Could The Tarps Be Coming?

June 18th, 2012

Joe sure hopes the same eyesores at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, and which may be installed at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami don't come to the stadium on Dale Mabry Highway.

Joe has been to a handful of NFL stadiums, including a few trips to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville (Joe’s not sure what that place is called now, and frankly doesn’t care — it will always be the Gator Bowl).

That place may be one of the most underrated tailgating facilities in the country. But it also has the NFL’s worst eyesore: tarps in the upper deck.

Joe had only seen tarps in an upper deck once before, that was at a Pirates game in the old Three Rivers Stadium.

Then, as now, empty seats look better.

Now the great Mike Florio, the creator, curator and overall guru of, by way of Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, reports the Dolphins are seriously considering added tarps to the upper deck of Joe Robbie Stadium (or whatever the hell it’s called now).

Well, I don’t know how the Dolphins would add seats in the lower level without actually adding seats physically, but they can definitely adjust the numbers of seats in the upper deck without actually touching the place. They can simply ask the NFL to consider certain seats basically invisible. The Dolphins can just lower capacity by giving the NFL a new capacity number and then not selling, say 10,000 seats in the upper deck, for at least one season.

Other teams — Jacksonville for example — have done it. Unable to fill an extreme number of seats, the Jaguars just threw a tarp over whole sections of seating. The Hurricanes do it at Sun Life for their home games. The Miami Heat did it for a couple of years before LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade on the roster and seating demand skyrocketted.

The Dolphins can simply pick out a section of seats and cover the area. Or they can just black out certain seats or sections from being sold and those would simply be empty on game day.

So, let’s do some math here: In a state where the economy is still in the dark recesses, where selling tickets to just about anything is a task given few have expendable income, where two of the three NFL teams have or are seriously discussing tarps in the upper deck, could the third team, the Bucs, be far behind?

Joe sure hopes not. Those tarps are just painful to look at.

An interesting item Florio wrote about is that Dolphins officials confess their stadium is too big. That’s the way society is going in regards to football games. Fighting the convenience of watching games on your 50-inch HDTV on the leather couch in the mancave at home, with replays via DVR at your fingertips, and ample cold beer just steps away, getting people off that leather couch to is becoming harder and harder for NFL teams (and college teams as well) to tackle.

Yeah, sure, the Rays have tarps too. Those aren’t so much eyesores as they are well out of public view and to be honest, the Fruitdome has a whole lot more problems than a few tarps (that foster few sellouts) out of view.

13 Responses to “Could The Tarps Be Coming?”

  1. Meh Says:

    I’m all for it if it ends the blackouts to my house, which is over 100 miles from the stadium.

  2. BraveBuc Says:

    I second that thought. Tarp the entire stadium if it means it ends the blackouts.

  3. Garv Says:

    While I agree they look like crap, an eyesore to those who DO go to the games, if it would end blackouts then I’m in favor of it.

    And that hurt.

  4. Rob Holiday Says:

    While the economy is a factor on how easily tickets are sold, if you put out a quality product, people will buy the tickets. Put Justin Bieber or some other big pop star at the Trop and it will sell out. NFL is entertainment after all. I think in Tampa, the Glazers are in the process of putting together a quality team that will attract more fans this year. Please, no more blackouts!

    I used to have vendors (from my work) offer me Bucs tickets all the time, back when Chucky was the coach. After the economy crashed and we lost Chucky (he was entertaining, but not the best coach) not one vendor offers Bucs tickets now. Mostly from the economy, but also Bucs tickets are not a prized as they used to be.

    Maybe it wasn’t all Chucky though. It did coincide with loosing Lynch, Sapp, Brooks and other Bucs that were household names. Boy, those were the good ol’ days!

  5. Tristan Berry Says:

    You can’t really compare a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to see a beloved performer with the opportunity to see one of the 81 opportunities each season to see the Rays play baseball.

    I LOVE my hometown teams, particularly the Bucs and Rays, and I love to go see them when I can afford it. Unfortunately, that has meant two Rays games since 2008 and the last Bucs game I was able to go to was a Redskins preseason game somewhere around 1997 when the game fell on my birthday and I got to go as my birthday present.

    I hate that the NFL blacks out games that aren’t sold out. I understand why they feel like they should, but I still hate it; particularly because there’s not a thing I can do about it.

  6. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @Ron Holiday You make a good point, but I don’t believe for a second that the Trop could sell out 8 Justin Beiber shows a year during the afternoon at the average ticket price of $80.00+ a pop.

  7. Lion Says:

    Can’t afford a Rays game? I find that rather compelling, considering you can buy a Rays ticket for $9 dollars and even bring your own food in to the venue.

  8. Dini's Biceps Says:

    Talib case dismissedb

  9. Matt Says:

    aquib talibs case has been dismissed! first win of the season!

  10. JJ Jones Says:

    The Dolphins used to be one of the league’s flagship franchises. They had the winningest coach, the most prolific QB and the last undefeated team. They are a joke now.

  11. Miguel Grande Says:

    I said they would never prosecute this case. It is way too expensive and they could never get a conviction.

  12. That Guy Says:

    The charges against Talib have been dropped.

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    50,000 seats or less will be the future of the NFL. You could turn on almost any game last year and see half empty stadiums.