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HUIZENGA ON LIFE AS SOUTH FLORIDA'S SPORTS MOGUL
Published June 12, 1995
In an extensive interview in Sunday's MIAMI HERALD, Wayne Huizenga, owner of the Marlins, Dolphins, Panthers and Joe Robbie Stadium, said he would like to have the Marlins play in a new park and that the Panthers are a money-losing proposition without a publicly-financed arena. ON THE MARLINS: Huizenga said there are worse baseball parks than Joe Robbie Stadium, "but it isn't as good as the new ones in Denver and Texas and Baltimore. ... JRS limits our revenue. I'm not whining. I'm a big boy. I knew what the rules were when I got in, and you take it or get out, but we shouldn't get blamed for some of the things we do. The Marlins are trying to keep ticket prices down, but our hands are tied with a stadium that should be owned by taxpayers, a stadium not getting the revenue it should from skyboxes and club seats [that revenue goes toward bank loans]. ... Maybe I'm stupid, but I think we could pay down the debt on the stadium, which is $90 million, so a few years out, the Dolphins could carry that lesser debt." ON THE PANTHERS: "As far as hockey goes, it happened so fast, sort of like most things in my life that weren't calculated or planned out, I was just in the right place at the right time. Or, in the case of hockey, the wrong place. ... With the Panthers I just wanted to help, maybe lend somebody a little money or take a little piece of the club. ... Before I knew it, I was all the way in. It happened that way, and I wish it hadn't happened because we are losing our butt." Noting the lack of NHL TV revenues and the Miami Arena's lack of skyboxes, Huizenga said, "When I see and read about this cheapskate Huizenga ought to step up to the plate and build part of the damn [arena] himself, say spend $50 million, well, at the end of the next three years, I will have $100 million in hockey, and people want me to make it $150 million and still [be] losing money? There is no way. That's suicide." While Huizenga gave a firm "no" when asked if he would ever sell the Marlins or Dolphins, he said only "I don't know" when posed with the same question about the Panthers (MIAMI HERALD, 6/11).