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November 29, 2012

No service fees on Dolphins tickets through Friday

The Miami Dolphins are waiving service fees for the purchase of tickets to the season’s final two home games until 5 p.m. Friday.

The offer is for the Jacksonville Jaguars game on Dec. 16 and Buffalo Bills game on Dec. 23, and will eliminate the processing/convenience fees, credit card fees and standard delivery costs associated with the costs of purchasing a game ticket. This is the second time this season the Dolphins have eliminated service fees for a limited time to spur ticket sales.

The no-fee offer is also available exclusively on dolphins.com.

The offer does not apply to tickets for Sunday’s game against New England at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins are expecting one of their biggest crowds of the season; they announced several weeks ago that ticket sales were sufficient to ensure the game will be shown live on local television. Kickoff is 1 p.m. on channels 4 and 12.

Despite improvement on the field and the long search for a young, franchise quarterback apparently over, the Dolphins have the biggest decline in attendance in the NFL this season. They rank last in the league with an average of 55,758 after five home games.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (198)

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November 28, 2012

Florida Panthers 24th in NHL at $170M; Maple Leafs top Forbes list at $1 billion

The gulf is wide between the haves and have-nots in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs topping the list as the league’s first $1 billion franchise in the Forbes rankings of the 30 teams.

The Florida Panthers, not surprisingly among the lower echelon, nonetheless moved up two spots in 2012 to 24th with a slight increase in value to $170 million. Forbes attributed that to better performance by the team that produced the first playoff appearance since 2000.

Despite a 6-percent boost in attendance, The Panthers ended $12 million in the red, according to Forbes, which said the team’s gate receipts were among the league’s lowest due to huge giveaways of tickets.

The Panthers also ranked last in local television audience with just 13,400 viewers per game for 2011-12. Forbes noted that the Panthers will benefit from a more lucrative cable deal beginning this year along with the 10-year extension on the naming rights deal with BB&T that is expected to net the team $37 million.

However, the lockout by the owners has the entire 2012-13 season in jeopardy. The Panthers were counting on a revenue boost from the new Club Red premium seating area.

So far the league has canceled 422 regular-season games, including the Winter Classic, plus the All-Star Game. In a hard-nosed stance in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, NHL owners are aiming to significantly lower payrolls costs. Players receive 57 percent of hockey-related revenue, which Forbes estimated at $3.4 billion for 2011-12.

The players, in stating their case that the system is working well as it stands, can point to the league's 9-percent increase in revenue from the previous year. During that time the average value of NHL teams increased 18 percent to $282 million, Forbes said.

The Panthers ranked just behind the Tampa Bay Lighting, valued at $174 million. The St. Louis Blues were last at $130 million.

Cliff Viner purchased the Panthers for $200 million in 2009.

POSTED IN: Florida Panthers (113)

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Jason Taylor has some watches to sell you

As tough as he was on the football field, Jason Taylor was always more style than grit. The former Miami Dolphin is expanding that image in retirement with a new collection of limited edition watches for Hollywood-based Invicta.

Taylor not only endorses the timepieces, he helped shape their design, said Eyal Lalo, CEO of Invicta. “Design meetings took place at the Invicta headquarters with Jason giving his direct requests and visions to every single watch in the collection. Designs were modified and finally approved by Jason,” Lalo said.

The watches, retailing from $300 to $1,500, will be available beginning in December at Amazon.com, Zales and the Invicta stores at the Boca Raton Town Center and in Miami.

JT-watch2.jpgAll watches from the JT for Invicta collection will be numbered as limited editions. They will ship in a custom-designed white impact collector case, include a certificate of authenticity and come with a five-year warranty.

There are 24 models in the initial collection, and more are in the works, Lalo said. View the catalog online here.

"As a watch enthusiast and collector, I am excited to be partnering with Invicta on the development and launch of my collection of watches," Taylor said in a statement. "Eyal and his team are setting the new standard for quality, style and creativity. I look forward to collaborating and designing a collection that personifies my lifestyle while capturing the essence of the Invicta brand and desires of its loyal collectors.”

The video is behind the scenes of Taylor's promotional photo shoot for Invicta.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (198)

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November 27, 2012

Gulfstream Park opener features free stuff for fans

Several giveaways will greet fans attending Opening Day of Gulfstream Park’s 2012-13 thoroughbred meeting on Saturday as well as other upcoming dates.

Fans attending the races will receive a free calendar, featuring colorful photographs of Gulfstream's stars and highlighting important dates on the park’s $10.1 million, 61-race stakes schedule.

Fans who purchase a program on Opening Day will also receive a commemorative pin and coupons for the redemption of four other pins in a series that will be available on Jan. 19, Feb. 9, Feb. 23 and Florida Derby Day (March 30). A case to hold all five pins will also be given to fans who purchase a program on Saturday.

The opener of the 90-day meeting will feature the $850,000 Claiming Crown and a 10-cent Pick 7 on the seven claiming crown races with a guaranteed $100,000. Offseason improvements to the track include the addition of 32 box suites and a restaurant overlooking the walking paddock.

On Sunday, fans who purchase a seat at Ten Palms, Silks or the grandstand will receive a Gulfstream Park Polo Shirt. Subsequent Polo Shirt giveaways are scheduled for Jan. 26 and March 30.

