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Failure of stadium bill creates “bleak” future for Dolphins in South Florida

Dee AP

The Florida Legislature failed to give the people of Miami-Dade County the ability to vote on partial public funding for upgrades to Sun Life Stadium.  And that could lead to a future without the Dolphins in South Florida.

In April, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said that owner Stephen Ross would not renovate the stadium without a public-private partnership.  Ross has reiterated that there will be no renovation in the two days since House Speaker Will Weatherford failed to move the bill forward, and Dee told CBS4 in Miami that it would be “difficult” to do the renovations on a more limited basis.

Dee also said that the lack of a renovation could result in a relocation.

“I wouldn’t want to prognosticate what the future holds, but it’s clearly bleak,” Dee said.  While Dee reiterated that Ross won’t move the team, Dee pointed out that the next owner could move the team, possibly to Los Angeles.

Ross previously has said that the team won’t be sold in his lifetime, but Dee didn’t rule out a sale during Ross’s lifetime.

So is Ross looking to sell the team?  “I don’t think so today,” Dee said.  “It’s not my sense in talking to him.”

If/when the Dolphins leave, the failure of Weatherford to move on a bill that would have given the voters the chance to approve (or kill) the stadium renovation project as the first domino that fell.

Dee said that Weatherford told the Dolphins on at least four occasions that the bill would make it to the House floor for a full vote.  “Something happened late in the process that caused him to change his mind,” Dee said of Weatherford.  “We suspect that it’s a pure political decision, that he’s choosing politics over the right for the voters of Miami-Dade County to decide this issue, and that’s a shame.”

Dee tiptoed around the specific political reason, mentioning only Weatherford’s own personal ambitions.  On Saturday, we explained that stadium supporters believe Weatherford aspires to hold statewide office, and that former Eagles owner Norman Braman may have promised support in exchange for killing the bill.

Along the way, Weatherford has cultivated some motivated enemies.  “This abuse of power will follow his career for a long time,” Dee said.

The sad reality is that it also could follow the Dolphins right out of Miami, putting them in the city where they capped their 17-0 season with a win in Super Bowl VII.

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116 Responses to “Failure of stadium bill creates “bleak” future for Dolphins in South Florida”
  1. onebucplace says: May 5, 2013 4:20 PM

    The Dolphins aren’t going anywhere — I mean does the San Antonio Dolphins make sense to anyone?

  2. realfootballfan says: May 5, 2013 4:22 PM

    At least tell him and his media mouthpiece clown to get on the same page. Yea, the Dolphins are moving to LA, good luck with all that.

  3. derekjetersmansion says: May 5, 2013 4:23 PM

    Jeffrey Loria killed this bill, not Weatherford.

  4. helloanybodyhome says: May 5, 2013 4:24 PM

    Way too hot for football in Miami anyway.

  5. helladonks says: May 5, 2013 4:24 PM

    Why build a stadium for a team that nobody cares about?

  6. fordmandalay says: May 5, 2013 4:25 PM

    Gee, another billionaire can’t get the government to give him money to build the sports palace he’d like, so he can make even more money from it. So he threatens to pack up and leave to another city that is willing to give him the money instead of spending it on infrastructure or services for its residents. To make himself feel better, he’ll have to buy a 300 foot yacht or private island, and weep in despair.

  7. coolgato13 says: May 5, 2013 4:26 PM

    Dolphin fans.
    Blames Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (the worst owner in sports) and the Marlins stadium fiasco. I hope he gets run out of town.

  8. melkipershero says: May 5, 2013 4:26 PM

    Seriously this is a joke. Don’t get public money.. say the team will move. This is the oldest trick in the book. You’re one of the richest people in America and you want public money? Don’t give me the crap about the Dolphins making the community money (they do obviously) but shouldn’t pay or it and let the small businesses make money as well? Sounds like a win-win.

  9. olhoss1884 says: May 5, 2013 4:27 PM

    ‘d say Ross has one mor to make the future of the Dophinsbleak than anyting the legislature is done. Quit whining for welfare, you billionaire crybaby windbag, sell your team to an owner who won’t suck at it.

  10. deltaoracle says: May 5, 2013 4:27 PM

    I’m confident that the time-tested scare tactics will eventually lead to the necessary corporate welfare.

  11. negaduck says: May 5, 2013 4:27 PM

    The team either makes enough money operating in Miami to fund its own stadium, or it should move somewhere else. Why taxpayers continuously get hosed by pro sports teams will always puzzle me.

  12. onebucplace says: May 5, 2013 4:28 PM

    The issue isn’t about the state not letting local voters vote on the issue — since when would any local government need the states blessing to build a local stadium? The issue is that the owner wants STATE funds to help do this in addition to local funds, if he dropped the state funds requirement he and the local Miami-Dade government could do it on their own. As a Tampa resident I have no desire to help build a new stadium or do major stadium renovations for the Dolphins as I’m sure Miami residents could care less about helping to build the Rays a new stadium.

  13. mustbechris says: May 5, 2013 4:28 PM

    I have to say, I think this whole “voters should decide” thing is, maybe not deceptive, but a bit overused. There are plenty of states in the country that do not have voter referenda for any reason in their state constitutions.

    With that said, in this particular case, if the politicians do not want to let the Florida voters vote for it, then it is incumbent on the voters to vote for new politicians who will let the voters vote for it. So if this situation bothers you, don’t forget about it between now and next November.

