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September 30, 2010

LeBron James partners with Dr. Dre on new headphones

lebronheadphonesnew.jpgContinuing to show his varied contacts and business relationships, superstar Miami Heat forward LeBron James has partnered with Dr. Dre on a new series of headphones aimed at sports enthusiasts and athletes.

“PowerBeats by Dr. Dre” are performance headphones designed to allow active people to get good music quality while they’re busy exercising and playing sports. They feature an adjustable bendable ear hook with a flexible arm to keep the headphones in place while exercising.

James and Dr. Dre are friends – they were at Fenway Park together at the Boston Red Sox home opener this year – and often work out together. James wears Dr. Dre’s high-end headphones during pregame warmups, as do other NBA players. (Watch a video below about the collaboration showing James and Dr. Dre and their trainer -- there's even some poking fun at James' "The Decision" press conference).

“Music has always been an important part of my life and a crucial element of my training regime. It helps me achieve a higher level of focus that ultimately helps me win,” James said in a statement. “I needed a headphone that would fit securely while working out, but it had to have the best sound quality. I know my friends and fellow professional athletes will love PowerBeats as much as I do.”

Dr. Dre added, “We worked with LeBron to make sure these would be the ultimate headphones for athletes. I'm always about the performance, the sound, and LeBron brought what he needed in terms of function to the table. I've been wearing the prototype for Powerbeats in the gym every day for the last few months so I can honestly say they're the best headphones for working out.”

Beats Electronics was founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine in 2006. The company partnered with audio-video accessory company Monster in 2008 to develop the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones.

PowerBeats by Dr. Dre, which can be ordered here are expected to be available at Best Buy in mid-October for $169.95. And they come in red, black and white. Heat colors, natch. Actually, the colors are just a coincidence, I'm told, because they're trendy.

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (174), NBA (139)

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September 29, 2010

Dish Network customers could miss Miami Heat games

A carriage dispute between Dish Network and Fox could result in South Florida Dish Network customers missing Miami Heat games, which begin airing on Fox-owned Sun Sports on Tuesday with the team’s first preseason game against the Detroit Pistons.

If a new carriage agreement is not reached by midnight Thursday, Dish Network customers will lose access to Sun Sports and Fox Sports Florida.

The also means Orlando Magic games -- and the debut of the team’s brand new Amway Center – would be missing for Dish Network customers in central and northern Florida. Oh, and Florida Marlins fans with the Dish Network could miss the team’s final homestand of the 2010 season on Fox Sports Florida this weekend, too. Same goes for the Rays' final series on Sun Sports.

There’s still time for a resolution, but the fight’s gotten nasty enough that Fox is placing ads in area newspapers Thursday about the dispute and directing fans to a website for details called getwhatipaidfor.com. The site explains the issues from Fox’s point of view.

Fox says it has made numerous proposals on subscriber fees, but Dish has not agreed to any of them.

Tuesday’s Heat preseason game is being aired nationally on NBA TV, but is blacked out per NBA rules in South Florida, where Sun Sports will be airing it exclusively.

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Television (35)

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September 28, 2010

Miami Dolphins field, parking issues

slsfield.jpgThe Miami Dolphins won't decide until late Friday at the earliest whether they will replace the infield dirt at Sun Life Stadium with sod for Monday night's game against the New England Patriots -- as they did for Sunday's game against the New York Jets. (See photo of workers taking the sod back out Sunday night).

Team officials will monitor the weather during the next few days and determine whether there's enough time to replace the dirt infield.

Last week, the grounds crew had about four days to cover the dirt with sod. They wouldn't be so lucky this time because the Florida Marlins wrap up the 2010 season Sunday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The sod is grown in Alabama on pieces of plastic in sand so that it's thick and durable and doesn't turn to mud in the rain. It comes in such big heavy rolls that it can withstand the play of big NFL linemen.

Stay tuned ...

