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Ross harmonizes charitable giving, effort to get stadium charity

stephen+ross+84404664 Getty Images

The decision of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to give $200 million to the University of Michigan invites an obvious question from those who oppose the use of taxpayer funds to upgrade Sun Life Stadium.

Why not use that $200 million for the upgrades instead of seeking up to $289 million from taxpayers?

“They are very different subjects, and I think it is important to be committed to both,” Ross said in a statement issued by the Dolphins.  “As I’ve often said, I’ve promised to pay a large portion of the stadium upgrade costs but the community who would substantially benefit also needs to be involved.  I also think it’s extremely important to be a good citizen from a philanthropic standpoint, and to set an example for others to do the same.  Both commitments are important to me and  both have the potential to leave a lasting legacy that will benefit so many people.”

It all makes logical sense.  At a time when more and more cities are kicking in cash for stadium constructions and improvements, it’s easy to make the argument that taxpayer money should be used to upgrade Sun Life Stadium, especially if the changes will help attract Super Bowls and other events.

But logic goes out the window when a billionaire is pulling $200 million out of one pocket and looking for $289 million to be stuffed by taxpayers into another.

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32 Responses to “Ross harmonizes charitable giving, effort to get stadium charity”
  1. bucrightoff says: Sep 4, 2013 1:28 PM

    The most ironic part is Michigan doesn’t need his money. They have an $8 billion endowment fund from which to draw from, a pretty much unlimited amount. Taxpayers resources are very limited and shouldn’t subsidize billionaires. The fact Ross can’t see the difference is pretty sad.

  2. delmonte55 says: Sep 4, 2013 1:29 PM

    I can see a dead horse getting flogged over this one.

  3. kane337 says: Sep 4, 2013 1:36 PM

    Giving a truck load of money to an already rich school is hardly charitable giving. I’m sure their are a ton of urban schools that could use upgraded facilities.

    He’s a fool if he thinks he can get the people of south Florida to help pay for his stadium upgrades when he’s just forking out of pocket cash to his favorite school.

  4. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Sep 4, 2013 1:37 PM

    Will the stadium be owned by the taxpayers or by Ross? If the taxpayers will own it, they should chip in for part of it. If Ross owns it, he should pay for the whole thing.

  5. panamon says: Sep 4, 2013 1:37 PM

    Your criticism is based on pretty simple-minded logic. It makes no sense to vilify Ross for donating money, that has nothing to do with the stadium negotiations.

    You could spend time analyzing the actual proposed deal, see how much the team would contribute, see how it could possibly benefit the city and all that.

    But that’s not as easy as making pretty empty articles based on nothing else than trying to make a story out of finding a way to make someone who just donated $200 million sound greedy.

    The city contributing money to the stadium does not give him money like you make it sound, and you haven’t even specified what the deal would have the team contribute.

  6. mrlaloosh says: Sep 4, 2013 1:38 PM

    Sir, have you no common decency? Apparently not.
    My house needs remodeling. Since my neighbors will benefit from an increase in their property values I think they should pay for at least half the cost. It’s only fair……..

  7. johnnyoclock says: Sep 4, 2013 1:39 PM

    Per your logic, you’re anti-education.

  8. coreydean says: Sep 4, 2013 1:45 PM

    When you toss 200 million to a university that doesn’t need it, it’s hard to go asking for 289 million to help fund renovations that will further line your pockets.

    Anyway, money would have been better spent given to local food banks or free clinics, etc.

  9. annes22 says: Sep 4, 2013 1:46 PM

    Mr Ross hasn’t made all his money by being and idiot. People on here who think they know better may as well keep quiet, because I am sure most
    don’t have Mr Ross’s money. He can do what he wants with it, he “made” it.

  10. 6ball says: Sep 4, 2013 1:52 PM

    .

    @panemon

    I live in Tampa. I don’t want to give Ross or the Dolphins a thin dime.

    Let Ross sell 10k PSL’s to all the South Florida residents who reap the bounty of the super bowl.

