New Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is giving a lot of thought to the ambience at Dolphin Stadium during Dolphin games next season.
“I’m very happy to be the new owner, hopefully you’ll see a lot of new things next year,” said Ross during an appearance to promote the Fin Cup, a new Pro-Am featuring current and former Dolphins players that took place Monday at the Honda Classic at PGA National. “I dream at night about things of how we can really increase the fan experience. And It’s a real privilege to do that.”
But Ross wasn’t giving any hints as to what changes or improvements he might make.
“It’s a little premature to talk about the things we’re planning,” he said, instead encouraging fans to attend games in 2009. “I just say come to the first games and I think you’ll see a little bit of a difference. I don’t want to really telegraph anything at this point, we’re working on it.”
Ross said the main reason fans attend is to see their team win, but he wants to make the game day experience an attraction as well.
“I think just making that experience a little better for the fans and a little more exciting, much like the Los Angeles Lakers, what they are. I think South Florida has a lot of opportunities to do things so I want to really increase that.”
Ross said he has turned for advice to former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The two know each other because Ross serves on the board of the Levin Institute, a school for global education and business, where Tagliabue serves as chairman. But Ross insisted Tagliabue will not join the Dolphins “executive ranks.”
“The opportunity I have to call upon him is something I would be a fool not to take advantage of,” Ross said.
And when it comes to his stadium’s other tenants, the Marlins and University of Miami football team, Ross is watching the Marlins ballpark proceedings. Ross seems to be indicating he’s willing to extend the Marlins’ lease beyond its 2010 expiration, but hopes the team is able to move into a new home in 2012.
“I’d like to believe 2011 will be their last year at the stadium,” Ross said.