Football finally returns to South Florida this weekend. The NFL regular season is here and the college fooball season is in full swing, and the most expensive ticket in town is in Boca Raton.
As of about noon on Friday, the cheapest tickets for the Miami Dolphins’ opener against the Baltimore Ravens in Miami Gardens are more than $50 cheaper than the cheapest to get into the FAU Owls’ meeting with the No. 18 Central Florida Knights.
To get into Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, tickets will run you at least $44, according to SeatGeek, and plenty are available in the price range. To get into FAU Stadium on Saturday, tickets cost at least $114 and far fewer are available, albeit for a game a day earlier.
The Dolphins, of course, spent the last week unloading just about every veteran of note from an already suspect roster. While Miami denies it is tanking to land a quarterback high in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dolphins are projected by virtually every prognosticator to be the worst team in the NFL. Not even the Ravens, a playoff team a year ago, can make this season-opening matchup appealing across South Florida.
The Owls, on the other hand, put up a good fight on the road against the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday. After falling behind by 28 points in the first quarter, FAU (0-1) slowed down Ohio State and lost 45-21, outscoring the Buckeyes 21-17 across the final three quarters and now has a primetime matchup coming up against one of the best teams in the country.
The uptick in interest might have more to do with the visitor. The Owls, after all, missed out on a bowl game in 2018 and coach Lane Kiffin can only drum up so much excitement. UCF, however, finished the regular season last year as the highest ranked team in Florida and opened its 2019 season with a 62-0 rout of the FCS Florida A&M Rattlers last Friday in Orlando. The Knights, who went undefeated in 2017, have won 26 of their last 27 games dating to 2017.