Dolphins Future “Clearly Bleak” in Miami?
Dee shares what a non-bleak future in Miami would look like
by The Ryno
“I wouldn’t want to prognosticate what the future holds, but it’s clearly bleak.”
— Dolphins CEO Mike Dee
Shockingly, Dee’s woeful prediction has nothing to do with the Dolphins’ upcoming season.
Dee was just pouting after the Florida Legislature refused a bill to provide the necessary tax deals/incentives the Fins say are required for their planned $400 million Super Bowl-attracting stadium renovations.
Sure, owner Stephen Ross promised to cover up to 70% of the tab, but alas, any kind of taxpayer-funded stadium financing just isn’t really “in” these days. No politician worth a damn has the balls to ask for Miami taxpayer love for after the Great Jeffrey Loria Rapejob (the Rapejob was great – as in size, not the Loria). Even supposed benefits to citizens like filling hotel beds for two weeks in January/February, and creating 4,000 short term jobs wasn’t enough to garner support for the Ross/Dee plan.
So faced with horrifying option of spending his own money (he’s only worth $4.4 billion), Ross apparently authorized Dee to play the nuclear card and threaten Miami with losing the Dolphins. Ross clarified he won’t ever move the team, but a future owner might want to pack up, scream “So long, and thanks for all the fish,” and move to a city offering a better facility and cost-sharing.
It’s a stupid empty threat, but “we might leave” is the only leverage any team holds with its city. Miami certainly doesn’t want to lose its Dolphins — the greatest football team (in 1972-73), who took the ball from goal to goal in 1984 — but to say the Fins could leave Miami is as laughable as another season of Joe Philbin on Hard Knocks.
The Dolphins are one of the only teams in the NFL without a long-term lease with the city, but Miami is one of the more reliable markets in the NFL. It has a strong local/statewide fanbase and is somehow one of the more popular NFL brands around the world (thanks Dan the Man). Moving the team a couple counties north to Palm Beach would still alienate the majority of South Florida market and the Los Angeles Dolphins just sounds foolish. Contrary to Dee’s soothsaying, there is no chance Roger Goodell allows the valuable Miami market to go teamless for the 5-10 years it takes to convince the Jags to move south.
“Ah, almost had them…”
So it was just plain moronic for Dee to utter the thinly-veiled future threat. The Dolphins aren’t even claiming they need a new stadium to replace a decrepit cesspool, they just want to make improvements to the House that Joe Robbie built. Of course, by “want” I mean the NFL said Miami won’t get another Super Bowl if they didn’t build a canopy, add more lighting for HDTV clarity, install a better sound system, move the lower bowl closer to the field, and create a monitoring system that refuses entry to any fans from Hialeah.
Regardless of what Goodell says,
JRS Dolphins Stadium Pro Player Landshark Sun Life Stadium might be 26 years old, but is still a great place for Sunday worship (though it could use better WiFi, so I don’t wait so long for my porn fantasy football scores and Tweet my disapproval during the game). Dol-fans aren’t staying home because of the stadium’s HDTV lighting, and football fans certainly don’t care about heat or rain. Fans care more about the product on the field than the product hanging over the field.
Why does bleak-fearing Dee think future owners might move the team? He doesn’t. What he really meant to say was Ross can’t sell the team for as much down the road if he can’t bundle a super-duper-state-of-the-art stadium (one without a Red Grooms jumping-fish sculpture) into the deal. It’s that simple.
What’s next before the Dolphins don’t leave Miami? Ross and Dee will go back to the drawing board and offer a deal that begs for less tax breaks and incentives. They’ll either cheap-out on the improvements (buying RC Cola and Hydrox instead of Coke and Oreos), or Ross will just end up forking over a larger chunk of his #83 on Forbes Wealthy People List fortune. But no matter how little money they beg the city for, every single taxpayer dime will be heavily scrutinized and follow with an uproar by civil advocates the likes of Norman Braman and Billy Corben.
Man, you gotta feel for the rich dude in today’s times of forced fiscal austerity; it’s soul-crushingly tough to fight to pay less taxes AND then beg the state to give you other people’s tax money. Right? Poor rich guy.
Sorry Steve, I just can’t feel bad that you have to spend more of your own money to increase your asset’s value. The team doesn’t belong to taxpayers, so taxpayers don’t have a responsibility to help you sell your team for more money in the future.
This would look great on the new canopy
Despite Dee’s pathetic verbal efforts, the Dolphins aren’t going anywhere — though Miami might not host a Super Bowl until Ross and Co. pay to renovate the stadium themselves. Boo-hoo, it’s not like Jose Schmo (your normal Miami taxpayer) gets to go to the Super Bowl anyway.
Humorously, Ross announced this week that he signed Giving Pledge and will donate half his fortune to charities and philanthropic ventures.
I think I know of such a venture, one that Ross claims will benefit the people of Miami…
Follow The Ryno on Facebook and Twitter
Speak up! Comment below or email email@example.com