Fins up from SC where there is currently rain in my beer. My second favorite sport is baseball, and rain is bad for baseball. I guess it’s time to push through the things I can’t control today. Things like the weather, and the nearby idiots. You know who does that well? Stephen Ross. Stephen Ross can’t control the drought in public funding caused by fearful politicians and the Miami Marlins. Has any player, coach, or owner ever had a more negative effect on the Dolphins than the Marlins? I hate the Marlins. From 1993-2011 they made one of the most beautiful playing surfaces in the NFL look awful. It is true that the Dolphins have had trouble separating themselves from the Marlins. Perhaps it is because Wayne Huizenga owned both clubs, I could not tell you. I will tell you that the Marlins are not “In it to win it” and they are a parasite in South Florida. Tell me again how Jeffrey Loria is qualified to lead a MLB franchise and Mark Cuban was denied?
So let me swing back to what matters. The Miami Today News has reported the Dolphins are currently in the process of eliminating seats in Sun Life Stadium. These changes have to occur to eliminate the possibility of future blackouts. I love that; you cannot keep your fan base without television. Yet, how will this process take place? I have visions of the Jaguar’s hideous stadium in my head. A few years ago the Jaguars covered two entire sections of their upper deck with a huge tarp. The tarp looked like a massive version of my truck bed cover with a Jags logo on it. I’m glad I don’t pull for the Jags.
With fewer seats in Pro Players Stadium you can expect ticket prices to rise. I am fine with it; consider it the price of progress or better yet, the price of winning. According to the team 2012 team marketing report the average ticket price to a Dolphins game is $ 71.14. This is well below the NFL average of $ 78.38. If you’re wondering the Jets average $ 117.94 and New England weighs in at $ 117.84.
Ross has said that if Sun Life Stadium is to be renovated it must include a marriage of public and private funds. I don’t think Ross will move the Dolphins; the lack of public funding won’t last forever. The hangover created by the Miami Marlins will eventually end. When it does end the standard will only be higher as Minnesota, Buffalo, and Atlanta will all soon receive public funding to build or renovate their stadiums.
It will be interesting to see the creative ways Ross attempts to maximize shareholder value moving forward. Some forecast an increase in strategic private partnerships in the future. The Miami Hurricanes already play their home games at Sun Life Stadium, and Ross recently said that the failed L.A. stadium proposal would have required two tenants to be successful. I would welcome a joint ownership venture with the University of Miami. Even if the Hurricanes played baseball at the new venue it would not be a problem for the Dolphins because college baseball wraps up in June. The New Times Broward Palm Beach has noted Sun Life stadium will host a soccer event called the International Champions Cup. The tournament is expected to include top teams from around the globe, and at least one MLS team. Given the demographics of South Florida one can expect the International Champions Cup to be successful. Ross is a business man who will get the most out of his assets, regardless of external circumstances. Hopefully a winner on the field will make the process as easy as it should be. Ross will keep the Dolphins operating in the green column, and we will be around when Jeffrey Loria needs help moving.