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Naming rights deal a jackpot for the Miami Dolphins [Updated]

It goes without saying that anytime a major international corporation wants to hang its name, its brand, its trademarks, its logos all over a sports venue that is going to host multiple high profile national events, the price for doing that is going to be high.

The Miami Dolphins on Tuesday got final approval from the NFL to give over naming rights to their stadium in Miami Gardens to Hard Rock International. And so the price for this stadium to become Hard Rock Stadium is high.

Think a quarter of a billion dollars.

That's what the deal is worth, give or take a couple of million dollars, over the life of the deal.

That's not a misprint: In the ballpark of $250 million.


This deal covers at least a dozen years but doesn't extend so long that the stadium, which owner Stephen Ross is renovating, will be obsolete before the deal expires. The exact length of the contract is still being guarded by the parties.

[Update: Sources are telling me this morning this is an 18-year deal. So 18 years at approximately $250 million over the life of the deal. That averages out to $13.8 million per year as the approximate price Hard Rock is paying to hang its brand on Ross's stadium.

What does that mean? It means this Dolphins deal is in the Top 3 in the NFL in worth per season. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is first at approximately $19 million per year. MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., is second at approximately $16 million per year. Hard Rock Stadium is now third at $13.8 million per year. Levi's Stadium in San Francisco is fourth at approximately $11 million per year.

When the new stadium in Los Angeles comes on line in a few years, that naming rights deal will be the top deal overall. But not yet.]

And the amazing thing for the Dolphins is that because Hard Rock International is an entertainment and hospitality company it does not preclude the possibility the Dolphins can add secondary sponsors such as banks, beer, alcohol and soft drink companies and even automotive manufacturers or auto dealers.


Yes, that is two consecutive business posts for this space and, I get it, you are football junkies.

Fine ...

Consider that the Dolphins much-heralded (by the team itself) defensive line is going to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Friday evening for the first time in 2016.

So Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Jason Jones, and Ndamukong Suh are going to be unleashed. That means that Miami's line will debut against perhaps the best offensive line in football.

That's right, the Cowboys have for a couple of years now enjoy a reputation for having a fine offensive front. They played well in their preseason opener over the weekend.

It will be an awesome test even if it is for maybe three series.

Speaking of patting on the back, this is what does Ndamukong Suh think of his defensive line mates ...