping the games on local television has been a priority of Steve Ross since he purchased the franchise," Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said last week.