    If it does bother you, though, I have to question why you support taxpayer welfare for a billionaire sports team owner, particularly in a state that voted for drug tests for non-billionaire welfare recipients. It just seems inconsistent – if anyone needs a social safety net, it is NOT Stephen Ross. And if he’s dissatisfied with that, then let him sell the team.

  14. The Mayor says: May 5, 2013 4:29 PM

    Ross is worth over 4 Billion dollars. Buying the Dolphins was essentially a side project for him.

    Something tells me that if he personally pulls a renovation loan for a hundred million or two it won’t hurt him at all.

  15. jprather17 says: May 5, 2013 4:31 PM

    He does have a public private partnership. It is called the community supporting the team by attending the games. Why the hell would they give you more money to renovate your stadium? It’s your building, your property, your problem. No other small businesses get public funding to help renovate their stadiums. They go to a bank. Any community that gives in to the rich owners of the sports world quarreling over how the public won’t engage in corporate socialism are idiots. No community should give in to their crap. If the public is going to pay for then the team should become the property of the public and used as a public utility. It means more to the fans than the owner anyway.

  16. gpry says: May 5, 2013 4:34 PM

    People can cry billionaire welfare all the want. But the real issue is weatherford denying citizens the right to decide and vote on the tourist tax, which would come from obviously tourists not the local taxpayer

  17. squinn21 says: May 5, 2013 4:37 PM

    Shut up, Mike Dee. That idiot Ross needs to realize that he can’t bully everyone into doing whatever renovations he wants to do to the stadium. Stop acting like Sun Life is some kind of dump. The BCS national title game was played there just a few months ago and nobody said anything bad.

    Meanwhile, the taxpayers of Dade county are still paying for the last renovations to Sun Life.

  18. thraiderskin says: May 5, 2013 4:38 PM

    If the Dolphins had been looking to build a new stadium, I could see the financial support, but not for upgrades, which some might see as an expensive band-aid. I don’t care about the politics in this one, you don’t rebuild an economy by potentially harming your biggest asset, tourism. If Ross feels so strongly about this situation, then let him move the team, places like South Florida do not need the Dolphins, the Dolphins need South Florida.

  19. seanx40 says: May 5, 2013 4:39 PM

    Stephen M. Ross is worth $4.5 billion. With a “B”. It is disgraceful for someone to ask the public to pay for his personal toy.

  20. markdepace says: May 5, 2013 4:47 PM

    How about the public builds you a new stadium and the tickets to all future games are free? Sounds fair!

  21. finsfan4life says: May 5, 2013 4:50 PM

    Ross has already put a bid to purchase AEG, hence the plan of a LA stadium with it. With all the moves the Dolphins made during the offseaon, if a winner comes out this team in the next 3-5 seasons, he can sell the team or relocate it.

  22. bostoncommon says: May 5, 2013 4:51 PM

    Five words: Robert Kraft built Gillette himself.

  23. gbar22 says: May 5, 2013 4:53 PM

    Way to go mike really lobbying hard here for more public funds.

  24. dennyg2 says: May 5, 2013 4:57 PM

    Nice city, but Miami couldn’t and or wouldn’t support a sports team if its life depended in it. Sad…

  25. veence69 says: May 5, 2013 4:59 PM

    I wasn’t aware that Miami still had an NFL team.. Fascinating.

  26. magnuminsp says: May 5, 2013 5:01 PM

    “Dee also said that the lack of a renovation could result in a relocation.”

    That there, is what in legal terms is called, extortion…

  27. bobbyd12 says: May 5, 2013 5:03 PM

    I imagine 99% of the responses are from people who only come to Florida to DisneyWorld once every 5 years or so.
    1. The Miami Dolphins are the only Sports Team in Florida that pays property taxes.
    2. Will Weatherford disenfranchised over 40,000 voters who already voted and 100s of thousands more who would have voted.
    3. Will Weatherford, would not even let a vote come to the House Floor, why not? He was probably bought off and promised support, money, for stopping this vote. In my mind that is criminal behavior by a politician. He stopped a vote he knew he would lose in exchange for money.
    4. The Super Bowl, Soccer events, BCS etc bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy down here. To say he should “pay it himself” is just more shortsighted rhetoric from people who believe they should get something for nothing.
    This is a huge loss for South Florida coming from a bunch of hillbillies in Tallahassee.

  28. turkish124 says: May 5, 2013 5:03 PM

    Asking tourists too pay for your stadium while sitting on billions. Stay classy.

  29. jerrygray721 says: May 5, 2013 5:09 PM

    all these comments about welfare for billionaires and how rich ross is and screaming about not useing tax payers money for this deal makes me wonder if you guys read anything but what other posters here write. the dolphins create a ton of tax revenue for south fla. way more than many think especially on this site and when you throw in a couple of superbowls and a b.c.s. game or 2 not to mention major concert,soccer and other special events over the next few years those events alone will way more than cover the cost of the stadium deal that by the way ross is already putting in nearly 70% of.now i ask you would you put out all that money so the city/county could reap all the tax revenue from it without chipping in?i know i wouldn’t and as a life long fin fan i say ross should not sell but move the team if south fla don’t want all the tax revenue and all the other business support that the dolphins have been giving that area then just move somewhere else and take all of it out of the area.and as far as all of you talking about tax payer dollars and the crunch we are all in you need to be questioning what the city,county,state and fed. government are doing with it and have done with it over the years because i’m 100% sure this nation is not trillions in debt because of sport stadium deals.