Other scheduled giveaways include:

Dec. 22: Gym bag
Dec. 30: money clip or key chain bottle opener
Jan. 1: Bottle opener
Feb. 9: Anniversary hat
March 9: Pilsner glass

For more about Gulfstream’s winter meeting, visit Gulfstreampark.com

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November 26, 2012

Dolphins Cycling Challenge raises $2.2 million for fight against cancer

The Dolphins Cycling Challenge has more than doubled its contribution to the fight against cancer for the second year in a row.

The $2.2 million check presented to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center before Sunday’s Dolphins-Seahawks game at Sun Life Stadium was 100 percent of the funds raised by more than 2,000 cyclists that participated in the third running of the charity event on Nov. 3-4.

It was the largest single-event donation by a NFL team, according to the Dolphins.

The cycling challenge was inspired by former Dolphin Jim Mandich, who was battling bile duct cancer when the event debuted two years ago and died in April 2011. The fund-raising effort raised $533,000 in the inaugural ride, $1.07 million in 2011 and is on track to double that this year.

"The money raised by the DCC will directly help to save lives in South Florida,” said Mandich’s son Michael, CEO of the challenge. “Having experienced the devastation that cancer can wield it is great to know that we can rely on a first class Cancer Center in our own backyard.
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center will use these funds for research in the pursuit of finding a cure and without all of the dedicated riders, sponsors and volunteers this would not be possible.”

Sylvester is recognized as one of the top cancer research institutions in the country. It is on the cutting edge in finding a cure for cancer and developing new treatments for its patients. With the donation, the more than 250 doctors and scientists at Sylvester can continue to conduct research and expand cancer treatment in South Florida.

Sylvester handles approximately 1,300 inpatient admissions, performs approximately 2,500 surgical procedures, and treats more than 4,400 new cancer patients annually with locations in Miami, Deerfield Beach, Plantation and Kendall. All Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center.

“The DCC is a wonderful gift to our community,” said University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala. “The Miami Dolphins are true champions in the fight against cancer, and we thank them for their partnership and extraordinary dedication to the people of South Florida.”

Additional sponsors of the charity event included Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer, Mack Cycle, South Florida Ford, Sun Life Financial, Publix, Alex’s Place, Giant Bicycles, Berkowitz Pollack Brant, Harcourt M & Virginia W Sylvester Foundation, Stearns Weaver, Lennar and WFOR-CBS4.

For more information about the Dolphins Cycling Challenge, visit rideDCC.com.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (198)

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November 7, 2012

Dolphins, Ross donate to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Stephen Ross, the Miami Dolphins and Related Companies are donating $500,000 to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Ross serves as the Chairman of the Board and Managing General Partner of the Miami Dolphins and is the Chairman and Founder of Related Companies, which is headquartered in New York City.

In addition, the Dolphins will donate the net proceeds from the sale of general individual game tickets for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans that are purchased between 9 a.m. Thursday and kickoff on Sunday to the American Red Cross South Florida Region to exclusively support the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Earlier the team announced that it had taken the necessary steps to ensure that the game will be televised locally in South Florida, thus clearing the way for this charitable endeavor.

“The devastation of Hurricane Sandy knows no boundaries, and I know I speak for the Dolphins and Related in expressing our dedication to help those in need during this difficult time,” said Ross. “We saw first-hand the damage the storm caused to our community, and with the close ties South Florida has with the Northeast, the Dolphins certainly want to support those families who are dealing with Sandy’s aftermath. But no matter where we live, our hearts go out to the people who suffered losses as a result of the storm, and we are committed to help them recover from the tragedy.”

The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which facilitates innovative public-private partnerships throughout the five boroughs of New York City. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Mayor's Fund is accepting financial contributions from organizations and individuals to support hurricane relief efforts.

The Mayor’s Fund retains no administrative fee, and one hundred percent of donations are being dispersed to relief efforts and organizations to meet the short- and long-term needs of New York City and its residents. This includes immediate aid such as the supply and transport of water, food, toiletries, baby supplies, blankets and cleaning materials to distribution sites, as well as long term-restoration and recovery efforts.

Donations can be made online at www.nyc.gov/fund, via electronic funds transfer, or over the phone at 212-788-7794. To donate by mail, checks may be made payable to Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, with “Hurricane Sandy Relief” in the memo line, and sent to:

Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
253 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10007

The American Red Cross South Florida Region provides food and shelter in emergencies, assisting members of our armed forces and their families, teaching lifesaving skills, and more. All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. For more information, please visit sflredcross.org.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (198)

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November 1, 2012

Championship rings, collectibles offered for Miami Heat fans

rings-champ-small.jpg

The Miami Heat received their championship rings on opening night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Their fans can share in the title bling from the fan collection created by Jostens, which produced the rings for both of the Heat’s championships.

The fan collection, available for a limited time at Jostens.com/MiamiHeat, includes 22 items ranging in price from a $25 key ring to the $3,900 Ultimate Fan Ring. The items are modeled after the rings Heat players and staff received Tuesday night.

“Heat fans are an important part of our family and we are excited to give them the opportunity to celebrate and remember the 2012 Championship season through this limited edition fan collection,” Nick Arison, Heat CEO, said in a statement. “This collection is built off the design of the stunning ring our players received … and includes collectibles that allow everyone to own a piece of the 2012 Championship.”

The fan collection includes pieces that can be customized and personalized with fan names and messaging, such as:

Ultimate Fan Ring ($3,900)
Championship Trophy Pendant ($2,200)
Ladies Fashion Ring ($190)
Team Bead Bracelet ($319)
World Championship Cufflinks ($110)
2012 Championship Paperweight ($149)

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (183)

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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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