    .

  11. matt24bucs says: Sep 4, 2013 2:16 PM

    Absolutely disgraceful. Hard working tax-payers screwed oncw again.

  12. packersareamericasteam says: Sep 4, 2013 2:16 PM

    This isn’t Oregon.

  13. fortphiladamsterdam says: Sep 4, 2013 2:19 PM

    Someone please name for me the last stadium to turn profitable for the town whose taxpayers paid for it. Please, I’d love to know.

  14. dolphinsrule65 says: Sep 4, 2013 2:19 PM

    ###6ball###

    I also live in Tampa.
    Pretty funny coming from someone that lives in Tampa, that has the worst taxpayer funded stadium EVER constructed. Where were you when the were milking us for ever penny for this dump of a stadium? Now the Glazers are demanding that the score boards and horrible sounds system be upgraded by the taxpayers?
    Funny, not a word from you on that subject thou.
    As Raymond James was 100% taxpayer funded and the Galzer keep ever penny and pay NOTHING for the upkeep.

  15. dolphinsrule65 says: Sep 4, 2013 2:21 PM

    PS..forgot..Remember the PSL that the Glazers collected from you? Not one penny went back to the taxpayers. not one penny…They keep ever thin dime for themselves.

  16. jrmbadger says: Sep 4, 2013 2:22 PM

    “It all makes logical sense. ”

    No it doesnt.

    Study after study has debunked the crazy theory that new stadiums funded by taxpayers are a benefit to the community financially. The conclusion is that most of the money people spend on games comes from disposable income. Money that would be spent on other local businesses anyway. So in reality, all these pro sports teams do, is take your money for the privilege of diverting people’s discretionary income from smaller local businesses to bigger pro football teams.

    I will grant you that a Superbowl doesn’t fall under that rubric, but Joe Robbie Stadium/Sun Life opened in 1987, that is 26 years old. Assuming the new stadium lasts the same number of years, are you really telling me that in 26 years, the taxpayers will recoup 289 million? That’s 11 million per year.

    Corporate wellfare at its finest.

  17. dolphinsrule65 says: Sep 4, 2013 2:25 PM

    Jags and Bucs fans:
    There should be not one word from any of you on this subject of taxpayer funded stadiums.
    Miami was orginal built with private money.
    Neither Tampa or Jacksonville can say that.
    So keep you petty comments about Ross to yourselfs.

  18. dolphindad says: Sep 4, 2013 2:25 PM

    the criticism of Ross is idiotic. he could ask for the 289 in stadium upgrades and not donate money to UM. he’s choosing to do something that he does not have to do. its purely philanthropic. so what if Michigan already has tons of money. that doesn’t mean their is no use of the money he donated. maybe now they can fund that cancer project that will someday save a kids life, or now they can discover the way to protect some crop from some disease and now many people will have more food, etc….

    put it another way, how would you like it if 5 minutes after you put your $2 donation in the salvation army bucket some guy came up to you and said how can you give so little when you spent $1000 on beer that year or you took a tax credit on your income taxes.

  19. silverhornet says: Sep 4, 2013 2:30 PM

    “As I’ve often said, I’ve promised to pay a large portion of the stadium upgrade costs but the community who would substantially benefit also needs to be involved.”

    That picture of him, with all those empty seats in the background, speaks to how involved the community really is.

  20. xpensivewinos says: Sep 4, 2013 2:44 PM

    Do the real charitable thing for South Florida and sell the team and take that worthless stiff Ireland with you.

  21. thehouseofho says: Sep 4, 2013 2:53 PM

    It’s been estimated the Super Bowl generates about $150 million for the host city. If the community kicks in the $289 mil, if they host two Super Bowls they make more than their money back. Also, I’m fairly certain the city generates revenue from the stadium when it’s not football season. If it’s being used by the public to generate money for the public (not for private citizens), then why shouldn’t tax money go toward it?