Meanwhile, the team is altering procedures for parking at Monday night's game after some fans complained lots surrounding and adjacent to the stadium were full and they were turned away even though they had parking passes, said George Torres, spokesman for Dolphins Enterprises. The team will work to give priority to fans with parking passes and limit the number of fans, who pay cash, from entering lots immediately surrounding the stadium.

Fans with parking passes, who are shut out of the stadium lots, can have their passes honored at parking lots at Wal-Mart and Norwood Elementary, Torres said.

Torres said priority will be given to season ticket holders with parking passes. He said radio broadcasters will give regular updates on which lots are closed and more staff will be on hand to help with traffic flow.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Sun Life Stadium (24)

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September 27, 2010

Miami Dolphins game parking woes

Couldn’t make it to Sun Life Stadium for Sunday night’s Miami Dolphins’ 2010 home opener?

Neither could Fred Sorentrue. But it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Sorentrue, of Plantation, said he’s been a Dolphins season ticket holder for more than a decade and he’d never had a problem parking at the stadium. Until Sunday.

He arrived at the stadium about an hour before game time with tickets for his two seats at $82 each and a $20 parking pass. But at each gate surrounding the stadium, he says, he was turned away and told to continue to the next gate.

Sorentrue said he eventually gave up and went home to watch the game. He said he was told part of the problem was the number of fans without tickets to the game, who arrived early just to tailgate. He said driving to an auxiliary lot at Calder Race Course, for example, wasn’t an option for him because he’s 67 and has a bad leg and couldn’t make the walk between Calder and the stadium.

He said he heard others went to park at Calder with their parking passes, only to be charged an additional $15.

“It’s just not right for them to sell the parking pass and double and triple dip,” Sorentrue said. “Gaining other money [from people without tickets] and not giving people with parking passes a chance to get in. I had to basically eat $184.”

Meanwhile, there’s only so much monitoring the Dolphins can do, Dolphins Enterprises spokesman George Torres said.

“The lots did get full and some people had to park elsewhere. This could happen when we’re at total capacity in terms of attendance and if fewer fans carpool,” Torres said.

Torres said when the lots around the stadium fill up, season ticket holders are referred to other lots at Wal-Mart and Norwood Elementary, where they should be able to park for free with their parking passes.

“We may have had some fans without game tickets tailgate but it’s hard to tell since we don’t require game tickets in order to park in our lots,” Torres said. “Some fans without tickets will tailgate and try to buy tickets from the stadium box office or from other fans.”

Did you - or anyone you know - have a similar problem?

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Sun Life Stadium (24)

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Player Appearance: Meet IndyCar drivers Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti & more

In advance of Saturday’s Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 – the IndyCar Series championship – at Homestead-Miami Speedway, several IndyCar drivers will be meeting fans and signing autographs Thursday in the IZOD shop in the men’s department at Macy’s in Dadeland Mall.

Among the drivers scheduled to attend are Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, Tony Kanaan, Milko Duno and EJ Viso. There will be pit stop demonstrations, racing simulators and a two-seat IndyCar from 4 to 8 p.m. The drivers are scheduled to sign autographs from 6 to 7 p.m., at the Macy’s at 7303 SW 88th Street, Miami.

IZOD, which is the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series, will also be giving away items – while supplies last -- such as tickets to the Indy 300 for the first 50 customers who spend $40 or more on IZOD apparel at the event, and a ride in a street-legal Indy two-seater to the first 50 to spend $20 ore more on an IZOD purchase.

POSTED IN: Auto Racing (42)

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September 23, 2010

Miami Heat individual tix on sale Tuesday

Individual tickets to see the new-look Miami Heat go on sale to the general public starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the team announced today.

There will be a four-ticket limit for each game and tickets can be purchased at Heat.com, ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX. Tickets will not be sold at AmericanAirlines Arena's ticket office on Tuesday, but will be available thereafter. Ticketmaster retail outlets will begin selling tickets on Thursday. Tickets start at $10, but vary depending on location and opponent.