  30. thebadguyswon says: May 5, 2013 5:10 PM

    Oh well. Why anyone would want to build or renovate a stadium in that dump of a state is beyond me.

  31. thetooloftools says: May 5, 2013 5:15 PM

    Goodell seems bent on an international flavor.
    Move the team to Cuba.
    The Phins are not moving to L.A. but if the Cleveland Browns are put up for auction because the owner is in prison, all bets are off. Someone may buy them and move them to L.A. and pay off any lease of the stadium in Burning Riverville.

  32. davem23 says: May 5, 2013 5:16 PM

    Say what you want about Dan Snyder, never asked for a subsity!

  33. seatownballers says: May 5, 2013 5:16 PM

    Welcome your las Vegas desert dolphins!
    Oh wait, that makes no sense

  34. kilmarley says: May 5, 2013 5:17 PM

    “which would come from obviously tourists not the local taxpayer”

    ummmm….as a native Floridian that travels from South Carolina multiple times a year to see my beloved Phins play (in a 2/3 full stadium) I politely disagree. The “local taxpayer” would ultimately loose out if you taxed the tourists to death, and the line is almost crossed as it is.

  35. garyhd01 says: May 5, 2013 5:18 PM

    mustbechris, to me the problem isn’t whether the voters should be able to vote for this issue the problem is the voters never get what or who they vote for, if they vote this lying scumbag out his replacement in all likelihood will be another lying scumbag. a perpetual stream of lying scumbags is what we all seem to get whether its republicans democrats tea party or any other they all care about their own agenda and not ours sorry to rant but that’s my opinion

  36. bigcid10 says: May 5, 2013 5:21 PM

    forget about it ,dolphins aren’t going anywhere
    unless they change the name like the ravens did
    florida will pull an ohio and not let them take the dolphin name with them .besides it’s just scare tactics anyway,Steven Ross has too much invested in the team and this area anyway

  37. apollo1989 says: May 5, 2013 5:22 PM

    Governments give massive subsidies to multinational corporations every day, the only reason the NFL gets in the news for it is its a sport. For those of you so vehemently against welfare for billionaires, why is there not more support to stop other subsidies?

  38. rocketcrab says: May 5, 2013 5:29 PM

    This is the only NFL stadium I’ve been to other than M&T. We were there in 2003 as part of a Ravens Roost road trip for a Ravens/Dolphins game. The area was great, the Dolphins fans were fantastic to us, but 10 years ago that stadium needed help. And to the person who posted that the “San Antonio Dolphins” just didn’t sound right – neither did, in 1984, or now, does the “Indianapolis Colts” sound right. We thought it couldn’t happen. Guess again.

  39. dirtysouthironmen says: May 5, 2013 5:30 PM

    Scare Tactics.

  40. bender4700 says: May 5, 2013 5:34 PM

    The city should sue Loria for lying and stealing their money.

    Builds a great stadium and changes the team to Miami, then sells the players. Total BS.

    Ross can afford to do it, but that’s not the point. Another, less important, major franchise in town just got a ton of public money. And that stadium would not bring the kind of economic improvement that a renovated stadium could. Super Bowls, and other major economical events come with the renovation.

    Instead, politicians are roadblocking things in the interest of their careers. Look at Washington DC, same thing. Just ridiculous.

  41. mazblast says: May 5, 2013 5:34 PM

    He owns the stadium, right? So how much is his possession going to be worth if he moves the primary tenant out of town?

    You own the team, you own the stadium, put your own darned money into it if you believe in the project so much, if it’s such a lock to be a success. Failing that, if it’s such a sure thing, get a bank to lend you the money to do it.

    But no, you won’t do that. You won’t put your money where your billionaire mouth is, will you?

  42. patfanken says: May 5, 2013 5:37 PM

    A couple of comments on the comments

    1. I agree with those who feel that what happened in the Florida legislature was an abuse of power. If they didn’t want to give the the right to have Dade county citizens vote on the issue, they should have had the balls to vote it down.

    2. I agree with those who think that its ludicrous for Billionaires to get subsidies that help enrich them further.

    3. I think its ludicrous to demand renovations to a stadium that is less than 20 years old. BTW- didn’t the public have to help pay for that too.

    4. This fiasco makes me only more grateful to root for a team who’s owner didn’t ask for public assistance in paying for a new stadium (just a few million to play for infrastructure, which has since been paid off….with interest), Didn’t squeeze season ticket holders for PSL’s, and runs the model franchise in the league.

  43. somekat says: May 5, 2013 5:38 PM

    The thing I don’t get it, if the guy didn’t think it was good for the state, but was going to give it a vote because it was the only way he could do a state run later, wasn’t he putting it to the floor in the first place for “purely political purposes”. If later on in the process, someone convinced him he could deliver on a state level without it (rumored to be Norman Bramen, former Eagles owner/destroyer of the best defense of all time), how is that any different?

    The only difference I see is that the “political purposes” are not to the Dolphins advantage

  44. 1oldpro says: May 5, 2013 5:39 PM

    In their division they have disaster franchises in Buffalo and New York, a most hated coach and an aging QB in New England. And all the Dolphins can do is screw everything up and blame it on a coach from two years ago who somehow managed to take a 1-15 team and turn it into a 11-5 team before the owner ran a Hall of Fame GM off and hired a Bozo.
    Why in the world wouldn’t any state legislature not want to help these geniuses?
    I may be old, but I can just read their history and tell you what happened!

