Win or lose on stadium vote, Ross doesn’t intend to sell Dolphins


There are persistent rumblings that, if the vote regarding public contributions to the renovation of Sun Life Stadium fails on May 14, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will sell the team.  Some even think that, if the vote wins, Ross will sell.

Ross tells Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald that’s untrue, on both counts.

“I intend on owning the Dolphins a lot longer than that,” Ross said regarding a provision that requires him to pay a $20 million penalty if he sells within five years after the stadium deal is done.  “What was asked is that they don’t want to see me benefit and then sell the team and make all types of money.  First of all, just in selling the team, you know me well enough to know what I want to do.  I mean, everybody at first criticized when I first bought the team all the different things I wanted to do.  First, I want to do one thing: I want to win.  I want to be a first-class organization and I want to enhance the community and they all go together.”

He also said he’ll keep the team if the measure fails, with a caveat.

“If I die, my family will have to sell it and then that’s where I worry about who’s going to be the buyer when you don’t have a facility to play in, and you have declining attendance and you’re losing money,” Ross said.  “That’s when you have to worry about the Dolphins being able to stay in Miami.  OK?  I’m not threatening I’m going to move them.  But I can’t rule from the grave.”

The problem is that, without a consistent winner or a stadium with bells and whistles, not enough people in Miami come to games.  That dynamic apparently supports the somewhat remarkable notion that the Dolphins are somehow in the red.

“As we disclosed in our financials, we don’t make a lot of money,” Ross said.  “In fact, we lose a lot of money.  How do you turn that around?  By winning football games.  And how do you fill your seats?  By winning football games.”

A losing team likely won’t persuade customers to show up, even to a renovated venue.  An upgraded stadium may help for a year or two, but not over the long haul.

And that’s the biggest problem in today’s NFL.  While the system is configured to allow any team to be competitive, not every team has been able to pull it off in very many years.  Apart from whether the Dolphins win the stadium vote, the Dolphins won’t be selling out games on a regular basis unless and until they get back to where they once were as an on-field power.

25 responses to “Win or lose on stadium vote, Ross doesn’t intend to sell Dolphins

  1. Just hold off a few more years..The Rays will fold and the Dolphins can use their Billion dollar stadium..The RedSkins don’t actually play in Washington so the Phins can go play in Tampa and save building cost!

  2. He should sell. He has turned a once proud franchise into a a circus act.

    The organization is a Whos Who of washed up, has been celebrities and he is more concerned with bringing onboard new “owners” than with winning titles.

    I heard he is courting Milli Vanilli to be part “owners”. That would be a perfect fit since the team is pretenders as well

  3. I have a relatively low threshold when it comes to what I expect from NFL owners.

    I don’t expect them to know much about how to run a team, I don’t expect them not to make mistakes. All I expect them to do is care about winning.

    I’m not a Dolphins fan, but Ross goes on that list. Yes, he’s made his mistakes. And yes, he’s sometimes looked rather silly while making them. But I honestly believe that he cares about winning.

    And you certainly can’t say he hasn’t let his football people make the football decisions. All in all, I think you could do a lot worse that having Stephen Ross as your owner.

    Right, Bengals fans?

  4. “IF” i die?

    Wow, he’s so rich he thinks he may be immune to death?

    Now that’s a whole new level of arrogance, but I do respect his optimism!

    Regardless, I do wish he would sell. As an owner, he’s brutal.

  5. I don’t buy it or even understand what he’s talking about. He says he wants to win but he shows no effort to get quality football decision makers in charge of the team. He’s ignorant as to how to win (by my definition of standards to qualify) or he is a liar.

    He’s not going to win in Miami as long as Ireland is calling the shots. Sure he could get lucky somehow, but those odds are too high. His team will always be lackluster and a relative failure until he gets a smart man in charge that understands football at a high level.

  6. When you haven’t fielded a competitive team since 1997/98 (After Marino retired) fans lose interest.
    Trust me I know, I was a huge Skins fan and after the 91 season, we done nada AND I live in Jacksonville.

  7. “But I can’t rule from the grave.”

    Haha Ross is an o.k. dude, even has a sense of humor. Let the haters hate, they are stuck in a timewarp from when he first bought the team. Ross obviously wants whats best for the Dolphins and it won’t be on him if they continue to lose. (the only arguement that can be made it WOULD be on him is that he kept ireland, but we’ll see after this season if he was right or wrong.) The money for talent and contracts is there, the effort for a better stadium is there, and most importantly he keeps his nose out of the football side of things. I bet there are fans of a few teams out there that wish their owner would do that!

  8. Not a business mind, but I was under the impression that television contracts, revenue sharing, and merchandising more than make up for “poor attendance.” Have you seen the stands at any MLB game outside NY, BOS, LA?

  9. If you think Jeff Ireland and Dawn Aponte have done a poor job lately, you’re probably an idiot.

  10. Just build a NEW stadium next to Joe Robbie.
    Renovations are good for 5-7 years, then it’s outdated.

    What a crummy franchise.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  11. “We’re losing money” from an NFL owner is about as believable as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I’ll be that if you subtract out the salaries and associated costs of family members and other people who serve no useful purpose, the numbers change radically.

    seaeagle707–Well said. Winning brings people in. I’m old enough to remember Pitt Stadium being less than half full for Steelers games, and look how that once-woebegone franchise changed when it started fielding a better product. Or the Patriots as almost a gypsy franchise, moving from home field to home field in Boston. Just don’t pull a Jim Bowden–“If you build it, we will win.”

  12. Here’s a hint. Perhaps the Ross or the next multibillionaire owner could build his OWN stadium by a) using his own money, b) getting a loan from the banks like the rest of the 99% do with great collateral, or c) using the NFL with their tens of billions as a loan.

    No other business in the country uses taxpayer money for their place of work. No more corporate welfare for multibillionaires.

  13. Ross cleaned up Huizenga’s mess. He inherited garbage and lose-lose Parcells contract. What has he done but spend and hire a decent coach. Philbin is his first and only hire.

    Give the guy a break. He is trying and he has been the owner with real hope for a long time. Joe Robbie was cheap and the product showed for 15 years. Huizenga wasn’t but had no clue. Ross has made real progress and this year the record will validate that.

  14. No matter the outcome, everyone should retire “haters”, “haters going to hate”, and “hate on haters”. Its just time to move on, think of responses to make a counterpoint.

    As far as Ross, he was exciting at first, but then you realize he is just about the business side of the team, and its dollars he really only wants.

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