For example, tickets in the front rows of the 400 level of AmericanAirlines Arena are running $167 ($150 for the ticket and $17 for fees) for the home opener against the Orlando Magic on Oct. 29. Seats for the Heat versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 15 in the 400 level are $88 ($75 for the ticket and $13 in fees).

Most of the seats are in the 400 level, but some scattered singles may be available in other locations throughout the arena. The team is encouraging fans to purchase tickets early, as prices are likely to rise closer to the games. It is also possible that some tickets may be available on game days, depending on whether tickets are returned by the opposing team.

There will be some tickets available to all home games, because the team held back some seats, even as it sold out its season ticket inventory and gave season ticket holders, those on the "Heat Hopefuls" season ticket waiting list, and on a LiveWire email database first crack at individual game tickets this week.

Meanwhile, you can already buy individual tickets on the Sun Sentinel's ticket broker site here.

POSTED IN: AmericanAirlines Arena (35), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Tickets (126)

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Infield dirt to be covered for Dolphins-Jets game

stadium1.jpgThe infield dirt for the baseball diamond that remains on the football field when the Miami Dolphins’ and Florida Marlins’ seasons overlap has been a complaint of the Dolphins for years. The Dolphins have decided to do something about it for Sunday’s 2010 home opener against the New York Jets.

The infield dirt will be covered with sod for the Jets game.

Sun Life is one of only two stadiums left in the country that host both baseball and football on natural grass. The other being Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, home to the Oakland A’s and Raiders.

The Marlins finish up their 2010 season at Sun Life Stadium on Oct. 3, but a Dolphins spokesman says it’s possible the infield dirt might be covered in time for the following night’s Monday night game against the New England Patriots. However, several factors need to be considered, in particular weather conditions.

It’s not just the grounds crew working overtime at the stadium this week: construction crews are working around the clock – three shifts – to finish Club LIV at the stadium. That’s the brand new, first-of-its-kind sports club debuting Sunday on the club level in the west endzone. The 10,000-square foot two level club modeled on Club LIV at the Fontainebleau Hotel will feature couches, cabanas, DJs, entertainment, nightclub lighting and drinks that can be purchased by the bottle.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Sun Life Stadium (24)

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September 22, 2010

Panthers bring back naming your own price for tickets

After its success last month with The Perfect Plan – a variation on Priceline’s "Name Your Own Price" for tickets – the Florida Panthers have brought back the program for another week.

The Perfect Plan allows fans to pick their seat location at BankAtlantic Center and name a price and learn within 24 hours if their offer has been accepted. The plan is only available for season ticket packages and only in select locations. The program runs until Sept. 29.

Retail prices range from $60 to $130 per seat per game. Potential buyers could have their offers accepted, be offered another location for that price or work out a different agreement.

When the program launched in August, the team was able to make deals with about half the fans who made offers. More than 200 season tickets were sold through the program, a team spokesman said.

To make an offer or get more information visit FloridaPanthers.com or call 954-835-PUCK.

The Panthers home opener at BankAtlantic Center is Oct. 16 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

POSTED IN: Florida Panthers (108), NHL (56), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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September 21, 2010

Miami Heat individual game tickets to go on sale next week; presale this week

Individual game tickets to see the new-look Miami Heat are expected to go on sale next week – the team has yet to release the date – but season ticket holders and others are getting a first crack at the coveted tickets this week.

Season ticket holders, followed by fans on the team’s season ticket “Heat Hopefuls” waiting list and then those from a LiveWire email database are each getting a 10-hour window in which to purchase individual game tickets ahead of the general public.

There are only a limited number of tickets available and the price varies depending on the location and opponent.

And they are not inexpensive. For example, tickets in the front rows of the 400 level of AmericanAirlines Arena are running $167 ($150 for the ticket and $17 for fees) for the home opener against the Orlando Magic on Oct. 29. That’s the high end, obviously. You can catch the Heat versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 15 in the 400 level for $88 ($75 for the ticket and $13 in fees).

Should know about general public on sale date soon.

Meanwhile, you can already buy individual tickets on the Sun Sentinel's ticket broker site here.

