1. Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints
Price of a small draft beer:
$8.50 for 24 ounces in New Orleans, $7 for 20 ounces in Miami
Price per ounce:
That's not a bad price to pay to enjoy a beverage and watch some warm-weather destination football.
In a booze-soaked city such as New Orleans, where the pre-game drink options are both reasonable and ample, providing some beer value doesn't hurt. Giving fans a franchise quarterback such as Drew Brees and that 2009 Super Bowl win certainly don't hurt, either.
For Dolphins fans, even that price might be too much to keep them out of the clubs, off the beaches and in the stadium. In the past decade, the Dolphins have posted exactly three winning records. They made the playoffs once, in 2008, and were handily tossed in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens. The team's off to a 3-1 start this year, but Dolphins ownership wants taxpayers to kick in for upgrades at
Sun Life Stadium
Taxpayers and politicians have told owner Stephen Ross to take it walking, especially after the city was burned by baseball's Miami Marlins -- who took tax money for their new ballpark and immediately purged their roster of star players. Ross continues to push for tax dollars that will cover at least half of his $350 million in stadium renovations, but fans have been giving him some idea of what they think of that plan and the product he's been putting on the field by not showing up to games. Ross and the team's sponsors have been shelling out to prevent television blackouts and say they'll continue to do so this season, but season ticket purchases have dwindled from more than 61,000 in 2006 to little more than 40,000 last year.
The message in New Orleans and Miami is one that bars and clubs in both towns should be familiar with: You can ply folks with booze all you'd like, but unless you give them a reason to stay, they'll just bounce to the next place.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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