The Miami Dolphins are doing something I thought for sure the San Francisco 49ers would have seized on by now – and no, I don’t mean hiring Adam Gase as the head coach. The 49ers would never consider something as daft as that.
No, the Dolphins are creating standing-room only areas at Dolphin Stadium in which, for $40, you get a chance to lean on a rail and fiddle with your phone, like you apparently like to do at bars.
No seat. No parking. The beers are just as expensive. But you get to stand and either watch a game, or not, depending on your already unreliable attention span.
The Dolphins claim they got the idea from the Chicago Cubs, who sold standing room seats for their World Series run. But the Cubs were doing something that hadn’t been done in 108 years. The Dolphins were doing something they do every year – be bland.
And for two twenties, plus about $100 in incidentals, you can have that experience, plus sciatica, plus tingling in your extremities, plus you’ll be dripping sweat onto your phone because Miami owns the national concession on humidity.
How this escaped Jed York’s notice is . . . well, actually, it’s kind of understandable. He’s got the opposite problem. He has people standing around checking their phones, but they are people who have tickets on the east side of the stadium choosing not to broil while their team gets its collective hat blocked every week. Jed WANTS those seats filled, and he can’t get that done until the team becomes too compelling for sunstroke.
But maybe he can charge fans for buying those seats, and then charge them again for leaving them vacant and standing in the concourse, bribing the bartender to turn on Raiders-Chargers.
I think they call it the in-game experience. Or in Miami, they call it, the grabbing-the-patron-by-the-ankles-and-shaking-everything-out-of-his-or-her-pockets experience.