A new study has ranked the best fans in the NFL for the 2016 season, and the Dolphins didn’t receive a favorable ranking.
The study, conducted by Emory University Professor Michael Lewis, uses data to create statistical models of fan interest and takes into consideration factors such as market size and team performance. The study also uses measurements like Fan Equity, which measures fans willingness to spend money on their teams, and Social Equity, which indicates fan support beyond the field of play. Social media also plays a large role in the rankings.
The Dolphins ranked number 27 on the list of 32 teams, finishing ahead of the bottom five teams on the list, the Bills, Rams, Chiefs, Raiders and Jaguars.
Some of the Dolphins’ biggest AFC East rivals fared far better in the study, with the Jets securing a middle-of-the-pack ranking of 17 and the Patriots topping the list as the best fan base in football.
Patriots fans’ “willingness to pay premium prices, strong attendance and phenomenal social media following,” contributed to their number one ranking, according to Professor Lewis.
The other teams that comprise the top five are the Cowboys, Broncos, 49ers and Eagles.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were ranked ahead of the Dolphins, securing the top spot in the state of Florida, coming in at number 24.
The Miami Dolphins were ranked 33rd and are valued at $1.85 billion dollars. That figure represents a one-year change of 42 percent and is expected to rise due to upgraded team facilities and the fact that Miami will host a Super Bowl in 2020.
NFL teams made up over half of the list of teams, securing 27 of the 50 spots. The NFL also boasts the top team on the list, the Dallas Cowboys, who are valued at $4 billion.
The top five teams are the Cowboys, soccer clubs Real Madrid ($3.65 billion) and Barcelona ($3.55 billion), Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees ($3.4 billion) and soccer club Manchester United ($3.32 billion).
Absent from the list were South Florida’s other three major sports franchises, the Miami Heat, Miami Marlins and Florida Panthers. The Heat were ranked as the tenth most valuable NBA franchise in January, with the team’s value set at $1.3 billion.
The Marlins ($675 million) were ranked in March as the 29th most valuable franchise in baseball and the Panthers ($186 million) were ranked in November 2015 as the 30th most valuable team in the NHL.
South Florida has a vibrant music scene. Just ask anyone.
And with Super Bowl LIV coming to the Miami Gardens stadium formerly known as Sun Life in February of 2020, it’s not too early to start thinking about who should be providing the halftime entertainment.
Here are our top 20 picks for who the NFL should select.
“Thank you, NFL, for having 2020 vision!” said Nicki Grossman, Broward County’s tourism chief and a longtime committee member who is retiring next month.
In a few years, officials will joyously shut down parts of Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami, turning it into a “Super Bowl city” with week-long activities for ticket-holders and non-ticket-holders alike. Events will be planned throughout South Florida, from South Beach to Fort Lauderdale Beach to Palm Beach.
While Csonka pushed Miami over the goal line — like his days as a Hall of Fame fullback on the Dolphins’ championship teams — it was Ross’ checkbook that put Miami within striking range.
The NFL had made it clear that without renovations to the then-named Sun Life Stadium, Miami not only lost its spot in the Super Bowl rotation, it wouldn’t get any Super Bowls, period. After protracted legal and political wrangling over tax money, Ross opened his wallet and paid for the upgrades himself.
At first, the renovations carried a $350 million price tag, but the latest estimates, which might be conservative, have the cost at $450 million. Rain spoiled the 2007 game in Miami (Bears-Colts), so Ross is installing a canopy over the seating areas, which is the most significant upgrade. He also installed all-new seats, is upgrading the suites and installing new video replay boards in all four corners of the stadium.
Csonka said once that work is complete, the Dolphins’ home will be on par with any stadium in the NFL. Therefore, he said, “Why not?” put a Super Bowl in Miami.
The South Florida Bid Committee, headed by Rodney Barreto, arrived in Charlotte optimistic. They’d been disappointed before — the next two Super Bowls will be in Houston and Minneapolis — but, privately, they knew they had their strongest case in ages. In his Coral Gables office, Barreto proudly kept a massive, 526-page proposal in a binder that outlined the ways South Florida had checked off every requirement the NFL wanted from contending cities.
The seeds were planted three years ago almost to the date, when owners met in Boston and awarded the 50th Super Bowl to the San Francisco Bay Area and the upcoming season’s title game to Houston. But it was the way Miami was rebuffed — the votes were via rare super-majorities, meaning Miami hadn’t even gotten nine votes each time. Plus, the defeats came inside a 10-minute span. Owners clearly didn’t need time to think about it. Then-Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said, “It sends a clear message that we weren’t in the hunt. There’s no other conclusion to draw.”
It was especially crushing to Ross, who is now 76.
“I really wanted to see it and I wanted it to be my legacy,” Ross said at the time.
Ross can now set the bar on his legacy a bit higher: hoping his Dolphins actually get to host the championship game in their own stadium.
The 2016 NFL schedule is out, and the Dolphins — as expected — have 16 games, some of which they’ll win and some of which they won’t. How do you think they’ll fare? Vote now on whether they’ll win or lose each game.