Miami Dolphins

New stadium parking plan saves Dolphins fans time, money (and aggravation)

The fan experience at Dolphins game, most notably ingress and egress, has improved in 2016.
The fan experience at Dolphins game, most notably ingress and egress, has improved in 2016. PETER McMAHON/Miami Dolphins

It’s not your imagination, Dolphins fans. You’re getting in and out of Hard Rock Stadium faster than in years (and even weeks) past.

On balance, stadium access roads cleared after Miami’s Week 7 win over Buffalo some eight minutes faster than the season average, the organization says.

Furthermore, the new SunPass technology that allows game-goers to pay for parking electronically has been a success. The Dolphins say that roughly 40 percent of fans who buy parking the day of the game now use SunPass, both saving money ($15 per week) and time.

Then there are the lines at the gate, which have been cut noticeably by new security gates and self-scanning tickets. Todd Boyan, the stadium’s senior vice president of operations, said it takes fans under a minute to enter the stadium from the time they approach the gate.

This has all made for a happier customer base, and the Dolphins have data to back that up. After each game, they distribute an electronic survey called the Voice of the Fan, which asks attendees to rate the overall game-day satisfaction, from arrival, departure, game-day staff, in-game technology and the food experience.

The results?

“It's really across the board with all green arrows, meaning progress,” said Jeremy Walls, the Dolphins’ chief marketing officer.

The Dolphins expect to sell out every game this year, and as of late Friday, had fewer than 200 tickets for Sunday’s game against the Jets left at the box office.

More and more people are arriving to games in an Uber, which has a designated pick-up and drop-off area in the east parking lot. And the Dolphins’ pilot UberTailgate has also seen growth; all 20 available spots for Sunday have been sold.

“This isn’t about revenue as much as it is about improving the fan experience,” Boyan said, who added that the ideal road clear time is “as short as possible. ... You [want fans to] get out there and get into [their] cars and go.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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