EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – One glance at Lot L, Row 2 of the MetLife Stadium parking lot was all that was needed to confirm that the DolfansNYC crew delivered on its promise.
A large pool of aqua and orange flooded the sea of green in what was a spirited tailgate party that started three hours before kickoff. And the party even attracted Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, pop star and Dolphins partner Fergie and Dolphins CEO Mike Dee. A few Dolphins cheerleaders also made an appearance.
“I am so in complete shock,” said Michelle Starks-Kramers, who formed DolfansNYC and organized the tailgate and the group tickets for today’s game. “I knew what to expect because I bought all the tickets and had the numbers in my head, but to see it all happening is incredible. I mean I can close my eyes and imagine I’m back in Miami with so many Dolphins fans. I love this and this is what I’ve been working hard for.”
Starks-Kramers ran over to say hello to Dee at one point and bumped into Mr. Ross, and then she looked over and spotted Fergie signing autographs. That was an added and unexpected bonus to the day.
“The passion of our fans is on full display here today,” Dee said. “It’s not often you go on the road and are greeted with this sort of reception. We’re looking forward to making this an annual tradition with our friends at DolfansNYC.”
“It was a huge surprise that (Senior Director of Media Relations) Jason Jenkins organized and we were just so honored to have them here,” Starks-Kramers said. “To have them acknowledge all of these Dolphins fans that make the trip to MetLife to cheer on the Fins means a lot to us. Now we’re going to take over Sections 322 and 323 inside.”
There were buses chartered to bring the crowd to the parking lot, but some of the fans opted to either drive themselves or go with alternative transportation, like Nick Azar of Miami. He arrived in a limousine.
“We’re taking over MetLife Stadium,” said Azar, who picked the Dolphins to win, 23-13. “We came here on Friday and we’re going to do our thing and then get out of here before the storm arrives.”
The group also held a raffle at the tailgate for select Dolphins autographed memorabilia provided by the team in an effort to continue to raise money for charity. They make an annual donation to the Miami Dolphins Foundation at the Web Weekend, which this year is taking place the weekend of the Tennessee Titans game (November 10-11).
“This is incredible that we’ve packed this place and to see Mr. Ross, Mr. Dee, Fergie, Nat Moore and the cheerleaders was great,” said Igor Smith, who helped Starks-Kramers with the tailgate. “We’ve packed the place and it’s good to be recognized by the team for some of the stuff that we’ve done.”