Dolphins’ Steven Ross: Pity The Poor Billionaire

 

BY SAM FIELDS

 

I owe Miami Dolphins owner Steven Ross an apology for my earlier columns attacking the 83rd richest American. I erroneously went after him for his unwillingness to use his $4.5 billion to pay for all the improvements to “Joe Robbie, Landshark, Sun Life, Russell, etc., Stadium”.

It turns out that $4.5 billion is not the kind of wealth you think it is.

According to the May 9th Herald, in 2012 his team lost $41 million!

I felt terrible when my calculator made clear that, at this rate by 2123, Steven Ross will be on Food Stamps, or whatever they are issuing 110 years from now.

From what I can figure Ross is in the predicament because of the team’s evil landlord.

Mike Dee, the Dolphins CEO, explained it to Channel 10’s Michael Putney.  It seems that Ross bought the team without realizing the stadium was in such terrible condition.

Ross apparently has always been a trusting soul who bases his business deals on a kind word and a handshake.  No need for “due diligence” to check out the stadium.  After all, the guy who sold him the Dolphins spent fifty years in the trash hauling business.

So the problem has to be with the new owner of the stadium and the way he has been mistreating “our” Steven Ross.

You see The Miami Dolphins do not own the stadium. That’s a separate business that currently has the team as a captive tenant.  It can charge The Fins any rent it wants.  That greedy landlord is unconscionably siphoning off the profits of the hardworking Fins owner.

Now here is one of the most amazing co-incidences you ever going to hear.  The name of the landlord, who is gouging the team, is also named Steven Ross!

Now what are the odds of that happening?

But that’s nothing.  It turns out that the guys who own the parking and food concessions and every other related business are also named Steven Ross.  The mathematical probability of this is like winning the Powerball Lottery six weeks in a row. Yet, it’s happened.

Now I know what some of you are thinking: “Sam, Sam, Sam, don’t you know that all those Steve Ross’s are the same guy?”

No way. You’re such cynics.  If the cynics are right then someone might conclude that the $41 million loss was nothing more than creative bookkeeping by adjusting the rent up or down or shifting the profits from one corporation to another.

How do I know this can’t be true? Because, if Ross was such a bookkeeping flim/flamer, there is no way that Mitt Romney would have taken his $3,000,000 in 2012 campaign contributions.

Nevertheless, politicians and the media have been pummeling this man who only cares about making a better life for the rest of us.

So where has all this mistreatment of “The Good” Steve left us?  It’s summed up in the May 10th Herald headline: “Dolphins open to Palm Beach home”.

I hope he’s not talking about Palm Beach County.  I hope he’s talking about the Town of Palm Beach on the oceanfront island where “The Good” Steve lives.

Want to know the perfect place to move the team?  The south side of The Breakers Hotel. There is all this open space that hardly anyone uses.

On the downside somebody has dug 36 holes there already.  But they’re only about 4 inches wide. I am sure “The Good” Steve can get some beach sand to fill them in.

And here’s the best part.  “The Good” Steve will be able to say “good riddance” to “The Evil” Steve and at the same time live the American Dream.  He’ll be able to walk to work.

 



13 Responses to “Dolphins’ Steven Ross: Pity The Poor Billionaire”

  1. Thank God For Will Weatherford says:

    BUDDY’S TAKE:

    I don’t like much about the Florida House.

    Stuffed to the brim with Neanderthal right-wingers, the House wastes its time on making abortion tougher and the purchase of guns easier, weakening public schools and bending over backwards for the rich and big business community. The real issues of the state, like comprehensive tax reform and environmental protection, get shuffled off to a quick death in committees.

    So I was pleasantly surprised when House Speaker Will Weatherford Deep-Sixed the bill that would have allowed an election in Miami-Dade on the public paying to renovate the stadium for the Miami Dolphins. The bill was being pushed so fast that the early voting had already started on the stadium giveaway before the team got the necessary state legislative permission.

    Weatherford called a halt to this foolishness.

    The best part, of course, was when billionaire and Dolphins owner Steven Ross whined like a spoiled baby after the bill died. I guess not too many people say “No” to Ross.

    Ross lashed out at Weatherford, saying he “single-handedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk.”

    So what?

    What does the Super Bowl really do for South Florida? Fill hotel rooms at a time of the year – January and February – when they are crowded anyway? Provide a few weeks extra work for some stadium workers and hotel staff – they get pennies while Ross and his NFL buds get millions?

    Yes, the Dolphins stadium project would have provided construction jobs. It would have been much better to use the money to build infrastructure like road improvements that everybody could use. After all, how many taxpayers really do to a Dolphins game?

    South Florida didn’t have the Super Bowl many years and does just fine. The economy buzzes along without it.

    Rushing a deal to give another sports team a tax break was the wrong move. Thank God for Will Weatherford.

  2. excompassionateconservative says:

    This would be a good time to ask Sam if what the NFL and team owners do to extort money from cities is a RICO crime .

    From what I have read, the NFL Super Bowl committees have demanded that the hotels THEY rent be exempt from room taxes as part of their agreement! What a deal. You pay hotel staff peanuts and have millionaires not pay bed taxes that pay for the f’n stadium.

    Years ago I was contacted via mail from either a Superbowl or College bowl committe to ask abut working the festivites. This was VOLUNTEER work. I told them to go GF themselves or hire some people who need money.

    Also, many of the food stands in the stadium are not staffed by people needing money. The Dolhins allow many local youth sport teams staff a stand with some arrangement to be given to the team. Any discrepencies of inventory or cash are deducted from the final payment.

