Couldn’t make it to Sun Life Stadium for Sunday night’s Miami Dolphins’ 2010 home opener?
Neither could Fred Sorentrue. But it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Sorentrue, of Plantation, said he’s been a Dolphins season ticket holder for more than a decade and he’d never had a problem parking at the stadium. Until Sunday.
He arrived at the stadium about an hour before game time with tickets for his two seats at $82 each and a $20 parking pass. But at each gate surrounding the stadium, he says, he was turned away and told to continue to the next gate.
Sorentrue said he eventually gave up and went home to watch the game. He said he was told part of the problem was the number of fans without tickets to the game, who arrived early just to tailgate. He said driving to an auxiliary lot at Calder Race Course, for example, wasn’t an option for him because he’s 67 and has a bad leg and couldn’t make the walk between Calder and the stadium.
He said he heard others went to park at Calder with their parking passes, only to be charged an additional $15.
“It’s just not right for them to sell the parking pass and double and triple dip,” Sorentrue said. “Gaining other money [from people without tickets] and not giving people with parking passes a chance to get in. I had to basically eat $184.”
Meanwhile, there’s only so much monitoring the Dolphins can do, Dolphins Enterprises spokesman George Torres said.
“The lots did get full and some people had to park elsewhere. This could happen when we’re at total capacity in terms of attendance and if fewer fans carpool,” Torres said.
Torres said when the lots around the stadium fill up, season ticket holders are referred to other lots at Wal-Mart and Norwood Elementary, where they should be able to park for free with their parking passes.
“We may have had some fans without game tickets tailgate but it’s hard to tell since we don’t require game tickets in order to park in our lots,” Torres said. “Some fans without tickets will tailgate and try to buy tickets from the stadium box office or from other fans.”
Did you - or anyone you know - have a similar problem?