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Huizenga wants to put retractable roof on the Pro


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He is going to do it once the Marlins leave and he expects them to be out within 3 years, not the 5 for the 2010 deadline.

 

 

 

Stadium: Owner says put a lid on it

 

By Shandel Richardson

Staff Writer

Posted January 11 2005

 

DAVIE -- Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga pointed out Monday how the weather in South Florida sometimes can be dicey.

 

For the most part, it's beautiful. There are other times when it's too hot or too wet.

 

So Huizenga wants to make sure the climate always falls somewhere in between for visitors at the newly renamed Dolphins Stadium. Plans for a placing a roof over the stadium were announced with hopes of attracting "world-class" events to the area.

 

"Our weather is great down here on the one hand, and our weather is iffy on the other hand when it comes to rain, especially in the summer months," Huizenga said. "You need a facility that can guarantee the people that they can come to our events."

 

The idea is to have the stadium host economy-boosting events such as business conventions and automobile shows, as well as sporting events. For example, the Georgia Dome hosts the THQ Supercross motorcycle races and the Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournament. Huizenga even joked about bringing the NFL talent combines, which are held in Indianapolis, to South Florida. After the suggestion, he said he would call Colts owner Jim Irsay and say he was just kidding.

 

"A Super Bowl brings an economic impact of $350 million. If you can keep bringing those types of events, more and more of them, let your imagination wander," Huizenga said. "Think about all the events that are in domes in the United States. Whether it's tennis, whether it's racing or horse shows, whatever it is ... If we have a proper facility, why shouldn't the people that are taking their business to the Midwest or the East, why wouldn't they come here and put their event in here instead of there? That's what we're hoping to accomplish."

 

Progress can begin only after the Marlins find a new home. Although the Marlins have until after the 2010 season to leave Dolphins Stadium under their agreement, Huizenga said he expects them to be out within three years. Then construction can start.

 

"We can only get to Phase I because the Florida Marlins are at the stadium," Huizenga said. "You certainly couldn't be putting on a roof while the Marlins are playing. They might stay until 2010, but that's not what I hear. I'm sure they will be out before that."

 

Huizenga has teamed with Hammes Company to construct the alterations. The company has handled renovations for Lambeau Field in Green Bay and Detroit's Ford Field in the past. He said developers told him the estimated cost of the roof project would be $100 million, $125 million if the retractable.

 

"The Huizenga family will pay for this, all of these things," Huizenga said. "We will not ask the city, the county, the state for any money. It will all be funded by the Huizenga family.

 

A few teams, including Denver, initially planned to cover their already-built stadiums with roofs before deciding against it. Chicago recently renovated Solider Field, while Denver balked at covering Mile High Stadium, opting for the new Invesco Field. There was even talk of placing a roof in Green Bay. In each case, the idea was met with resistance by nostalgic fans, who preferred watching the games in cold weather and claimed it provided an advantage for their teams. Some think the Dolphins have an edge in September because of the warm temperatures.

 

"We always think that in September, and then when we're tired in December, we're wondering if it was worth the advantage or not," Huizenga said. "I'm not so sure that it's as much as an advantage as we think it is."

 

Shandel Richardson can be reached at [email protected]. Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

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I am also a Dolphins fan, but is anyone else a little annoyed by the lack of outrage about this plan. I know it's Wayne's money and he can do with it what he wants, but the entire plan seems to make very little sense. He is doming a stadium for no reason. The place will host 10 games a year(hopefully 12 with playoffs) once the Marlins leave. This won't help attract Super Bowls or National championship games because they have already been attracted here. They won't not come if there is no roof.

 

I guess what is sitting badly with me is the fact that because of his personal dislike for baseball, Wayne is forcing South Florida to decide between losing a baseball team or building a new stadium. He has in his power the ability to work out a partnership that could benefit all parties, but refuses to even discuss doing so. Michael Mayo's column in today's Sun-Sentinel sums it up best. Check it out:

 

link

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First off let me start by saying i cant stand the man . Now second let me start by saying , this guy is a money making Guru . Call me crazy but don't be suprised if WH owns the Marlins again within the next 4 years .

