BREAKING NEWS: PHINS HAVE NEW MAJORITY OWNER
Wayne Huizenga wanted to sell off 45% of his stake in the Miami Dolphins before Barack Obama took office as the nations 43rd President because of the rumored raise of capital gain tax from 15 to 20 percent. That sale has been completed, if not officially announced.
President Obama took office at noon today and 7 minutes later delivered his oath of office. This afternoon, it is being announced that Wayne has agreed to sell the remaining 45 to Stephen M. Ross.
Several sources have informed the Miami Herald that the sale will be made official this afternoon. Wayne will maintain a 5 percent share of the team and Ross will become the primary owner. What isn’t known at this time is how Ross, who reportedly has struggled finding minority investors, got the remaining dough to complete the transaction.
The amount combined with the 500 million received last year for the 49 percent is rumored to be approximately 1.1 billion and includes the sale of Dolphins Stadium. Ross will gain the profits and gate receipts from the Florida Marlins and Miami Hurricanes in addition to the Phins.
Following the official announcement of the teams sale, the 30 day Bill Parcells watch will begin. Parcells, noted in an earlier post, is in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. Parcells has a clause in his 4 year 16 million dollar deal that allows him to walk away should the team be sold…and collect the remaining 12 million dollars of the deal. He has 30 days to decide.
Wayne Huizenga has indicated that Parcells has personally assured him that he will not be leaving but that is not a guarantee to the new owner. Wayne has held the ire of many a Dolphins fans since becoming the owner in 1994 following the death of original owner Joe Robbie and his families sale of the team.
Wayne finally enjoyed success after a tumultous 5 years that ended with the 11-5 record AFC East Division Championship. Wayne leaves the team heading into the 2nd year of a true rebuild and many suspect that should Bill Parcells opt out of his contract, could put the Phins in yet another tailspin. Others believe that GM Jeff Ireland is fully capable of continuing what has been started.
For Ross however it becomes a new venture. Ross was on the losing end of a bid to buy the team when the Robbie family opted to sell. He lost to Wayne Huizenga. A South Florida resident, Ross has grown up a Miami Dolphins fan and according to him, is living a life long dream in owning the team.
Ross will have to deal with the Bill Parcells situation and it is likely that he will receive a hefty raise especially after son-in-law Scott Pioli signed a huge deal with KC. Ross will also have to deal with public irritation over the rumors of him bringing in his own executives to replace long standing Dolphin employees.
Ross is expected to name his own CEO type executive within the following week, assumed to be on the Miami Dolphins non-football side of things. One name that has been discussed is former U.S. Tennis Association President Arlen Kantarian. He may be the guy that replaces Dolphins executive Joe Bailey.
According to a Miami Herald report, team President Bryan Wiedemeier is not likely to lose his job. BW has been with the Phins for over 20 years.
The next few weeks should give Dolphins fans plenty of news heading towards the start of free agency at the end of February. While not all may be viewed as good news, the reality of the impact of that news will not be known any time soon.