Florida Panthers CEO Out





Another complication in the negotiations for more money for the Florida Panthers.

President and CEO Michael Yormark is quitting, according to county sources.

Yormark will reportedly work for Shawn “Jay Z” Carter’s RocNation, a sports and entertainment firm.

“Any new person and the new owners can’t have the same relationship with the County Commission that has Michael (Yormark),” one source said. “It’s a new wrinkle.”

One source also speculated that Yormark and new Panthers owner Vinnie Viola  “did not see eye-to-eye.”

Viola reportedly was appalled by the continued $100,000-a-day losses at the Panthers and felt the organization needed new leadership to straighten it out, this source from inside the Panthers said.

The Panthers recently asked the Broward County Commission for millions of dollars in  additional money to help pay for outstanding debt on the arena is $225.1 million.  The county currently pays about $8 million-a-year, but the Panther wants the county to pick up an addition $4.5 million annually that the team is pays.


19 Responses to “Florida Panthers CEO Out”

  1. Mike says:

    Take the team to another city that will give you the money, and let it continue to lose money there. Why should anyone throw good money at a $100,000 a day problem. As an owner, if your not willing to spend money on a sports team and look at it as a hobby, then find someone who will. Hobbies are expensive, but I don’t think the county should have to pay for someone else’s problem. MOVE THE TEAM!

  2. Duke says:

    The team is making a lot of money. All the so called financial loses can be chalked-up to creative bookkeeping. They will never move. They have the management contract for the building. If they moved, the management contract would go back to the county and the debt would get paid off. So long as they have control over that management contract, they will never move. They should not get another dime. Any commissioner agreeing to such has breached their fiduciary duty to their constituents.

  3. Ha Ha Ha says:

    In addition to the below listed County Commissioners, red light camera advocate Angelo “Lawsuit” Castillo also endorses giving Broward taxpayer’s dollars to the Florida Panthers. In fact, he scolds us all about not being generous enough (“We need to stop being so stingy…”) to the fat-cat ownership of this fiasco of a hockey team…

    Dear Buddy, I also support helping the Panthers and I’ll tell you why [ad nauseum]…

    Florida Panthers will give you a seat in exchange for losing lottery tickets
    Feb 4, 2014 3:16 PM

    … Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief … is all in favor of using taxpayers’ dollars to give the Florida Panthers hockey team’s new owners an $80 million bailout for free rent at the BB&T Center, a major move that many in the business community and numerous municipalities oppose. … The team has become one of Sharief’s biggest campaign contributors. Along with its lobbyists and related interests, it has poured at least $8,000 into her current commission race.

    Bailout supporter Marty Kiar has received at least $8,000 from Panthers’ interests and lobbyists over the years, and has been benefited from fundraisers thrown by team lobbyist Billy Rubin. Commissioner Stacy Ritter won’t be voting because the Panthers hired her husband, Russ Klenet, as a lobbyist.

    But the reigning queen of Panthers campaign cash is Commissioner Kristin Jacobs. … The Panthers, its lobbyists and interests related to the team have contributed at least $35,000 in the past couple of years to her failed campaign for Congress and her current State House race, making the team her single biggest money backer. … Jacobs is now supporting a bailout for the Panthers and also voted to use taxpayers’ money to buy the team a new $5 million scoreboard last year. …

  4. Duke says:

    Here’s an idea. Give the team the 80 million.. contingent on the county buying back the management contract for the arena in exchange for the 80 million. See if the Panthers are willing to give up the management contract in exchange for the 80 million. Hint.. they won’t give up that management contract for 80 million. Not even 100 million. Not even 200 million.

  5. why Yorkmark ran? says:

    Read and decide, you make the call…


    Sure odd as recently as early last week Yormark was telling Wallman he was staying, this article comes out Friday and by lunch on Monday he is gone.

  6. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    What a mess. it does not surprise me. Mr.Yormark will do well w/ Jay-Z. This is a real problem for Viola now. Mr.Yormark had a good relationship w/ the County Comm(he always got what he wanted). If I was Mr.Viola I would hire John Rodstrom. Yes, he could deliver the goods to you Mr.Viola. Even though John Rodstrom is into banking etc. for the right salary I am sure he would consider it. Mr.Viola call in the area lobbyist. Stern, freedman, Bergeron, Platt. They can work their magic to your benefit. Also get in contact w/ the “Grand wizard”-Att.Bill Scherer……

  7. Watchman says:

    @why Yormark ran?: You make a good point, but in light of the article you have linked, perhaps a more significant question would be why is JACOBS still running, and how is she avoiding any inquiry into the integrity of her votes? Or LaMarca’s? Commissioner Ritter recuses herself from the Panther votes due to her husband’s status as a lobbyist on behalf of the Panthers. Why aren’t Jacobs and LaMarca recusing themselves from the votes? Their interaction with the Panthers seems much more direct and compromising.

