DOLPHINS

Miami Dolphins sweeten deal for season-ticket holders

 

The Dolphins plan to give perks to season-ticket holders such as entertainment discounts and invitations to draft and tailgate parties. The team also will have variable ticket pricing for the first time.

 
Miami Dolphins fans celebrate a touchdown during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Oct. 6, 2013.
Miami Dolphins fans celebrate a touchdown during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Oct. 6, 2013.
Joe Rimkus Jr. / STAFF PHOTO

abeasley@miamiherald.com

Thousands of Miami Dolphins fans received an unexpected bonus along with their season-ticket renewal packets this week: An invitation to join a social club tailored to their specific tastes.

And the best part: It’s free (with any season-ticket purchase, of course).

Tickets to major events are seen more as a commodity every year, so the Dolphins have spent the past six months exploring ways to make benefits of season-ticket membership unique and non-transferable.

The result: a membership program with discounts and year-round events, based on each individual’s lifestyle. The self-explanatory names of the categories: Finatic, Family, Social and Business.

“The program we’ve created is designed to give them more benefits, events and discounts than they’ve ever experienced, and provide an even better value proposition, as it relates to being a member of the Dolphins,” said Jeremy Walls, the team’s chief revenue officer.

The program is the first big ticketing initiative rolled out by Tom Garfinkel, who was named the Dolphins’ CEO late last summer.

Garfinkel’s top job is to grow the team’s attendance, which showed improvement in 2013 (averaging 64,319 per game), but still ranked in the bottom third league-wide. The Dolphins’ season-ticket numbers have been particularly soft in recent years, with fans increasingly choosing to buy individual tickets through the team or on the secondary market, or purchase three-game packages.

That’s why the Dolphins, like several other teams, have elected to use variable pricing for their 10 home games for the first time this coming season. That means the prices for single-game tickets will fluctuate, depending on the matchup. Before, Dolphins tickets were the same price for every event, including preseason games.

The Dolphins will make those prices known when the 2014 schedule is announced this spring. But it’s a smart bet that home games against the Patriots, Jets and Packers will be among the priciest seats, while preseason games will be the cheapest.

The same, market-based philosophy was used to set Dolphins game prices overall — which is why some will see their season-ticket costs go up, more will see them go down, but most will see no change either way. Twenty-six percent of seats will decrease in price, 18 percent will increase and the rest will stay the same in 2014, Walls said.

All members will get a customer service representative and local entertainment discounts. But the Cadillac plan members will also get exclusive access such as an invitation to draft and tailgate parties, pregame field passes, a family day at SeaWorld in Orlando and even a yacht party.

The team plans a launch event for all members at the stadium on March 22.

• Ted Wells has informed the NFL that his report on the Dolphins’ bullying scandal will be completed and issued either late next week or early the following week, his spokeswoman said.

Read more Miami Dolphins stories from the Miami Herald

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