Tuesday, September 29, 2015

About the Stadium and Mr. Ross

I got some feedback yesterday regarding my comments about Mr, Ross' stadium and his apparent interest in money and not the community.

I addressed some of them in the comments, but I wanted to talk about the stadium a little more.  Its something I've blogged about rather a lot in the past, so some of you may be familiar with my position on this.

Let me start by stating the obvious: this stadium has existed in that location for more than 25 years, and ostensibly did nothing to build business. Calder Race track occupies (and did occupy, before the stadium) a plot of land a little further north, and there was little development around the stadium prior to it coming there.  And now?  There is a larger interchange to the highway east of the stadium.  And a Wal-Mart opened to the south.  To the west, nothing has changed.

So in other words, the stadium did not bring any economic development to the area.  Period.

The Dolphins did and do hire some number of people to support the team and the stadium.  I will grant you that.  But, by and large the people that work at the stadium are hired on a game-by-game basis.  They work for the day, and go home.  That's not much in the way of creating jobs - though its not nothing, either.

As far as the threat of moving the team, so we should be thankful that they are still here: I called BS on that before, and stand by it.  Joe Robbie got a sweetheart deal in terms of interest free loans, and tax advantages.  H. Wayne (when he did stadium improvements) got some low interest loans and further tax benefits.

That meant that when Mr. Ross bought the team, he was saddled with these items as a part of the team.  He would be on the hook for these loans regardless.  Hence, why he would never actually move the team.

And because of the tax advantage they gained,the Dolphins don't contribute as much as they could (or perhaps should) to the local economy.

Now to the new improvements he is funding himself.  Yes, he is fronting the money.  But (a) it appears as though he got a loan from the NFL for some portion of it (and its hard to know for sure, because that's not in the public record), and (b) being a real estate mogul, he surely found a way to do the enhancements in a way that was the most cost effective.

And the deal he struck with the county pays him for events that come to the stadium.  Estimates I've seen show this to be about $30 million per year, from our tax dollars.  Plus, he's still working on another exemption from the state that saves him money on his tax bill from the state.

And of course, he has the money that people plunked down on new seat licenses, and new season tickets.  He got that money up front, and it helps pay defray the cost of construction.

So, its not quite as simple as he paid for it himself.  Yeah, he kind of did, but he also gets money back from the community anyway.  And in basically 10 years (maybe less), he will have recouped it all from the county and state.

So don't try and sell me on him helping the community economically.  I'm not buying it.
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4 comments

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It is the rare sports own that puts up their own money to build a stadium. Look at the ones that do, and their teams are successful. The rest? They have found a way to funnel money of of community into their pockets, in the name of "community interest".

Ross is no exception. He wants your tax dollars along with the massive TV revenue he already gets, but has no interest in actually building a team.

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He also wants a Super Bowl(s) in Miami--which is prestigious, a big money maker, and would never happen without the renovations.
I'm sure as a tycoon he "want's" to win but just he
just doesn't have the football backbone to do it.

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Super Bowls are not money makers for the community: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/30/the-nfl-s-super-bowl-con-hosting-the-big-game-isn-t-an-economic-score-for-cities.html

Steven Ross is the first Dolphins owner that has had to beg for Super Bowls. The previous owners were somehow able to lure the NFL to Miami quite consistently without asking for a handout from the community.

Really, the Super Bowl is ALL about Steven Ross and the money he makes. He would much rather see the Patriots win a championship in Miami than bother spending the money and effort to build a good team.

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Linearz, spot on.

The NFL used to love coming to Miami, New Orleans and other fun, warm weather cities before the money trumped the vacation. Now it's the spectacle and all that matters is the bottom line.

On a post earlier this year, I link to the 250 page list of demands the NFL made of San Francisco to host the game. That never was never the case.

Of course mr Ross would like a super bowl, but the local cities aren't keen on meeting the demands - and giving up a lot at a time of year when people want to be in town.

So I don't expect local communities to go along with the demands...in spite of lobbying but the host committee. And so I have no great expectation of the Super Bowl coming back to Miami - renovations or not.