  45. brutus9448 says: May 5, 2013 5:40 PM

    Voters of south florida should decide this not some guy up in northern florida.

  46. munchkin420 says: May 5, 2013 5:52 PM

    So is this different than the billions of dollars Disney gets in write offs?
    Handouts to the wealthy is nothing new.
    Republicans and Democrats alike.
    Mickey and Minnie aren’t exactly on the poverty train.

  47. sourdoughsam says: May 5, 2013 5:52 PM

    I dont think some of you paid any attention in high school Civics/Government. we are a Democratic Republic, not pure Democracy. In a pure democracy, 51% can vote away the rights of the remaining 49%. Polls showed that this bill was overwhelmingly unpopular, and so it was decided that it wasn’t worth putting on the ballot.

    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” – Alexander Tytler

  48. niner13 says: May 5, 2013 5:53 PM

    Super Bowl 50 (L,) welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016. A private-public partnership built the Niners a new stadium, while Miami fiddled and burned.

  49. dietrich43 says: May 5, 2013 5:57 PM

    Comments all paid Weatherford, Loria, or Ross as the villain. They are all villains in this story. Weatherford should have let it go to the voters, Loria fleeced the public, and Ross is begging for money. Is there a way to get rid of all three?

  50. gadzod says: May 5, 2013 5:57 PM

    I wish I could ask the public to buy me nice toys. I could use a new car…..

  51. onbucky96 says: May 5, 2013 5:58 PM

    Los Angeles Dolphins. Suck it Mercury Morris!

  52. ezra954 says: May 5, 2013 5:59 PM

    This team has been suspected to be on the move for years and this just makes it easier for them to do it and you know what I don’t blame them at least if they move to LA there will be fans in the seats oh wait the nfl already tried that how many times if the move anywhere it will be England where they already have a huge fan base good bye team I am gonna miss you

  53. johnnyjagfan says: May 5, 2013 6:00 PM

    These guys don’t get politics at all. You got your bill through the Senate and out of House Committee. Not a bad year. In football terms, it’s like 12-4 and a second round playoff loss. You didn’t win it all, but you sure are throwing away the wins you had.

  54. metalhead65 says: May 5, 2013 6:10 PM

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Let them threaten all they want. no city is going to vote for a new stadium in this economy.

  55. despinosa8 says: May 5, 2013 6:12 PM

    Its great for the NFL not to have a team in LA but horrible for the existing city. NFL owners are constantly using LA as a bargaining chip and wish a city would stand up to these owners who could finance a stadium themselves. Miami come out of the closet and be the first to stand up for your rights!

  56. valentino8100 says: May 5, 2013 6:13 PM

    Let’s all just pause for a moment, so we can shed a collective tear for Stephen Ross.

  57. peopletrains says: May 5, 2013 6:13 PM

    Ah yes, Los Angeles – the gift that keeps on giving. The best thing the NFL currently has going for it is not having a team in LA. That way they can continually scare state and local governments into giving into billionaires.

  58. contract says: May 5, 2013 6:14 PM

    “People can cry billionaire welfare all the want. But the real issue is weatherford denying citizens the right to decide and vote on the tourist tax which would come from obviously tourists not the local taxpayer”

    Local hotels don’t need a tourist tax if they want to raise funds for stadium renovations. They can simply increase their rates and give the excess revenue to the Stephen Ross.

  59. ravensbob says: May 5, 2013 6:16 PM

    San Antonio dolphins doesn’t work, but the San Antonio gamblers has a nice ring to it….

  60. billneftleberg says: May 5, 2013 6:19 PM

    Mike, will you Stop being a damn shill for Billionaire owners, you ought to be dressed up like a pimp with a feather in your hat…..

    Show some Journalistic integrity for once. Others have upgraded Stadiums using their own funds, and there is no reason Steve Ross cannot.

    The NFL just wants to keep soaking the public and uses city after city to blackmail and coerce public officials to finance these facilities with threats of relocation….

    Good riddance, to the Dolphins, if he wants to go. which anyone with half a brain knows is an empty threat, If Mr. Ross is serious let him sell the team to the community as in The Green Bay Packers.

    There’s an Idea, Lets use Eminent Domain statutes to take over franchises that try to coerce the municipalities that they operate in, for public funds for Stadiums….. Take away a team or two and see how fast the NFL changes its tune.

    But in the meantime Mike, Stop prostituting yourself…..

  61. mistrezzrachael says: May 5, 2013 6:19 PM

    Dolphins cannot get their…”fans” to attend games…and people think the vote would have passed??? Not a shot in hell.

    Dolphins need to offer tourists discounts…because they are only people to attend games…and have NY, MASS, PENN, AND MARYLAND ..license plates.

    Ross is as phony as a $3 bill.

  62. gunnyfw says: May 5, 2013 6:19 PM

    “People can cry billionaire welfare all the want. But the real issue is weatherford denying citizens the right to decide and vote on the tourist tax, which would come from obviously tourists not the local taxpayer.”

    So as long as tourists are ripe sucks all is well because it doesn’t effect the locals.
    NEW FLASH: Each dollar hoovered out of the hapless toursit’s wallet is a dollar that they could have spent on another form of entertainment in the region, and all the tax does is shift the spending from one form of entertainment to another.