POSTED IN: AmericanAirlines Arena (35), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Tickets (126)

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September 20, 2010

Tebow jersey still No. 1; Brandon Marshall up to No. 15

Denver Broncos and former Gator quarterback Tim Tebow still holds the top spot for NFL jersey sales during the past six months, but Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s jersey is now up to 15th.

That’s according to sales figures from NFLShop.com covering the period of April 1 through Sept. 15. Marshall’s jersey sales ranked 16th in May. Meanwhile, the Dolphins merchandise is up a notch, too, to eighth for the time period – up from ninth in May.

Behind Tebow are New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb. The top-selling team gear is that of the Dallas Cowboys, who have four players among the top 25 best-selling jerseys, but are 0-2 so far this season.

Here are the full lists from NFLShop.com:

Top 25 best-selling jerseys

1. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
3. Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins
4. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings
5. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis colts
6. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
9. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
10. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
11. Eli Manning, New York Giants
12. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
13. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys
14. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
15. Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolpins
16. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
17. Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers
18. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
19. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
20. Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals
21. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
22. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
23. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs
24. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
25. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

Top 10 best-selling team merchandise

1. Dallas Cowboys
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Denver Broncos
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. New York Giants
6. Minnesota Vikings
7. Washington Redskins
8. Miami Dolphins
9. New York Jets
10. Chicago Bears

POSTED IN: Apparel (55), Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178)

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September 17, 2010

Duffy’s partners with Dolphins, Panthers & Marlins

Buoyed by the success of its partnership with the Miami Dolphins, Duffy’s Sports Grill has been expanding its relationships with South Florida’s sports teams.

The Palm Beach Gardens-based sports grill chain became the “Official Sports Grill of the Miami Dolphins” last August and launched the Dolphins Express – a network of bus transportation from Duffy's locations to and from Dolphins home games at Sun Life Stadium. Not only has that relationship expanded, but the sports grills are also including Dolphins tickets and special offers as part of their MVP loyalty card program, in which members get seated without waiting, discounts and other benefits.

This year, the Dolphins Express has expanded to 10 locations from Fort Lauderdale to Melbourne. The buses, which will all be express rather than making stops along the way, are leaving earlier and rather than a box lunch, the price for the trip includes a ticket and a pregame tailgate at Sun Life Stadium catered by Duffy’s. The prices are $79 for upper corner endzone seats; and $124 for lower corner endzone seats. The tailgates include hamburgers, chips, cookies and a cash bar for beer and wine.

“We’ve learned a lot from last year,” said Paul Emmett, Duffy’s president and owner. “The buses are leaving, there will be a tailgate party. All the buses will get together and we’ll be offering the grill and beer before every game.”

A schedule of the Dolphins Express stops and times is below.

The success of the Dolphins partnership has led to the sports grills – which have 22 locations and more than 300,000 loyalty card members -- partnering with the Florida Panthers and more recently with the Florida Marlins.

The Panthers partnership launched in June with Duffy’s hosting the team’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Watch Parties at Duffy’s locations in Palm Beach Gardens and Fort Lauderdale. Duffy’s will also hold watch parties during the season and Panthers benefits are also part of the restaurant’s loyalty card program.

Meanwhile, the restaurant chain recently forged a partnership with the Florida Marlins, which is under way this season, but will be more visible in 2011. Among the plans are watch parties and promotional events aimed at driving ticket sales, said Brendan Cunningham, Marlins senior director of corporate sales.

“They’ve got a great footprint in the South Florida area, their plans for future expansion matched up well without backyard market,” Cunningham said. “It seemed like a perfect fit.”

Emmett said the relationships helps Duffy's with branding and drives more customers to the restaurants.

