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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross blasts Weatherford for spiking Dolphins deal

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is none-too-happy with House Speaker Will Weatherford, after the team's attempt for a taxpayer-supported stadium flamed out in the Florida House on Friday.

In a statement, Ross blamed Weatherford for killing the deal and said that the House Speaker gave him his word the bill would come up for a vote.

Weatherford refuted claims Thursday that he had told Dan Marino the bill was likely to pass. 

In the end, the House Speaker said that kind of legislation needed more vetting before being approved by the Legislature.

See comment from Ross here:

Tonight, Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy.  The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida. He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade,and that is just wrong.


I am deeply disappointed by the Speaker's decision. He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate. It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come.


I want to thank Mayor Gimenez for his leadership. He was a tough negotiator whose persistence led to an agreement that offered taxpayers the strongest protections of any agreement of this kind in the country. I also want to thank our bill sponsorsand supporters in Tallahassee, especially Senator OscarBraynon, Representative Erik Fresen and Representative Eddy Gonzalez; our County Commission sponsors, Commissioners Jordan, Diaz and Barreiro, as well as all of our supporters on the County Commission; HT Smith and Jorge Arrizurietta, the Co-Chairs of the Miami First Campaign; The University of Miami; The Orange Bowl Committee; The Greater Miami Hotel Association; the many volunteers who lent their support to our campaign, and the members of the Dolphins organization and our campaign team who worked so hard in the last several weeks. I believe without a doubt that the voters would have supported this project if the votes had been counted on May 14th.


In the weeks ahead, I will do all I can to convince my fellow owners to bring the Super Bowl back to Miami Dade. The Bid Committee has done a tremendous job to give us a great shot, and my only hope is that it is enough to overcome the terrible message Speaker Weatherford has sent to the NFL tonight. In addition, I will continue to do all I can to build a winning teamfor the people of Miami Dade.


In the future, I will look to play an important role in fixing the dysfunction in Tallahassee and will continue to work to create good jobs in Miami Dade and throughout South Florida


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One of the above comments is that Ross is worth 4.4 billion dollars. Putting a roof on the stadium that he owns will cost chump change for him.

Posted by: mickey | May 03, 2013 at 10:28 PM


why should stephen ross foot the bill when others -- hotels, restaurants, shops -- stand to benefit ...


The Emperor

Stephen Ross is an odious vulture looking carpetbager, an asset stripper and a modern day robber barron who should not be asking for public money when he has a net worth of $4.4 billion. Even though it's a 1% tax which tourist will be paying, this is revenue which belongs to the residents of Dade County. I urge everyone NOT to forget the moment; specifically Mayor Gimenez and the county commissioners who served as Stephen Ross's lap dogs in a time when they should have been looking out for the best interest of the county's tax payers. I applaude not only House Speaker Weatherford but Norman Braman and Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougal who intensly lobbied against Stephen Ross's "asset stripping plan".


KPCANE: 1) Money is fungible (see Lotto is for education, ha, ha, ha and 2) It is indeed our money.


let him use his money...that stadium is surrounded by foreclosures..why cant he throw those citizens a life line..or is he building a tall fence?


this deal aint over....................just you watch.................the dolphins will not just go down...............over the next weeks the city and county comm will take it up again, work some way around the state legislature, and voila...........the deal will get done............and as far as the referendum, it will be forgotten...........
my belief is that the dolphins knew it would go down in defeat on the referendum (polls told them so), so they needed a new tack...............had to eliminate it....................so they got the legislature to not take it up and now are going to use some ace in the hole to get it approved without either one..................the legislature or the referendum.............city and county will figure out a way to go around both and you and i wont have any say in it after all.
just you watch it happen.....................

Bruce escher

A private business it is!! Players are over paid so let them go to another team if they won't take a pay cut!! In fact Let all the Dullphans go to Nebraska and build a new stadium. See if taxpayers will pay for it. Yeah right. The stadium is and always will be an eyesore, causing blight and pain in its neighborhood, GET OUT!!!! The team sucks. An average family can't afford the refreshments much less tickets.
The rich get richer but this time the message is clear, pay your own bills.


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