  63. oshp1205 says: May 5, 2013 6:21 PM

    I don’t mind this type of tax (if I understand it correctly). It’s a hotel tax. I’d imagine hotels would love for a venue that would attract more events in exchange for a tax their patrons will pay. My only point would be no local blackouts for any owner that gets money from the people. NFL teams do stimulate commerce that help with the local economies. It’s like, on a much smaller note, when you have a shopping plaza anchored by a major grocery store. I always felt the many smaller shops need that major store to anchor the plaza. Every time I see one of those major stores leave, the entire plaza goes down. In this case, the dolphins are the major grocery store and the hotels are the smaller shops. The smaller shops would benefit from more traffic to the major store even if there were a small tax their customers paid.

  64. 1uniquename says: May 5, 2013 6:24 PM

    99.9% of the people posting about this have no clue how the bill is written. This is an absolute no brainer of a plan and unlike the Marlins the Dolphins did it the right way and are now being punished for it. They should’ve gone the shady route the Marlins went and they would have their renovations. I could see the Dolphins out of Miami in five years or so and the city clamoring 5 years from that to build a new stadium in order to bring another NFL team to Miami. What a joke Miami is, thank God for the Heat, even though LeBron may leave next year lol.

  65. handsatlanta says: May 5, 2013 6:24 PM

    Dolphins season ticket holder here, opposed to the so-called public/private partnership {I find the “corporate welfare” argument more compelling than the “benefit to the community” argument}. The Dolphins ran into two problems here. The obvious first one is the Loria/Marlins stadium debacle.

    The second one, maybe more important, is that the public isn’t willing to support a team that doesn’t win. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Weatherford didn’t let the bill come to a vote because his info told him it couldn’t pass in the voter polls. By squashing the bill now he allows the Dolphins to try again in a year or two, maybe after a couple of playoff seasons.

  66. thegonz13 says: May 5, 2013 6:24 PM

    OK, here’s a thought: What if the legislature did approve the vote and the voters refused? Then what? Instead of blaming the state, Ross would have blamed the voters?

    The NFL and its teams make plenty of money. You want to dance, Stevo, you got to pay for the band!

  67. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: May 5, 2013 6:24 PM

    Plenty of owners have run one franchise into the ground but Loria is working on #3, and in two different leagues no less.

  68. brewcrewfan54 says: May 5, 2013 6:26 PM

    Ross tried to buy IEG last year when it was briefly for sale. The guy has plenty of money to fix the stadium that I believe he owns. Do it yourself.

  69. jvillenole says: May 5, 2013 6:34 PM

    Why should somebody in Pensacola, Tampa Bay, Jax, Tally…or any other place in FL that doesn’t care about the Dolphins be forced to fund a stadium that will have no effect on their local community?

    The issue is that they were looking for State money, not local money.

    Don’t ask the State to pony up money for a sports venue which will help Miami only.

  70. bucfansouthtampa says: May 5, 2013 6:36 PM

    We are coming out of a four year recession in the state of Florida. Unemployment rate is just coming out one time was 12.9%, (its getting better) and we after three years of budget cuts we now have an opportunity to give teachers a pay raise. Ross picks now to come asking for money? Absolutely not. I would say that if (and when) the Glazers asked for money for the Bucs at Raymond James. Owners need to find a way to raise money themselves without asking for money from taxpayers.

  71. cmdrsmooth says: May 5, 2013 6:39 PM

    Move the Dolphins to LA.

  72. lennydpocketqb says: May 5, 2013 6:39 PM

    Who knew the Jaguars would outlast the Dolphins in Florida? WOW!

  73. wwwmattcom says: May 5, 2013 6:45 PM

    This is how you keep the wealthy, rich and the middle class, poor. Never spend your own money. Spend the masses money and sell to the highest bidder. But make the poor think they are getting a deal by allowing them the “pleasure” of treading water.

  74. skoobyfl says: May 5, 2013 6:51 PM

    All they need is PSL’s to cover the funds, raising the ticket prices to outrageous prices. That would automatically make the stadium like 10 times safer & bring wealthy families back to the game.

  75. hedleykow says: May 5, 2013 6:54 PM

    The United States is a federal constitutional republic. If the Dolphins don’t like it, that’s too freaking bad. Maybe they should see how the Chinese like their product.

  76. norwegianwud says: May 5, 2013 7:04 PM

    Absolutely an idle threat. Dolphins will not leave Miami. However it needs to go down… they stay.

  77. raysfan1 says: May 5, 2013 7:06 PM

    One more time, the stadium funding was not just a question of local hotel taxes in Miami-Dade. If it were, the state legislature would not have been involved in the first place. As onebucplace commented above, there was state money involved…$90,000,000 in state sales tax rebates. That’s $90,000,000 from Jacksonville/Orlando/Tampa-St Pete etc to fund a football stadium renovation in Miami.

    If Ross and Dee are so concerned about there being no local vote on the matter, no problem–rework the proposal without state money and they can have a local referendum without state government involvement. Without that, the whining is just that–whining.

  78. silverandblack052099 says: May 5, 2013 7:21 PM

    Complaining about politics while playing politics in the media.

    The Dolphins aren’t going anywhere! The NFL would never allow it.

