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SBD/July 18, 2013/Franchises
Mike Dee Leaving Dolphins For Return To Padres, Will Serve As President & CEO
Published July 18, 2013
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STADIUM STRUGGLES NOT AN ISSUE: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes the bid for public funding to modernize Sun Life Stadium that Dee spearheaded "died in the Florida Senate in May." Dee said that the "failure to bring the stadium project to fruition was not a factor in his departure." He added that it had "no impact at all on this decision." A source said that the Dolphins already have "identified candidates to replace Dee and will begin conducting interviews next week." The source added that the hire "could come by the beginning of the regular season." Turnkey Sports & Entertainment will "lead this search." Dee's successor will "play a vital role in driving the future of the franchise." While the Dolphins have "struggled on the field and at the turnstiles during Dee's tenure with the season-ticket base dropping to about 40,000, he strengthened the team's business partnerships, brokered the stadium naming-rights deal and spearheaded community relations and philanthropic efforts." He also put an "emphasis on reconnecting the franchise with its storied past." But Dee has expressed "deep disappointment about the inability to obtain public funding for renovations" to Sun Life Stadium (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 7/18). The MIAMI HERALD's Beasley & Hanks note Dee is credited with "helping revive the Dolphins' visibility in Miami-Dade after years of a Broward focus" under former Owner Wayne Huizenga. South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Rodney Barreto said, "I thought he was a really good face of the Dolphins. He put the Miami back in the Miami Dolphins." Sources involved in the team's stadium campaign said that they "understood Dee's job might be in jeopardy if the plan didn't win approval" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/18). But Dee said that he "didn't feel his job was on the line." He said of leaving the Dolphins, "This was a decision that was mine" (PALM BEACH POST, 7/18).