The Dolphins Express departure locations and times are as follows:

Melbourne: 1 p.m. games, 8 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 11 a.m.,; 8 p.m. games, 3 p.m.
Superplay: 1 p.m. games, 8:30 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 11:30 a.m.; 8 p.m. games, 3:30 p.m.
Jupiter East: 1 p.m. games, 8:45 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 11:45 a.m.; 8 p.m. games, 3:45 p.m.
Villages: 1 p.m. games, 8:45 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 11:45 a.m.; 8 p.m. games, 3:45 p.m.
Southern: 1 p.m. games, 9 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, noon; 8 p.m. games, 4 p.m.
Boynton East: 1 p.m. games, 9:15 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 12:15 p.m.; 8 p.m. games, 4:15 p.m.
Delray: 1 p.m. games, 9:30 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 12:30 p.m.; 8 p.m. games, 4:30 p.m.
Coconut Creek: 1 p.m. games, 9:45 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 12:45 p.m.; 8 p.m. games, 4:45 p.m.
Plantation: 1 p.m. games, 10 a.m.; 4 p.m. games, 1 p.m.; 8 p.m. games, 5 p.m.
Fort Lauderdale: 1 p.m. games, 10 a.m. ; 4 p.m. games, 1 p.m.; 8 p.m. games, 5 p.m.

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), Florida Panthers (108), Miami Dolphins (186), Promotions (120), Sponsorship (101)

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September 16, 2010

Marlins Stadium Update No. 19 (months)

OK, not really a stadium update, but a visual development along the way: Fox Sports Florida will debut “The New Ballpark” edition of “Inside the Marlins” on Friday night at 10:30 p.m., following the Florida Marlins-Chicago Cubs game.

It’s the last episode of the show’s 2010 season and it explores securing the financing for the new ballpark along with the design and construction. An interview with the ballpark’s chief architect, Earl Santee of Populous, is included, as is time-lapse video showing the progress of construction on the former site of the Orange Bowl in Little Havana. The ballpark is scheduled to open in 2012.

A trailer can be viewed here.

Other broadcasts of the show are scheduled: Saturday at 6 p.m.; Monday at 11:30 a.m.; Tuesday at 6 p.m.; Sept. 24 at 11:30 a.m.; Sept. 26 at 1 p.m.; Sept. 29 at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 12:30 p.m.

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), MLB (110), Marlins Stadium Updates (112), Orange Bowl (45), Television (35)

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September 15, 2010

Player/Owner Appearance: Meet Venus Williams

Tennis star and Miami Dolphins limited partner Venus Williams is now an author, too, and she’ll be signing copies of her new book at Books & Books tonight at the Bal Harbour Shops.

The event for autographs of the book, “Come to Win: Business Leaders, Artists, Doctors, and Other Visionaries on How Sports Can Help You Top Your Profession” takes place at 7 p.m. at Books & Books, 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour.

Williams will only be signing copies of the book and you must buy a copy at the store ($25.99). There is no limit on the number of books she will sign, but she does not have time to personalize the signatures or pose for photos – although photos can be taken from the autograph line.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Sports Team Owners (49), Tennis (8)

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September 8, 2010

Using the Three Kings to market your business

bsgbubbles1.jpgBeber Silverstein Group has used the iconic thought bubbles on its Coral Way office façade to promote its marketing and advertising business with a variety of messages that reflect current events, fund-raising for natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, holidays, and even its Twitter feed @thinkbsg.

For example, a holiday one in 2009 read “Madoff is in Prison, Healthcare is in Debate. 2009 is almost over… Happier Holidays, from Beber Silverstein.”

Since last month, BSG has been using the Miami Heat’s offseason acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining Dwyane Wade to gain attention.

One bubble says “If you had Wade, Bosh & James on your team, you could sell out without advertising” and the other points out “But you don’t, so call 305-856-9800."

A clever message considering the Heat sold out its season ticket inventory hours before James even announced he was definitely coming to Miami.

“We’ve certainly gotten a lot of attention to it. More compliments than on any in a while,” said Joe Perz, the company’s executive vice president, creative director. “I like that it was a little arrogant. Everybody was talking about the dream team coming here.”

The bubbles have also spurred some business, Perz said.