  79. ncbeachlover44 says: May 5, 2013 7:26 PM

    These “billionaire” comments kill me. Most can’t see the forest for the trees. Ross is a smart business man, obviously. Don’t hate or be jealous because he did something that you aren’t smart enough to do. The Dolphins asked for public money to HELP renovate their stadium for the same reason anyone would, and the state of Florida benefits by having the Dolphins located there. Look into the tax books. The Dolphins paid real estate/property taxes, 3.6 million in 2012. They, along with the Redskins and Panthers are the only NFL teams that do. They also generate revenue for local businesses…ie: Realtors, schools, schools, restaurants, etc. I have a friend who’s family has owned a sports bar/restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale for 30-40 years. Their revenue increased OVER 700% during the 9 Super Bowls played in Miami. Yet the Dolphins are expected to foot the bill for this renovation, while knowing the revenue generated will be enjoyed by tons of businesses not related to them at all. HELLO? No stadium renovation means no Super Bowl (not to mention additional venues such as soccer, BCS championship games, music concerts, etc.), which directly relates to NO additional increase in revenue for local businesses. And the Dolphins even agreed to pay over half of it back!! The logic behind this is absolutely insane. Obviously, Weatherford is more concerned with personal gain than performing his job and should be penalized for not bringing this to the floor. Norman Braman, the hypocrite who requested and was GIVEN these same dollars for car dealerships in FL AND for the Eagles, should be penalized as well if proven to be a part of this as reports indicate. The Dolphins were willing to let the people decide. That in and of itself should prove they were honest and sincere in their request. If the people of FL agreed (of which the tax increase would NOT affect), and approved it, then why not?? Personally, I am the one it would affect. I live in NC and attend 4-5 games a year. So I pay the hotel bill, eat at local restaurants, shop at local businesses and shopping malls!

  80. mookieinhiding says: May 5, 2013 7:32 PM

    South Florida is a horrible Football market anyway.

    Don’t worry about the “Dolphins” moniker…ownership that take the team to a new city will certainly rename the team.

    How about:

    “The Richmond Rebels?”
    “The Bangor Bangers?”
    “The Deleware Crabs?”
    “The Charleston Chews?”
    “The New Jersey Fistpumpers?”

  81. rajbais says: May 5, 2013 7:32 PM

    I would hate to see the team move, but with fewer people showing up in the stadium for Dolphin games in a city that is known as a band wagon town a move wouldn’t surprise me either.

    When it comes to going to games it’s okay to not pay so much because games have always been overpriced, but more fans have supported teams in NFL history than teams did win titles for the fans.

    The only issues that lie in sports fanfare is that local fans get that outraged when one of its constituents gets mad at the team and cheers for someone else or just likes to watch the sport for the beauty of it. If someone doesn’t like the hometown team it’s not the end of the world. There are unfilled seats everywhere and that costs teams money. Instead of worrying about someone else’s fanfare buy the tickets and fill the seats.

    Another is that Roger Goodell is detached from society. He’s wrong for possibly pushing every team to feel that its stadium should be a Super Bowl venue and believing that seat total should equate to stadium prestige when its quality should. When he does that he puts too many teams under pressure for what truly seems to be a “once in a lifetime” event in each qualified town.

    It’s okay for all parties to scale back, particularly the NFL. When it did everything in its power to make the players lose the CBA battle it should be more understanding of its customers.

    With teams needing upgrades whiles its owners and employees are people like how fans are; and its games featuring attendees that remodel their homes for safety and appearance reasons too, the last thing that the NFL should do is to possibly put a team under a pressure point to where its fans could turn their backs on it.

  82. Robert says: May 5, 2013 7:34 PM

    The Hollywood community loves the Dolphins, many of these stars fly into Miami reguarly.

    Along with the Rams and Raiders- Dolphin jerseys are the next popular in L.A.

    There are strong Fin fan bases in Southern California for the Dolphins, this would is acceptable to the region.

    You can bet the Dolphins will be supported in the L.A.-Orange County area.

    Rams in L.A. County, Dolphins in Orange County.

    The Dolphins can play in the AFC East. Why not,-Dallas plays in the NFC East and is no where near the East Coast.

    L.A. Dolphins 2015!

  83. phinfan says: May 5, 2013 7:38 PM

    If they move… I better have a back up plan. Hmmm who to follow: Giants, Cowboys, Ravens…?

  84. bucslose says: May 5, 2013 7:39 PM

    To say that stadium enhancements/improvements would lead to economic plus’s for the area is a bit silly. Why would it? You know what would help their economy? A team that didnt suck. Improve the team, get them competitive regularly, and that will do wonders. Pay for this yourself Ross, because you can easily friggin afford it. Why should hotel patrons have to pay for it? That is idiotic.

  85. doggeatdogg says: May 5, 2013 7:39 PM

    While I agree the people of Miami-Dade County should have an opportunity to vote, the citizens should adopt the good cop to the politician’s bad cop role. Tourism is what feeds South Florida and for Ross to threaten that is infuriating.

    So what if he wants to move the team. The people are so jaded, they might just call his bluff. I used to go to the OB and that feeling has never been duplicated. I’m not alone on this one. Should Ross move the team, it won’t be long before a deep pocket investor group jumps in. Miami will be the expansion team that LA won’t get. A new stadium by the water is what the people want since forever.

