I moved to South Florida in '82 from Canada and immediately became a Dolphin fan and season ticket holder up until 2009. Through that time I saw the privately funded Joe Robbie Stadium get built, and then renovated and subsequently host a couple Super Bowls, which brought great benefits to the local community. I owned a print shop and design firm in Tamarac at the time, and you could literally feel the benefit to the community from there. It seemed that everyone was busy and profitable in and around those Super Bowls with the massive influx of revenue these events brought in.
When Dolphins owner Stephen Ross announced he was going after many more Super Bowls with an aggressive stadium renovation, I was all for it. Not only would we likely secure another couple Super Bowls, but many other world-class events. This would be the gift that kept on giving.
Seeing as the community would benefit from the thousands of jobs generated by the project and the ongoing revenue generated by events to held there for years to come. To me, it seemed like a no brainer that the state would help out with the cost of these renovations.
The fact that this issue never even went to the floor for a vote just made me angry, and I couldn't help but conclude that the shady dealings of the Marlins was casting a shadow over this idea. I became a fan of the Marlins from day one, enjoying two World Series championships and sticking with them even through the needed dismantling of those teams. But the recent “fleecing” of the South Florida community for a free stadium by Jeffrey Loria, and then to see him rip the team apart again, was enough for me. I've personally boycotted the Marlins, hoping that MLB eventually steps in to remove him. Well, that hasn't happened yet, and his stain has been smeared on the legitimate efforts of Ross to actually contribute to the South Florida community rather than exploit it, which Loria has made a career of.
Mike Shannon is a Canadian born freelance graphic designer and marketing manager for a Costa Rican real estate company. He splits his time between Florida and Costa Rica. He has three kids and one grand-child. He’s a loyal fan of the Dolphins, Heat and Panthers... in that order.
This post came from a member of the Public Insight Network, an online community of people who have agreed to share their opinions with The Miami Herald and WLRN. Become a news source for WLRN by going to WLRN.org/Insight.