Stephen Ross wants to move the Miami Dolphins to Los Angeles or haven’t you heard? His love affair with the glitz and glamour of the celebrity lifestyle is all that he wants. His decision to keep Jeff Ireland this year, the total lack of free agent success, and now the L.A. City Council has approved the eight needed measures to allow for the construction of the already named, “Farmer’s Field“.
So let the speculation of a Dolphins to L.A. move begin!
Down the streets of the tempered masses the marching band is playing, “thump…da…thump, thump”. Kids are cheering as Stephen Ross shovels boxes of candy out a bag dripping with good festive cheer. Along the parade route are all of those chiming former Dolphins fans screaming, “hahaha, I told you so!”. Or you could just take a quick look into reality and know that the Miami Dolphins are not moving to L.A.
Construction for the new stadium that does not yet have a team could begin as early as March of 2013 according to ProFootballTalk.com who reports this information from AEG executives.
While many fans who are ledge standing will cite all of that above “stuff” the reality is that it doesn’t make sense for Stephen Ross to move the team even if you refuse to take him at his word when he says, “the Dolphins are not moving to LA”. Teams don’t just jump up and move unless they have been trying to get a new stadium deal…see San Diego Chargers, are in a low television market and are already playing games away from their home city…see the Buffalo Bills, or are owned and managed by someone named Art Modell…may he rest in peace.
Stephen Ross simply can’t up and move the team. Not any time soon. His business venture to buy the team centered on him paying over 1 billion for both the team and the stadium. The stadium is the big hang-up if he actually did want to move the team which again he doesn’t. Forget about the internal lease the Dolphins have, Ross would lose immediately by moving the Phins from Miami to L.A. where he would have to pay for stadium usage with minimal return. He may be able to boost the products marketing branch and fill the stadium immediately but he would still own the Dolphins stadium back home.
The fact is that with baseball now out of the park, the Dolphins and University of Miami are the primary money makers and without one of those the stadium becomes a massive 50,000 plus seat money pit. Ross can’t take that kind of hit. Sure, he could technically move the team to L.A. and then sell the stadium but without the Dolphins actually in the stadium, the new buyer is buying up dead reality. Even a promise from the NFL to give the city of Miami a new team wouldn’t make the stadium appealing and in fact, any new owner would likely want the city to build him a new one.
There will be a team in L.A. for sure. They wouldn’t build the stadium without knowledge from the NFL that a team will be moved. The question of course is who. Teams like San Diego and Buffalo make sense but so do Oakland and St. Louis. Jacksonville is struggling big time to fill their stadium and new team owner Shahid Khan isn’t the owner of the stadium they play in. A report that an oral agreement was made between Khan and former owner Wayne Weaver was reported at the time of the sale that would keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville. How long is another question.
If the stadium begins construction in 2013 as forecast, it would not be fully ready for the start of the 2013 NFL season. Presumably. That would mean that a 2014 time frame for occupancy would be more likely. Perhaps by then, the Dolphins will have either turned themselves around and are drawing back fans or the oral agreement with Khan and Weaver may be over.
Regardless of what happens two years down the road and what team eventually occupies the soon to be Farmer’s Field, there will be no shortage of fans decrying the Dolphins lack of finding talent and Stephen Ross’ lust for the celebrity lifestyle assumptions. Thus putting two and two together, there will be more than enough fans making you shake your head at the suggestion that the Dolphins will be moving west in two years. Despite the reality that Ross would lose more than he would gain.
In other words, unless you hear that the Stadium or the team is up for sale, take a deep breath and don’t listen to the all the talk of L.A., the Dolphins are not going anywhere.