The company changes the message every few months, which isn’t easy to do these days. In the era of digital signage and laser printing, BSG still has the signs hand-painted by a Miami man who works from a cherry-picker and only on weekends.

Mike LaMonica, BSG’s senior vice president business development and director of social media, says the company has become known for its bubbles, which were started in the early 1990s.

“Our clients love them. Prospects who come and visit us love them,” LaMonica said. “People who drive by love them. We’ve gotten many compliments on our Facebook page, on our Twitter page. I’ve gotten many phone calls with compliments, also many phone calls with submissions. I’ve also gotten many phone calls from people who wanted to advertise there.”

The company has yet to allow anyone else to advertise there or taken submissions, although it might consider submitted suggestions in the future, LaMonica said.

POSTED IN: Advertising (79), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139)

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Taxpayers on hook for sports teams’ former homes

A front page story in today’s New York Times details how New Jersey taxpayers are still on the hook for $266 million in bond payments that remain on the Meadowlands Sports Complex, despite the fact that Giants Stadium has been torn down and the New York Giants and Jets have moved into their new $1.6 billion new Meadowlands Stadium. The debt includes what’s left on the Izod Center, which is no longer home to the New Jersey Devils and Nets.

The bill comes to $35.8 million this year, and the bonds won’t be retired until 2025, the article says. The piece goes on to detail a number of locales where taxpayers are still paying off bonds on buildings that no longer exist: Seattle residents in King County still owe $83 million, scheduled to be repaid in 2016, on the Seattle Mariners’ former home, the Kingdome, which came down in 2000.

South Florida taxpayers seem only to be on the hook for sports venues in use – even though at least two – the Orange Bowl and Miami Arena – have been torn down in the past couple of years. The city of Miami made sure Miami Arena was off the city’s tax rolls in 2004 when it sold the pink oval arena – where the Miami Heat, Florida Panthers and UM men’s basketball team once played -- to Glenn Straub at auction for $28 million. And a $50 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2004 to renovate the Orange Bowl has instead been applied to the Florida Marlins’ under-construction ballpark.

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), Florida Panthers (108), Miami Heat (174), NFL (178), Orange Bowl (45)

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September 3, 2010

Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins and a water park

The release of financial documents showing the Florida Marlins were profitable in 2008 and 2009 couldn’t have come at worse time for … the Miami Dolphins.

That’s right, the Dolphins. As the Dolphins continue their behind-the-scenes planning to ask the public to help pay for renovations to Sun Life Stadium to keep it competitive to host future Super Bowls, the baseball team’s finances can’t have helped the football team’s cause.

The Marlins’ financial records, obtained by Deadspin.com, show the team had net operating income – before factoring in taxes, interest, amortization and other items – of nearly $50 million combined during the two years covered. With much of the fallout from the documents' release focusing on the team's ballpark deal, politicians are wary.

Miami-Dade County Commissioners, who opposed putting $347 million mainly in tourist taxes into the ballpark deal, say the county should have pushed harder to see the team’s financial records during negotiations. Even one of the team’s staunchest supporters, County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, asked County Mayor Carlos Alvarez to study whether the team could be required to pay more – and the county less – for the ballpark.

Alvarez says the county doesn’t see a need to reopen the ballpark contract – he says county negotiators were aware the team was profitable, which gave them comfort the team could meet its debt obligations to the ballpark’s construction costs. And besides, the team wouldn’t allow it. The county, team and city of Miami would have to agree to reopen talks.

But the raw feelings and distrust of the team are palpable.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, were already going to be fighting an uphill battle to convince politicians to support contributing to stadium renovations that could include a partial roof covering over the stands and seats closer to the field. Now how likely are pols going to be to chip in taxpayer dollars?

It remains to be seen what the Dolphins' pitch looks like. The public already knows Dolphins owner Steve Ross paid $1.1 billion for the franchise and stadium and it now knows he plans to privately finance a water park south of the stadium as a way to generate revenue after the Marlins leave for their new ballpark in 2012.