  22. germanstingray says: Sep 4, 2013 2:56 PM

    Lots of socialists commenting today. I’d rather see him donate his money to charitable causes than have the government waste it.

  23. 6ball says: Sep 4, 2013 2:59 PM

    .

    @dolphinsrule

    ”Where was you when Raymond James Stadium was being built ”

    I was living in another state and therefore not allowed to voice my opinion.

    However, the Raymond James issue and the Ross issue are separate. If you can’t make the case for Ross independently, then you have no case.

    .

  24. sportsdrenched says: Sep 4, 2013 3:00 PM

    Mr Ross hasn’t made all his money by being and idiot. People on here who think they know better may as well keep quiet, because I am sure most
    don’t have Mr Ross’s money. He can do what he wants with it, he “made” it.
    XXXXXXXXXXX
    If you ask for taxpayer funds. Your financial moves get to come under taxpayer scrutiny. Don’t want questions being asked. Pay for your stadium yourself.

  25. jaykray says: Sep 4, 2013 3:01 PM

    Sir, have you no common decency? Apparently not.
    My house needs remodeling. Since my neighbors will benefit from an increase in their property values I think they should pay for at least half the cost. It’s only fair……..
    —————————————————-

    No, your neighbor should only pay if he will be staying in your house and hosting his parties and concerts and other get-togethers more often than you will be staying there.

    Pretty much in these deals, the city/state is a roommate that stays in the smaller room. You dont pay as much as the big bedroom, but you still pay because you use it.

  26. steelerben says: Sep 4, 2013 3:06 PM

    But logic goes out the window when a billionaire is pulling $200 million out of one pocket and looking for $289 million to be stuffed by taxpayers into another.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually, logic doesn’t fly out the window. It makes perfect sense when you think about it from a gred perspective. The $200 million charitable donation goes a long way towards offsetting tax obligations and could even ensure that Mr Ross will be getting money refunded to him. He could have used that same $200 million to make improvements to the stadium, but he wouldn’t have seen the same tax break.

    Rich people don’t get/stay rich by giving away money. The suggestion that the donation is “purely philanthropic” is humorous at best.

  27. anicra says: Sep 4, 2013 3:29 PM

    Would not it made more sense to use that money toward his new stadium?

  28. deltaoracle says: Sep 4, 2013 3:35 PM

    I found $289,000,000 dollars along the road today and have graciously donated $200,000,000 as a tax deduction. I’m one hell of a good citizen; please have your prettiest wenches prepare a feast for me and shower me with kisses…

  29. h0c2000 says: Sep 4, 2013 4:06 PM

    Pay it forward baby!

  30. 2jivecrew says: Sep 4, 2013 4:44 PM

    It’s a total myth that 8 football games per year in Miami is some sort of boon to the local economy. The stadium is not in close proximity to anything and there’s no place to spend your money around the stadium (in the unfortunate event you actually attended a Dolphins game). And no, one Super Bowl game every 10-12 years or so isn’t going to have any substantial effect on the economy.

    If this guy wants taxpayer money, then the taxpayer should get a cut of the profits.

  31. vikinggroininjury says: Sep 4, 2013 4:52 PM

    If I was a Taxpayer in Miami I’d raise hell right now with my local politicians. Tax write off’s or not Ross has money to toss around, there is no reason the public should pay a dime for the stadium.

    You see….Entitlements are for the wealthy as well.

  32. imswayze says: Sep 5, 2013 1:08 PM

    1) The fans already pay the players’ and front office salaries, and basically support the franchise.

    2) The $$ it takes to take your family to a football game is ubsurd these days. How many “taxpayers” can even afford to go to football games?

    3) It’s a freakin’ football game. Gimme a padded bleacher, a hot dog, some beer, a decent view, and a field that isn’t going to shred players’ ligaments and break bones, and play football!!!

    4) The cost of stadium upgrades should be added to ticket prices of events that happen at the stadium–not to people’s taxes who can’t afford to get the benefits.

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