    The orginal design of Joe Robbie that I have read about for the stadium was for it to house a baseball team. The Marlins left form what I understand was the refusal of the Dolphins to share in luxury box revenue and other income streams. The Doplhins could have negotiated revenue and addded the roof enclusures they wanted and been able to house both teams . Instead, the welfare bums on both teams decided that they do not wish to work like most welfare bums do and demand that taxpayers pay for their indulgences.

    Finaly, the dead owner of the Balimore Colts I beleive described the NFL as a socialist collective of capitalists.

    ALl I know is that between the corruption, Marlins stadium bonds, a billion dollar water pipe bond proposal I am glad that I do not own property or live in Dade county. Those people will be F ed over big time for a few lifetimes.

  3. oh really says:

    correct on “Baseball” compatible layout of the original Joe Robbie stadium.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Robbie_Stadium

    Before S FL had a baseball team. And until the marlins were sold to a nother company, the marlins and dolphins shared the stadium. the contention after the sale over revenue, etc. drove marlins to want their own venue, and John Henry sold team. Just like Heat and Panthers shared the old Heat arena. then Panthers had to have their OWN venue which taxpayers paid to build and we see pennies on the dollar in revenue every year. If that. (Heat rent payments to City of Miami for their new venue are pennies on the dollar if that). Taxpayers LOOSE in EVERY deal. So now current dolphins owner wanted tax relief and exemptions along with tax dollar handout (after prior owner had gotten millions from Legislature for the last facelift/upgrades at Joe Robbie stadium).
    Thank you Rep. Weathrford for standing up with integrity and conviction (at least on this one item) so taxpayers did not get had again.
    And if stadium is so unsafe as the crumbling walls below seats showed on CBS news 4, plaintiffs will be getting ‘hurt’ and filing lawsuits.

  4. Middle of the road says:

    To think Dee wants us to think due diligence was an oversight on Steven Ross’ part is again treating us like we are children. Steven Ross made his billions on real estate holdings. Anyone who thinks he didn’t have the facility checked out to find every crack in the foundation to knock down the price with Wayne doesn’t understand how these people operate. I read somewhere this week that the NFL billionaire boys club has a policy that stops owners from investing in stadiums. They feel that the community should have skin in the game. We see how much skin in the game Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has after he dumped his team.
    I rarely agree with our right-wing legislature but for whatever his reasons, Weatherford got this right.

  5. Sam The Sham says:

    It would be insane for the “community” to have “skin in the game” by owning the stadiums. Imagine the extortion of benefits demanded by the team in that scenario. If the team threatens to move, the city would be left holding the bag on a billion dollar empty stadium. The team would have never ending demands like lower taxes, contract set asides, exemptions from zoning and contract laws. It would never end.

  6. Christine says:

    For once, an article written by Sam when he wasn’t busy “inhaling”. Cleverly penned, this piece exhibits a rationality of thought previously undetected in Fields’ other proffers. Hallelujah!!!

  7. Duke says:

    Do rock stars stars build their own arenas? How about professional wrestlers? The circus? Disney on Ice? Televangelist? Trade shows? Arenas are a much easier sell than stadiums. Every community with half a million people or more has a basic cultural and economic need for an arena. Ours happens to be one of the biggest grossing arenas in the world. Football stadiums are a much harder sell. You only got 8 games a year and it’s limited to that particular sport. Fins had a good argument that a lot of other big events would take place there and who could be against a public vote. David Samson isn’t looking so stupid now.

  8. modeengunch says:

    Here is Sam’s real problem:

    “Because, if Ross was such a bookkeeping flim/flamer, there is no way that Mitt Romney would have taken his $3,000,000 in 2012 campaign contributions.”

    And I believe he just made a homosexual out of Ross if a flamer is what I think one is.

  9. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    It never would’ve passed in Dade. And thank God for Norman Braman.

  10. Ha Ha Ha says:

    http://www.local10.com/news/blogs/bobnorman/broward-county-votes-to-pay-42m-for-florida-panthers-scoreboard/-/3223354/20148580/-/14xa8o1/-/index.html

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -
    The Broward County Commission on Tuesday voted to pay for a new $4.2 million scoreboard for the Florida Panthers, the latest in a long list of county giveaways to the struggling team.

    Just before the 6-2 vote came audit findings that the Panthers-related company that controls the taxpayer-financed BB&T Center misspent funds, failed to file mandatory financial reports with the county, and hasn’t maintained required reserves.

    “We have not performed the way we needed to… and for that I apologize,” said Panthers President Michael Yormark.

    Moments later, he and his lobbyists, John Milledge and Mike Moskowitz, were asking the commission to approve the new state-of-the-art scoreboard.

    “We’ve never let you down,” Yormark told commissioners.

  11. Duke says:

    How does a county that actually owns an arena give the owner of the team the management contract for that arena? The Panthers aren’t even the anchor tenant. The local concert promoter puts more events in that building than anyone. When a big show comes to town, does the promoter pay rent to the county or the Panthers? Nice going county commission. Only in south Florida do team owners get the management contract for the publicly owned building their team plays in.

  12. taxwatch says:

    HaHaHa and Duke got it right in comments
    The county auditor slammed the management or lack of, finances, book keeping, etc and the clueless commissioners chose to ignore it with exception of gunzburger and ryan
    Not getting superbowls was a good thing to send a message to politicos that pipe dreams of athletic events filling coffers is no way to project revenue. Panthers will stay in red with empty seats, and no money back to county.
    Sorry for hockey players who don’t understand why its this way in Florida

  13. Chaz Stevens, Satirist says:

    I’ve been a Dolphin fan all of my life…

    And yes, I am old.

    That being said, if the Fish moved out of town, my life would continue to go on.

    Personally, maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather invest that tax money in books for the kids, food and shelter for the needy, health care for the sick.

    But what the fuck do I know… I’m just a regular card carrying socialist, as opposed to a corporate socialist.

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