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Huizenga so frustrated he might sell Dolphins


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Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga has told several sources -- both inside and outside of the organization -- he is considering selling the team and the stadium because of his continued frustrations with Miami's current winless state.

 

His asking price would be between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion, a high-end source has told The Miami Herald.

 

Huizenga declined to comment through the Dolphins media relations department and on Friday was not made available to speak with reporters as he left the team's Davie practice facility. Four sources have confirmed Huizenga's state of mind to The Herald

 

Huizenga has spoken to several confidants outside of the organization, voicing those same frustrations while even naming potential suitors who would be willing to enter into negotiations.

 

Sources within the organization are also aware of Huizenga's growing discontent and potential desire to sell the team. Huizenga has in the past said the Dolphins are not for sale, but always added the caveat that he would consider any serious offer.

 

A source with the Florida Panthers told The Herald this week that, at one point last year Huizenga spoke with advertising executive (and Panthers minority owner) Jordan Zimmerman about potential interest. Those talks were very preliminary, and they did not materialize into anything nearly as serious as Huizenga's current considerations.

 

Zimmerman told The Herald this week he is not interested in buying the team at this point.

 

The Dolphins are currently the only NFL team without a victory. The team has three more opportunities to win a game and avoid becoming the first NFL team ever to lose every game in a 16-game season.

 

Forbes Magazine this year valued the Dolphins at $942 million, with a revenue stream of approximately $215 million. The valuation makes the Dolphins the 15th-priciest NFL franchise. The Dallas Cowboys, by comparison, were the highest valued at $1.5 billion. The Minnesota Vikings were the lowest at $782 million.

 

The Dolphins organization and Dolphin Stadium would be offered as a package deal assuming a sale happens. Huizenga purchased the team from the Robbie family in 1994 for $138 million.

 

It is interesting that Huizenga has made comments about selling despite his recent commitment to spend approximately $250 million to upgrade Dolphin Stadium, with the final phase of that upgrade to be completed by 2009.

 

When Huizenga initially agreed to purchase the team, he needed to wait more than three years before officially becoming the team's owner because of the league's cross-ownership policy, which was altered in 1997 to allow controlling interest in other sports.

 

Since, however, his investment has gained $804 million in worth.

 

When he purchased the NFL team, he also owned the Marlins and the Panthers, which he brought to South Florida. He has since sold his interests in both the baseball and hockey organizations.

 

http://www.miamiherald.com/598/story/345175.html

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Huizenga considers selling Dolphins

Two developers seek to buy team, sources say

 

BY SARAH TALALAY | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 15, 2007

 

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Frustrated Miami Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga is in discussions with a pair of real estate developers about selling the team and Dolphin Stadium, a source said Friday.

 

Stephen M. Ross, chairman and CEO of the Related Companies, would be the lead investor in a bid that would also include Jorge M. Perez, founder and chairman of the Related Group, the source said.

 

With three more losses, the Dolphins would become the first NFL team to finish a season 0-16.

 

"[Huizenga's] become very frustrated. And he realizes the team needs a lot of changes," the source said. "He's considering his alternatives, one of which is selling the team."

 

But the source said Huizenga was so upset Perez had leaked information about the possible deal that it could put a strain on talks.

 

The source would not reveal the price Ross was discussing, but another source said he believed Huizenga would not accept anything less than $1 billion.

 

"His frustration is at an extremely high level," the second source said.

 

In September, Forbes valued the Dolphins at $942 million, ranking the team the 15th most valuable among the league's 32 teams. The last NFL team to be sold was the Minnesota Vikings for $600 million to Zygi Wilf in May 2005. In May 2000, Daniel Snyder bought the Redskins and their stadium for $800 million.

 

Huizenga, who turns 70 this month, could not be reached, and a team spokesman said neither Huizenga nor the team would comment.

 

Huizenga, who purchased the Dolphins from the Robbie family for $138 million in 1994, dearly loves the team, but has grown increasingly weary with this season's winless team.

 

This offseason Huizenga hired first-time head coach Cam Cameron, who has drastically reshaped the team. The Dolphins also have been dogged by a series of injuries to key starters, and frustration and desperation are showing in some of the players still awaiting their first win of the season. They also aren't making the playoffs for the sixth season in a row.

 

"I do realize we're winless, and where that starts is right here with me, the owner," Huizenga said in late October. "The buck has to stop someplace, and that might as well stop with me."

 

Although he considered selling a minority share in the team in 2000, Huizenga abandoned the idea and has repeatedly said he is not selling. He has also invested $300 million in upgrading Dolphin Stadium with wider concourses and new club level and renovated suites. However, he has also said he would consider anything for a price.

 

Ross, who owns a home in Palm Beach and recently purchased another home there for more than $30 million, founded the New York-based Related Companies in 1972. The company's Web site says it now has a portfolio valued at more than $15 billion. He is no stranger to team ownership or bidding for a team.

 

He was a minority partner in the National Hockey League's New York Islanders, and he unsuccessfully bid for the New York Jets in 1999.

 

Perez's Miami-based Related Group is considered a leading builder of luxury condos. In 2005, the company had sales of more than $3.2 billion and now has assets of more than $10.7 billion, according to the company's Web site.

 

Staff Writers Kevin Clark, Harvey Fialkov, Omar Kelly and staff researcher William Lucey contributed to this report.

 

Sarah Talalay can be reached at stalalay@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4173.

 

http://www.marlinbaseball.com/forums/index...showtopic=79059

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