The Miami Dolphins are in the midst of a resurgence. Their third win Sunday moved them into a first-place tie above the AFC East. While the Dolphins were taking down the St. Louis Rams, fans across the stadium were downing a variety of food selections. From the first ball tossed, someone was tossing a hot dog to a hungry fan nearby. It used to be go to a game, grab a hot dog, burger or some popcorn for twice what you would normally pay for it and have a seat. Over the past few years with the emergence of state of the art stadiums, teams have stepped up their food selections. Our Dolphins are doing everything they can to keep up with the trend.
"We started by looking at the different demographics in South Florida," said Dolphins Premium Seating Director Howard Dorland. "We wanted our inventory to mirror our fans, so we had to match up with the market."
The Dolphins accomplished that feat by working with names familiar to every South Floridian. Three years back iconic Fontainebleau nightclub LIV opened up on the club level above the west end zone to rave reviews. Sunday, as Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas were inducted into the Honor Ring, Short Order was treated to a tour of several of the premium dining options offered across the stadium.
Our first stop was the Sun Life Stadium home of the popular South Florida sports bar Duffy's. Now in just its second year, Duffy's transformed what was the Hall of Champions into a signature environment. "This is the only place in the entire stadium you can catch every game being played and keep up with your fantasy teams," said Duffy's John Smith, whose title Director of Sports Marketing doesn't usually appear on an average restaurant payroll. "We really value our partnership with the Dolphins, and it shows in our accommodations for the fans."
Besides a spectacular view and a private entrance, Duffy's Hall of Champions seats sit you in a room with 40 flat screen TV's and leather chairs. Food selections range from hot dogs to prime rib, and include tortellini, chicken cordon bleu, an extensive salad bar and an exotic cheese tray. Of all the premium seats, Duffy's is also one of the most affordable. A season ticket plan gets you 10 games, including two preseason matches, for a relatively reasonable $2500. Those seats are in the first two rows, leaving the high tops and third row for individual game ticket buyers. Individual game seats, which run $300, are mostly sold out, but some are still available for the Bills, Seahawks and Titans games.
The best part of having a Duffy's inside the stadium is that they stay open for 90 minutes following the game. Why sit in what could be unbearable traffic if you can pull up a chair and grab an ice cold beer while waiting out the rush?
"Seeing familiar names like Duffy's and LIV really gives the stadium a hometown feel," said longtime season ticket holder Miguel Cedeno. "We've really enjoyed the additions they made over the past few seasons."
Building on the success of the partnership with Dufffy's, this season the Dolphins began offering an interesting alternative for those who don't want the 14-20 tickets usually mandatory for a club level suite. You can buy just two, four or maybe six seats and still be classified as a suite holder, giving you access to exclusive suite holder events like VIP Day at training camp and the annual celebrity golf tournament. There are three "Legends Clubs" with 53 seats each. In Cefalo's Eat That Drink That Go! Legends Suite, the Dolphins partnered with Jimmy Cefalo of WIOD NewsRadio 610 to bring a different restaurant to the stadium every home game. Sunday's win over the Rams featured selections from legendary Miami eatery Joe's Stone Crab, which just reopened in time for the start of stone crab season October 15. Castronovo's Vineyard Legends Suite involves a partnership with Paul Castronovo of 105.9 and offers food from Broward favorite Anthony's Runway 84. For this exclusive royal treatment in any of the Legends Clubs, you will have to shell out $5500 for season tickets and $600 for single game individual and group tickets. The Dolphins are hoping to expand next season to offer a different restaurant every home game in Legends Club 2.
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Keep checking out Short Order for our look into Dolphins prime seating and legendary Miami seafood destination Garcia's partnership with the team.