    If he moves, he won’t be able to sell the stadium to this new group with its shortcomings. How about a $500 million dollar loss on his way out and a looming billion to settle in his new digs in xyz town.

    Here is an idea, Ross made a mistake buying the team and should sell it pronto.

  86. thesteelers says: May 5, 2013 7:39 PM

    onebucplace says:
    May 5, 2013 4:20 PM
    The Dolphins aren’t going anywhere — I mean does the San Antonio Dolphins make sense to anyone?
    ___________________________________

    Logic fail

  87. xpensivewinos says: May 5, 2013 7:43 PM

    Is there a bigger trifecta of weasels in the NFL than Ross/Dee/Ireland?

    What a bunch of schmucks.

  88. SeenThisB4 says: May 5, 2013 7:46 PM

    California and Los Angeles aren’t forking over any taxpayer finds either. So, if they want to hit the road, let them.

  89. truths4all says: May 5, 2013 8:04 PM

    Billionaire Ross should not be so greedy to try to pin the expenses of a stadium renovation on the backs of the working folks of Florida. If he really wants to make gazillions more, tell him to invest his own money!

    BTW, if he wants to move to LA, go for it! But remember, California is already on the door to bankruptcy because of all of the handouts they already give to the illegals and the rest of the freeloaders out there.

  90. haywoodjablomee says: May 5, 2013 8:17 PM

    This tactic worked for Pat Bowlen and the Broncos. The donkey fans knuckled under when Bowlen threatened to move the team and knowing that his stadium sells out every year and would never move.

  91. ytownjoe says: May 5, 2013 8:20 PM

    If the Dolphins move, the fans must insist that the colors, helmet and name remain in Miami . . .

    Another team will be created for Miami as soon as a new stadium is built. And Super Bowl LX will be played there.

  92. citizenstrange says: May 5, 2013 8:24 PM

    The future of the entire NFL is bleak. In 15 years ALL the teams will be outsourced to India. The players will be paid a dollar a game, U.S. taxpayers will pay trillion dollar naming rights just for the teams to keep the original team names (e.g. Dallas Cowboys instead of Bombay Beasts or whatever) and the owners will become gazillionaires.

  93. RexCanCoach says: May 5, 2013 8:38 PM

    Such a joke of a franchise. Even Jets fans laugh at the Fish and their perilous state. Now the few fans the Fish have can’t even have their voices heard. And my bet is that the owner won’t leave and won’t sell which = continuous piss poor product on the field and off.

  94. fm31970 says: May 5, 2013 8:40 PM

    “melkipershero says:
    May 5, 2013 4:26 PM

    Seriously this is a joke. Don’t get public money.. say the team will move. This is the oldest trick in the book.”

    See Houston Oilers, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, etc. NFL history is filled with teams which moved, and it will happen again. If Miami isn’t willing to pay, another city will be. Just watch.

  95. adonisberg says: May 5, 2013 9:25 PM

    Los Angeles Dolphins doesn’t sound too bad….But I really do Hope the Raiders do come home soon

  96. j4man1 says: May 5, 2013 9:26 PM

    Here we go with the..”If we don’t get a new stadium we’ll leave…” sob story. But hey, no team owner can afford to build a stadium without at least corporate funding, oh wait… Jerry did!

  97. dolphanindallas says: May 5, 2013 9:31 PM

    If I’m not mistaken didn’t Joe Robbie build ” Joe Robbie Stadium” with private money? What’s interesting also is the capacity of JRS seats 75k to 80k people. That would be more seating then half of NFL stadiums. Give me break, put a winning product on the feild that south Florida sports fans believe in before you plead and pandor to the all mighty Roger Goodell and the dirty politico! Shut up Mike Dee and worry about cooking the books!

  98. harrisonhits2 says: May 5, 2013 10:54 PM

    Once upon a time PFT cared more about the fans than they did the billionaires who own the teams.

    Now after a few years working for NBC you’ve become nothing more than corporate schills for a company that doesn’t want to do or say anything which might be counter to the corporate lines of the NFL and NBC.

    Even if they taxes are being paid by tourists, that money is desperately needed for teachers, police, firemen, to repair the crumbling infrastructure of bridges, to feed kids etc ad nauseum.

    Let the billionaire pay his own bills. Kraft did that in New England and because he retains every last bit of revenue, and because it was a private project that kept construction costs down, everything works well and the taxpayers didn’t get screwed.

    He then built the Patriot Place mall around the stadium to further increase revenue.

    Ross should stop his whining and pay up if he wants his stadium improved.

  99. majormeatcurtains says: May 5, 2013 11:14 PM

    I remember where I saw Ross. Chunky kid in the candy aisle at WalMart screaming because they wouldn’t give him all the candy he wanted. I hear he’ll be in LA pitching a fit tomorrow.

  100. osage44 says: May 6, 2013 12:04 AM

    If the Baltimore Colts could move to Indianapolis, the Browns to Baltimore, and the LA Rams to St Louis, the Dolphins could well end up leaving Miami for greener pastures.

  101. ilovefoolsball says: May 6, 2013 12:35 AM

    So they’re going to take the team from Miami to Los Angeles?

    Isn’t that kind of like divorcing someone then getting remarried expecting a different result?

