Tickets for the Dolphins’ first playoff game since the 2001 season go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday. Will you be buying them?
The last two times the Dolphins hosted first-round playoff games (in the 2001 season against next Sunday’s opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, and in the 2000 season against the Indianapolis Colts), the games didn’t sell out in time to lift the local television blackout. The match-ups sold out on game day, but those who didn’t purchase tickets had to listen to the radio broadcast or drive far enough outside the 75-mile radius around Dolphin Stadium to find the game on TV.
According to the NFL's blackout policy, games must sell out 72 hours in advance or they can't be aired on stations with signals that penetrate within 75 miles of the game. Federal copyright laws prohibit local sports bars with satellite dishes from showing the game.
Times are vastly different now. It’s been a long time since the Dolphins were in the playoffs and they’ve also made history by winning 11 games – and their division -- after winning just one game last season (against the Ravens, by the way).
Is the playoff drought and the team’s remarkable turnaround enough to convince you to buy tickets? Or is the economy just too tough to make the investment? Or are there other reasons you’re planning to skip this one?
Playoff ticket prices have been rolled back. They start at $46 for next Sunday's game. Tickets to the playoffs in the 2001 season started at $57.
The team must sell 62,133 general seats in the upper and lower decks (excluding suites and club seats) at 75,540-seat Dolphin Stadium to avoid a blackout. Back in 2001, season ticket holders bought nearly 58,000 tickets during the season. This year, the team hasn’t officially released the number of season tickets sold, but it is fewer than 50,000.
Fans who attend the game will receive a rally towel. And just in case you were wondering, there’s already AFC East Championship gear available for sale at the Dolphins Pro Shop.