  8. Michell Rubinstein says:

    Did anyone really believe both the Panthers and the County would not be in the scenario that is now hitting them both with a full body check.

  9. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    And you silly savages there in Broward are paying for it all.

    I have somewhere in my now-chaotic files a letter from Mr. Klenet stating that he would not be lobbying the County. Guess he changed his mind now that the issue that caused that letter (the infamous notebook that landed with Bob Norman “Stacy=Russ”) has gone away.

  10. Duke says:

    If there’s 200 events a year at the arena and they have approximately 7,000 parking spaces that go for at least $20.00 a piece, that 28 million a year cash money in parking revenue. Who gets that money? The county or the team ownership?

  11. amazing says:


    this link to mayor barbara sharieefs Op-Ed love letter to the panthers and the good deal the taxpayers of broward have with BBT arena.

  12. Duke says:

    Lets do some simple math. The arena has approximately 7,000 parking spaces. It’s hosting about 200 events a year. Patrons are charged a minimum of $20.00 to park. Just who is getting the 28 million dollars a year cash money that folks pay to park their cars at the arena? Does the county get that money or does the Panthers owner get that money?

  13. Duke says:

    I just read Barbara Sharief’s comments that she wrote for the Herald.
    What a bunch of BS. Is this lady really that clueless.? We have a magnificent arena that is one of the top 10 grossing arenas in America.. and she actually believes these folks when they say they’re losing 35 million a year? They make 28 million dollars a year cash money in parking revenue alone. Add in the tickets, the booze, the food, the indoor advertising and the luxury boxes just for the 41 hockey games, then add all that up for the other events taking place there. These people are making a fortune. If you don’t believe me, offer to buy back the management contract and see what they say. What has happened with that arena is nothing short of criminal. People’s asses should be in jail.

  14. Duke says:

    Did I mention the money for the broadcast rights for the hockey games to be on radio and television? Of course the Panthers should keep that money. But when a concert promoter rents the building for a night and sells 20 thousand seats, all the money to rent the building, all the money from the food and booze, all the money from parking, all the indoor advertising, all the private suites.. all of it should go to the county. Not one dime from any event other than a hockey game should be going to Panthers ownership. Letting them have the management contract was stupid. That’s where the real money is. Take back the management contract, hire an arena manager, and start paying off the debt. Call the teams bluff. They will never move. No other municipality would give away the farm the way our so called leaders did.

  15. Ghost of McLovin says:

    Suppose the Panthers left Sunrise as they threaten. And suppose LiveNation is unable to bring quality acts to BBT even though approximately 50 additional dates would be available if the Panthers left. And suppose nobody wanted to book the arena for concerts, circuses, monster truck shows, motorcross, arena football, wrestlemania and mma events. How much would it cost the taxpayers to knock that building down and sell the land? I bet the taxpayers recoup every penny we owe on tax service.

    The $80M is coming from tourism taxes – if that money can be used to bailout a private individual, it can certainly be used to fund homeless initiatives, build affordable housing, mass transit improvements like light rail, and a convention center hotel. Each of these would improve Broward County to attract more tourists than a hockey team in the suburbs with no hotel close by.

    No way I’d vote to re-elect any County Commissioner willing to spend tax money for a rich sports team owner, no matter who lobbies them.

  16. Duke says:

    Amen Ghost.
    The naming rights. I forgot about that. How much money does BB&T pay to have their name on that building, and who gets that money? What about the Lexis Parking Garage? How much does Lexis pay to have their name on the parking garage, even though another company has the naming rights to the building? Who gets the money?

  17. Real Deal says:

    Sometimes I think you could fit most of the intellectual power in this blog in a thimble. Do any of you ever travel outside this penis shaped state if only to consider what the the rest of civilized America does to solve problems?

  18. Duke says:

    Yes. It makes it even more frustrating. The last thing our political leaders want to hear is how they get it done in other places. That’s too bad.

  19. tell the truth says:

    how was this missed? or did some see this coming? just not me?

    “….Brett Yormark, Michael’s twin brother, is CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and the new Barclays Center and a business associate of Jay-Z.
    Roc Nation as well as concert promoter Live Nation have had a close relationship with Yormark and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment over the years. Two of Yormark’s closest employees with the Panthers recently took jobs in New York with Roc Nation……”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/03/04/v-print/3971422/florida-panthers-president-michael.html#storylink=cpy