Back To The Drawing Board: Dolphins Look For New Approach To Fund Stadium Upgrades
Dolphins President & CEO Tom Garfinkel yesterday said that the team is "working on a new approach to upgrading Sun Life Stadium after last year's push for a tax-funded renovation failed," according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. Garfinkel, speaking after a panel discussion at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce on the local sports industry, said, "We are working hard on trying to put together a time line and a plan on how we can get this accomplished." However, he "offered no specifics." Garfinkel said that the plan "involves no major changes to the architectural design unveiled last year," suggesting the $350M price tag would be the same. When asked if the discussions involve a new approach to financing the construction, he replied, "There are a lot of ways to skin the cat; we need to figure out a way to get it done, and we're looking at a lot of different options on how to get that done." Hanks writes Garfinkel's comments "mostly amplify what owner Stephen Ross said in September when he announced Garfinkel's hiring." As the Dolphins "consider their next moves, two sports organizations are on the hunt for new deals with Miami-Dade." An investor group headed by David Beckham is pursuing a new MLS franchise that aims to "play at a stadium on public land at Port Miami," while the Heat are "trying to extend a county deal that currently delivers its arena operation" a $6.4M yearly subsidy (MIAMI HERALD, 1/9).
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT: Garfinkel said that the Dolphins tomorrow "will hold their first interview" to fill their vacant GM position. While Garfinkel would not name the first interviewee, he said that the team "would soon release a list of prospective candidates who agree to be identified." In West Palm Beach, Andrew Abramson notes Garfinkel does not believe that previous experience as a GM "would be required." The Dolphins and Buccaneers reportedly have "requested permission" from the Giants to interview team VP/Player Evaluation Marc Ross (PALM BEACH POST, 1/9). In Ft. Lauderdale, Omar Kelly cites a source as saying that Ross is "looking for a team player, someone who can foster 'a more harmonious organization.'" Garfinkel yesterday said of the ideal GM candidate, "A football person. Intellect, a collaborative team player. Someone who is creative and has an open mind" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/9).