New Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross has added dashes of Key West, Cuba and Puerto Rico to his team. On Friday, he went South Beach.
With Casa Casuarina, the former Versace Mansion, on Ocean Drive as his backdrop, Ross introduced neo-pop artist Romero Britto as the newest addition to help enhance the fan experience at Land Shark Stadium. Britto, known for his bright-colored, playful paintings and sculpture, will add his signature style to the helixes and gates at the stadium. (See photo courtesy of the Dolphins).
“It’s fitting that we’re here in Miami Beach, first of all because I’m from Miami Beach, and since the Miami Dolphins really represent the South Florida, South Beach lifestyle,” said Ross, who was dressed more for a team meeting -- in khakis, pink shirt and dark jacket -- than for a night on South Beach. “Today we bring the Miami Dolphins to South Beach and I know we’re going to bring back a lot of South Beach to Land Shark Stadium this year.”
Britto, dressed in a black suit and bright red shirt, said the project will be done in three phases and take three years to complete. But Ross promised some of the work will be in place for the Dolphins home opener on Monday, Sept. 21 against the Indianapolis Colts. Britto thanked Ross for choosing his art to help grace the stadium.
“As you can see here, the Dolphins are going to have my art around the stadium, and this is like a dream come true for an artist to be able to share his art with so many people,” Britto said.
Ross promised his priority is creating a winning football team, but with that, he also reminded that he wants to create “a greater fan experience” at the stadium.
He was also cognizant that people have gotten accustomed to his flashy press conferences to introduce new celebrity limited partners in the team, since he’s introduced Gloria and Emilio Estefan and Marc Anthony in recent weeks. Although not yet a limited partner, Jimmy Buffett has also partnered with Ross: the stadium has been re-named this season for Buffett’s Land Shark Lager and Buffett has re-written his hit Fins in honor of the team.
“The two announcements tonight, deal with really creating a fan experience as opposed to announcing another celebrity limited partner,” Ross said. “I can tell you we have some additional celebrity limited partners and we’ll have an announcement like that in the next two weeks, but tonight I’m really delighted to announce that the world renowned and South Florida artist Romero Britto will be bringing Land Shark Stadium alive through his iconic art.”
Additionally, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee announced the creation of the exclusive VIP Ocean Drive Club at the stadium in partnership with Ocean Drive magazine. The invitation-only club is designed for up to 250 members, who will enter it on an orange carpet and will have direct access to the field. The sleek club will have lounge space, carving station, flat-screen TVs and other benefits. It will be housed in the Gate G sub-concourse in 4,500 square feet where the Marlins batting cages are, but will eventually expand to 20,000- to 25,000-square feet, Dee said.
“We’ll see you all around the orange carpet,” Dee said to close the press conference.
After a break, the Dolphins cheerleaders held a swimsuit fashion show – complete with runway and some cheerleaders sporting Britto body paint -- to unveil their 2010 calendar. They were backed by hip hop artist T-Pain, who served as DJ for the event, adding his own commentary such as “I’ll be a fool for you,” as Miss April appeared and “Mother my I?” for Miss May.
And then, T-Pain debuted his updated version of the Miami Dolphins Fight Song. Don’t worry traditionalists – he hasn’t changed the words. Both the new and original versions will be played at games this season.