The sub-par Dolphins remain below average in one regard that fans can embrace: the cost of attending a game at Sun Life Stadium.
The Dolphins’ average price for a non-premium ticket of $71.14 is well below the NFL average of $78.38 for 2012, according to the annual Team Marketing Report.
The New York Jets have the priciest ticket for the second year in a row at $117.94, just head of the Patriots ($117.84). The Super Bowl champion Giants, who share MetLife Stadium with the Jets, were next at $111.69. The Bears ($110.91) and Cowboys ($110.20) are the other teams above the $100 mark.
The Cleveland Browns have the cheapest average ticket at $54.20, followed by the Buffalo Bills ($58.36) and Jacksonville Jaguars ($59.54). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also had a lower average price than the Dolphins at $69.72.
The Dolphins’ average non-premium ticket ranks 18th among the 32 teams and is a 1.2-percent increase from 2011. The report calculated the average price of season tickets for general seating categories.
The average ticket league-wide increase by 2.5 percent this season. Ten teams raised prices by 1 percent or more, and six teams lowered prices by that amount.
The Dolphins’ average premium ticket of $200 is also below the league median of $243.70. The Patriots top that category at $566.67. However, the Patriots do not charge a personal seat license fee that some teams require in addition to the price of season tickets.
The Chicago-based sports marketing research firm also calculates the Fan Cost Index for all NFL teams. That is the average cost for a family of four to attend a game based on four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four hotdogs, parking, two game programs and two adult-size adjustable caps.
The Dolphins’ FCI of $400.54 increased by 1.1 percent from last year, while the league average of $443.93 was up 3.9 percent.
While those figures are based on average prices, the Dolphins’ best deal for families is the Pepsi Zone on the 400 level: For $199 you get tickets for two adults, two kids, parking, food and access to youth-oriented football-related games and activities.
According to the Team Marketing Report, the Dallas Cowboys are most expensive for a family of four with a FCI of $634.78, while you can take the crew to watch the Jaguars for $342.70.
Balk at playing $7 for a small draft beer at Sun Life Stadium? The Chargers and Bills charge $9. Best deals are in Ohio, where the Browns and Bengals have some $5 beers available. The league average for a beer is up 15 cents from 2011 to $7.28.
The Dolphins aren’t the only team having trouble filling their stadium. Since 2007, average attendance in the NFL has declined by about 4.5 percent. During that time the average non-premium ticket has increased from more than $12.