Heres my take on this . Wayne is making it next to impossible for the Marlins owner to make a profit or even keep his head above water while owning the team. Now say this Marlins stadium deal doesnt go thru , I think the most realistic option is for Loria to sell the Marlins, WH steps up with his State of the Art , Retractable roof stadium and VOILA!!! you have a perfect canidate for new owner . Now im not saying this is Something I would want , God know how much I hate Huizenga. Not to mention Wayne has a hell of alot of pull with Miami officials and the State.....and the mob but we wont go there, that he can make it very hard for the Marlins to seal a stadium deal . THOUGHTS, COMMENTS , FLAMES.

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Heres my take on this . Wayne is making it next to impossible for the Marlins owner to make a profit or even keep his head above water while owning the team. Now say this Marlins stadium deal doesnt go thru , I think the most realistic option is for Loria to sell the Marlins, WH steps up with his State of the Art? , Retractable roof stadium and VOILA!!! you have a perfect canidate for new owner . Now im not saying this is Something I would want , God know how much I hate Huizenga. Not to mention Wayne has a hell of alot of pull with Miami officials and the State.....and the mob but we wont go there, that he can make it very hard for the Marlins to seal a stadium deal . THOUGHTS, COMMENTS , FLAMES.

653203[/snapback]

 

100% WRONG

 

Huizenga will NEVER AGAIN own the Marlins or ANY baseball team! The reason he got out of baseball, and even hockey for that matter, was the way the teams ran the business side of the sport. Huizenga saw the writing on the wall and was one of the leaders of the owners during the 1994 strike. Once he saw that change was not coming to the business ranks of MLB and the owners would not implement any significant change to curtail the power of the MLBPA, he got out. It really didn't have much to do with anything. Hockey was the same way. He's still in football because I truly do believe he loves owning the Dolphins, but also because the NFLPA is completely castrated as a union and the owners wield a lot of power in the NFL. Also, the lucrative TV contracts and revenue sharing of the NFL help as well.

 

Second, Wayne has NO PULL with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County. He is a Broward man true and true and would not have anything to do with Dade County if he had a choice.

 

This is a business deal to create a year round facility in the likes of the Georgia Dome and Superdome. This is something that should've been done years ago on the site, but never was. This now has the backing of a "friendly" Miami Gardens City Commission that is looking at $$$$$ (the city is large and poor). The Wal-Mart Supercenter is coming soon (I was involved in that project) and then will come the further redevelopment of the area. The Marlins were merely a hinderance to this process. I don't think it has anything to do with any personal animus between Huizenga and the Marlins. Huizenga is not out to "screw" the Marlins. He's a business man and profit is his motive, not "revenge" or any other childlike tendencies. He is not that dumb. The Marlins were a drain on the stadium. Remember, Joe Robbie Stadium lost the 1994 World Cup Final because the field was configured for baseball and the team was not going to undertake a 28 to 32 day roadtrip.

 

So that is my take on the matter.

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I never implied that he was doing any of this for revenge . There is no reason for that , Sheer profit would be his reason . Now on the part of him not wanting to get into baseball im not so sure of that . There is only one way for an Owner to make a profit in baseball . Own the stadium or your Lease agreement on it . be it profits from parking , lux suites , food and drink sales . If Wayne sees that there is Profit to be made dont be so sure about him owning another Baseball team .

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I will admit I don't know much about South Florida politics, I'm in Tallahassee, but it seems to me Wayne putting a roof on "Dolphins stadium" could be a fairly big roadblock. I'm assuming I'm wrong because I have heard nothing on these lines, but it seems to me that this would make it illogical to build another stadium.

 

From the state's perspective, South Florida already has a ballpark that is capable of holding baseball games (PPS/DS). The major argument has always been that a roof is needed in South Florida to survive through potential rainouts, and now Wayne is putting a roof on the existing stadium. It just doesn't make sense to build the fish a stadium with a roof, if their existing stadium is about to get a roof. In reality their problems are that Huizenga stuck them with a s***ty lease, but the roof argument has always been in the forefront.

 

If I understand correctly Huizenga owns PPS, which means it is not a given that the Marlins can play there indefinitely. If he is unwilling to give the fish a more favorable lease, then why not threaten to take away some of the subsidies Huizenga receives. The local and state government could give Huizenga incentives to keep the Marlins at PPS.

 

Even if my logic is totally wrong, which it may be, it seems like from an outsiders prospective this stadium rennovation will make it a bit tougher for the Marlins to get their state funding.

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