In a strictly procedural move, the NFL owners gave formal approval Tuesday to allowing H. Wayne Huizenga eventually to transfer up to 45 percent more of the Dolphins to Stephen Ross.
This is not news in the sense that it was always understood -- and anticipated -- that Ross would eventually become majority owner of the Dolphins. He and Huizenga said as much when they announced in February that Ross would be buying 50 percent of the team, Dolphin Stadium and the surrounding land for $550 million. They reiterated the same when the NFL owners approved Ross’ 50 percent purchase on March 31.
And Tuesday’s vote at the owners meeting in St. Petersburg didn’t set a date of transfer, it merely makes the transfer possible. It is not expected to have any bearing on the operation of the team this season.
“This is just another step toward the eventual transfer of up to 95 percent ownership interest in the team and the stadium from Mr. Huizenga to Mr. Ross,” Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene said.
There’s been plenty of speculation about when Huizenga, who remains managing general partner, will cede control to Ross. The owners don’t have another formal meeting scheduled until March. Could the transfer happen before then? There’s nothing set in stone, but that’s certainly a possibility.
Regardless of when the transfer occurs, Huizenga has vowed to maintain at least 5 percent interest in the team.