SBD/March 7, 2011/Franchises

Dolphins' Mike Dee Talks Finances, South Florida Super Bowls

Dee says NFL CBA dispute has not
affected Dolphins' ticket sales so far
In an extensive Q&A with the MIAMI HERALD's Armando Salguero, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee answers questions about the state of the franchise. Excerpts from the interview are below:

Q: Were the Dolphins in the black or in the red last year?
Dee: I won’t comment on our financial performance as we are a privately owned company. I will say we’ve taken steps to bring financial stability to the franchise. We’ve said from the get-go that in order to run a successful sports franchise, there has to be a certain amount of financial predictability to your business. That’s why getting the season ticket base to a higher number, securing Sun Life as a naming rights partner, and building other revenue streams to a sustainable base helps you make better decisions over the long haul.

Q: Has the possibility of a looming labor dispute affected your ticket sales?
Dee: I don’t think it’s impacted us that much to this point. We are seeing impact from having a season that did not live up to expectations and some early returns on ticket sales were very strong but now you’re seeing folks that may have bought in the past year or two taking time to evaluate. ... Nobody likes going 1-7 at home. We do a lot of focus groups and talk to our fans and they were frustrated with our performance at home. We get that.

Q: The Super Bowl in Dallas was a weather disaster. With that in mind, how can the NFL and the Dolphins tell South Floridians they need a canopy roof on Sun Life Stadium in order to host future Super Bowls?
Dee: What we’ve sought to do with the NFL is identify what we need to do as a community to be competitive in the Super Bowl mix for the next 30 years and to attract them at the same rate that we’ve come to expect. The reality is that we have an aging facility in an idyllic, can’t-be-beaten, best-in-class destination. There’s no one in the NFL that will argue that point. The NFL loves coming here. But the NFL also is making it clear that the game is played in the stadium, not on beaches or in hotel lobbies or runways of major airports. ... We just need to make sure we have a stadium that is able to compete and meet the demands of the game. ... We want to make sure this stadium is adequate. It doesn’t need to be the best. It doesn’t need to be the most expensive or the newest. But it needs to be competitive against those facilities built in the 21st century that bring new elements to the table (MIAMI HERALD, 3/6).
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