  102. rohlo says: May 6, 2013 1:28 AM

    im LMAO at the san antonio comments… a team moving from miami to san antonio would be a downgrade for ross. the alamo dome is a dump #1 , #2 jerry jones and mcnair in houston would make sure it doesnt happen,#3 san antonio has a very small media market especially compared to miami and surrounding areas..the nfl will never put a team in san antonio before thye would los angeles..the nfl relocating a team doesnt make the owners more money as it would by havign a team back out in LA..if anything it would lose money amongst owners because it shrinks marketshare going into cowboys and texans territory..there are alot of cowboys and texans fans in san antonio..putting a team there would be as smart as putting a team in jacksonville…how has that worked out? tarps on the stands!!!

  103. alonestartexan says: May 6, 2013 3:09 AM

    It’s amusing to me to see people that think the Dolphins would never leave Miami…

    Seems the same was said in Houston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Cleveland.

    Oh, and to the guy that was talking about “Dolphins in San Antonio” They do have one of the three Sea World’s in the country… :)

  104. scandiman says: May 6, 2013 3:09 AM

    So could someone please inform me of that NFL stadiums that have been built or renovated which have NOT solicited public assistance?

    The NFL is a multi-billion enterprise. I am not sure why they can’t afford to build and maintain their own facilities.

    If someone has that info, it would be greatly appreciated. I feel that those teams should be commended. Thank you

  105. megaroad1 says: May 6, 2013 3:45 AM

    How can a city like Miami not have a football team? Ross should just sell if he doesn’t want to invest in stadium upgrades. L.A is not going to have any public money for a stadium either.

  106. drewrey88 says: May 6, 2013 4:00 AM

    The city of Miami didn’t maintain the Orange Bowl Stadium properly and thought the Dolphins would never move out of the City Miami. Well the unthinkable happened in 1987 and now the possibility of history repeating itself is alive and well. This time, if it happens again, the name Miami Dolphins will not survive as the move will take it away from the hostile political environment of Miami Dade County.

  107. tomtravis76 says: May 6, 2013 4:12 AM

    This is very similar to what Baltimore dealt with the Colts, minus the blacked out owner 90% of the time. The state refused the build a stadium for the Colts, so Irsay moved the team and the Colts history.

    The state of Maryland spent in upwards of 500 million in the years after the Colts left in attempts to bring the NFL back to Baltimore. When at the time they were asked to spend about half of that in building a new stadium.

    South Florida might just lose the franchise, but they will keep the name, records and colors until the NFL returns again. It could be good for the area to focus on other projects for about a decade anyways. The Bucs and Jags can play one or two “home games” in Miami each year, which will help with their ticket sales while still keeping the NFL product in Miami until a new franchise can be established.

  108. jsm08 says: May 6, 2013 6:02 AM

    “Corporate Welfare” “Make the billionaires pay for it themselves” The city of Miami makes as much off that stadium as the team. Joe Robbie built that stadium with his own money. Why should the city profit off of that?

    Back in the day we aspired to be like the “billionaires”. They’d drive by in their nice cars and we’d think “I want to be like that.” Now we’re jealous of them and want their stuff without actually having to work for it.

    let’s keep extending unemployment bennies and sit on our asses hoping we win the lottery. You broke dic*s are ruining this once proud nation.

  109. dtrb10 says: May 6, 2013 9:10 AM

    Relax. These are scare tactics. Next time Roger Godell will be down there promising a ton of super bowls to the city and that alone would be enough to pay for the stadium.

    It’s not like Miami don’t get 1 it seems like every 5 years anyway.

  110. ickky says: May 6, 2013 9:18 AM

    I can get used to LA Dolphins. But I would bet they would change the name to something more fitting of the LA area.. Maybe the LA Botox, or the LA Implants

  111. pondbridge says: May 6, 2013 9:23 AM

    Finally legislatures are waking up to the obscenity of public financing for billionaires’ stadiums. Sanity returns.

  112. immafubared says: May 6, 2013 9:54 AM

    So the game begins. Hey, we screwed around with this for 12 years in Minnesota. Owners threatening to leave or at least suggesting it. The state saying no money this year maybe next.
    The bottom line the owners will get their way. The state does not want to lose the taxes from the players, the vendors for the stadium, etc.
    You’ve got a handful of state congreemen who want to show Floridians they can stop the spending when in fact they will cave eventually. Its all about handouts.

    If your up for re-election you kind of want someone to grease your palms in order to change your vote. It will happen.

  113. ishwishfish says: May 6, 2013 1:29 PM

    I live in Broward County, about 30 mins northwest of the Stadium. Please explain to me why ANY very wealthy owner of a private football business needs public funds (other than they might get the funding if that ask for it in some threatening way).

  114. rcali says: May 6, 2013 4:36 PM

    You can only tax the tourists so much. Politicians may be corrupt but they have to think about not killing the golden goose and that is tourism in Florida.

  115. pastabelly says: May 6, 2013 4:54 PM

    bostoncommon says:
    May 5, 2013 4:51 PM
    Five words: Robert Kraft built Gillette himself.
    ================================
    For the most part, that is true. The NFL provided loans and the state did pay for improvements to the infrastructure around the stadium. But Kraft could have walked as Hartford was ready to build him a stadium for nothing. He “did the right thing” because he is a “Boston guy”. Something tells me that Stephen Ross is a Stephen Ross guy and not a Miami Guy.

  116. Dogsweat says: Nov 26, 2013 5:17 PM

    There is a following for the Dolphins in California, I would get season tickets in a second.

    L.A. Dolphins 2015!!!

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