Dolphins officials say the water park plans are unrelated to stadium plans. Dolphins CEO Mike Dee has said Ross cannot foot the bill for stadium renovations himself. He said under NFL rules, the team can’t take on any more debt, which again raises the question of how stadium renovations will be financed.

“We have challenges with the current structure the NFL provides for franchises,” Dee said last month. “We’re maxed out at our debt capacity. We can’t take on any more debt. We have $235 million on our books from the last expansion. We’ve invested another $50 million in the facility in the last 18 months. We have the maximum amount of team debt allowed by the NFL … Our hands are somewhat tied with respect to the stadium and more investment by the team into the stadium.”

Under league rules, NFL teams can borrow up to $150 million.

“To borrow more, the club would need a special waiver approved by the other teams, which generally has only been granted to a team in connection with the construction or renovation of a stadium,” an NFL spokesman said.

Stay tuned…

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), MLB (110), Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Sports Team Owners (49), Sun Life Stadium (24), Super Bowl (53)

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September 2, 2010

StubHub partners with Miami & FSU

Just in time for college football season, online ticket marketplace StubHub continues its march across Florida and into the ACC, adding the University of Miami and Florida State to its 15 other college and conference partners.

The partnerships mean UM and FSU fans have another option for buying and selling tickets to their favorite college team. Both schools include links right on their websites (UM and FSU) to StubHub’s ticket inventory.

StubHub entered Florida in 2007 with a multi-year partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As part of the partnerships with both schools, StubHub will have in-stadium signage, promotions and other advertising.

Additionally, Hurricanes fans can grab their tickets at the company’s brand new “Last Minute Services” pickup location in Miami, which was opened last month to accommodate demand for tickets to the new-look Miami Heat. StubHub typically halts sales two days before an event to accommodate express delivery. The company has last-minute pick-up offices in 10 other markets.

And with college football opening tonight, ticket sales for Florida and Florida State rank in StubHub’s top 25 in volume. Alabama and Ohio State rank first and second – just as they do in the AP’s Top 25. The Gators rank 11th in ticket sales and 4th in the AP poll; and the Seminoles rank 22nd in ticket sales and 20th in the AP poll.


POSTED IN: Advertising (79), Miami Hurricanes (32), NCAA (38), Tickets (126), UF (18)

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Player Appearance: Meet Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison

Florida Marlins rookies Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison are helping celebrate the grand re-opening of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Riviera Beach on Saturday.

The store is hosting an open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., including kids activities, food sampling, and a live remote broadcast by ESPN 760 AM – and 76 cent medium hot or iced coffee just for the occasion. Stanton and Morrison will sign autographs (one free autograph from each player per customer) and pose for photos with customers from 11 a.m. to noon.

The Dunkin’ Donuts is at 5401 N. Military Trail, Riviera Beach (on the west side of the street just north of 45th Street).

Anyone wearing a Marlins hat, T-shirt or jersey will receive a free doughnut. And the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders are scheduled to appear at 10 a.m.

The franchise owners will also be donating $527.20 (in honor of Stanton’s (27) and Morrison’s (20) jersey numbers to the Marlins Community Foundation.

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), MLB (110), Promotions (120), Sponsorship (101)

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September 1, 2010

Truly Nolen warns of tailgate pests

recluse1.jpgJust in time for tailgating season with college football getting underway Thursday night, Truly Nolen wants college football fans to be aware that tailgating should be about food and fun, not critters.

The pest control company says tailgating fans should be particularly aware of Crazy Ants, Mosquitoes and Brown Recluse Spiders.

“Each of these insects has the ability to cause problems for food, guests and pets under the right conditions,” Bob Hartley, Truly Nolen of America vice president of technical services and tailgating guru, said in a statement.

Avoid crazy ants with “properly sealed food containers.” “Drain sources of standing water” to avoid mosquitoes. And if you take off your shoes at your pre-game picnic, shake them out before putting them back on because brown recluse spiders like to nestle in them, the company warns.


POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), Miami Hurricanes (32), NCAA (38), NFL (178), Sun Life Stadium (24)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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