Dee previously worked for the Padres from 1995-2002, as well as the Boston Red Sox before joining the Dolphins in 2009. He held full control over all business operations with Miami, but Jeff Ireland ran the player personnel side of the team. Early reports indicate Dee will have control of both the business and player personnel operations for San Diego.
The search for the new CEO is already underway according to owner Stephen Ross, and the individual selected will not have an easy task. The Dolphins had difficulty selling out the majority of their games last season, but hopefully a seasoned Ryan Tannehill and free agent additions Mike Wallace and Dannell Ellerbe will improve last year’s 7-9 team. Demand for the 2013 Dolphins appears to be rising, as the average ticket price for Miami home games is $155.66 this year, compared to only $112.43 last year, according to Razorgator.com. The most expensive game of the year is their penultimate home game against the Patriots on December 15th with an average ticket price of $187.97 and a get-in price of $46. Nonetheless, ticket prices on the secondary market will plummet if those December games aren’t meaningful and Miami can’t increase their current season ticket base of roughly 40,000.
There’s also the issue of upgrading Sun Life Stadium. Back in March, Dee and Ross failed to strike a public-private partnership for much needed renovations to the stadium. Although the Dolphins may not ask for public funding again this year, the issue will ultimately be raised again very soon and the new CEO will need to be prepared for some southern Florida politicking.
The new CEO’s early success and failure will certainly depend upon the Fins’ on-field productivity, although he or she will have zero control over those operations. Jeff Ireland will still report only to Ross and one can only hope Miami will build upon last year’s foundation and provide some much needed help to whoever takes the reins of Miami’s business operations.