SBD/July 6, 2012/Franchises

Heat's NBA Championship Ups The Ante For Other South Florida Pro Teams

Marlins, Dolphins currently find themselves looking up at the Heat
The Heat winning the NBA championship has forced the Marlins, Dolphins and Panthers to begin "conveying more urgency, more boldness, more of a nod to public relations, and generally more of a win-now mind-set,” according to Greg Cote of the MIAMI HERALD. The Heat have a "chance to become a basketball dynasty and grand-marshal this region’s sports parade for years.” Cote asks, “Do you think it’s a coincidence the Marlins agreed to star on Showtime’s ‘The Franchise’ reality series this summer?” The Marlins recently traded two prospects to the Astros for 1B Carlos Lee, but the “old Marlins would not have dealt pieces of the future for a beefed-up present, certainly not while in fourth place.” The “new rules are that the Marlins know it will take the postseason to compete for the marquee in this market now.” Cote also asks, “Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Dolphins agreed to star this summer in HBO’s reality series, ‘Hard Knocks?’ An inherently conservative franchise agreeing to give network cameras free reign?” A Dolphins exec said, “If we’re not struggling and the Heat aren’t dominating and it’s still like it used to be down here, with us as the top dog, no way we’d be on that show. This is about raising our profile, competing, because we have to.” The exec said Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross “knows the season-ticket needle won’t start to move again until we’re a playoff team.” The exec: “We’re not just competing against Tom Brady anymore. We’re competing against LeBron James” (MIAMI HERALD, 7/6).

: Heat Owner Micky Arison earlier this week said that despite the team’s on-court success this season, the franchise will still lose money this season, but Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, “I have a hard time believing with them having as good a deal as they have in terms of rent in that arena and 13 home playoff games how they ended up losing money." Cowlishaw: "That sounds like trickery to me.” L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, “Anytime a sports owner of a championship team complains about losing money, he’s just negotiating. He’s negotiating to get a better TV deal, he’s probably trying to set up the fans to raise ticket prices. To me, it’s all negotiation. You can’t be losing money with the Miami Heat.” SB Nation’s Bomani Jones said, “Are they losing money or are they ‘losing money?’” However, ESPN’s J.A. Adande said, “You’d be surprised at the tiny number of NBA teams that actually make money, even when they have surprisingly successful playoff runs and fill up their coffers during the postseason. It’s hard for teams to make money in this league. That’s why they had that long lockout” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 7/3).
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