Dolphins make a splash in billion-dollar blockbuster buy-out

Stephen M. Ross, the New York-based real estate developer, has spent US$1 billion to add 45 per cent to his stake in the Miami Dolphins and secure 95 per cent ownership of both the team and their stadium.

Stephen M. Ross, the New York-based real estate developer, has spent US$1 billion to add 45 per cent to his stake in the Miami Dolphins and secure 95 per cent ownership of both the team and their ground, Dolphin Stadium.

Wayne Huizenga, the American businessman whose successes include Blockbuster Video and who has also owned the NHL's Florida Panthers and the baseball team Florida Marlins, will retain five per cent of both the team and the stadium.

The two businessmen will keep equal shares in external land belonging to the team.

Ross, worth an estimated US$450 billion according to Forbes, spent US$550 million to acquire his initial 50 per cent stake in the team and their stadium in early 2008.

"The most important thing, and the thing that drives me, is creating and being part of a winning organization," he said on completion of his majority buy-out.

"There is nothing more important than that.

"I want to thank Wayne for his outstanding stewardship of the Dolphins during his years as the team's owner. During that time he transformed the South Florida sports landscape and has been a model owner of the Dolphins.

"I know I join all our fans in expressing our appreciation to Wayne for all he has done for this community.

The agreement received pre-approval from the NFL in October.

"It’s been a privilege and honor to have served the fans of this special franchise as principal owner, and with the closing of the sale I want to wish Steve well in his new role," said Huizenga.

"After 19 seasons of ownership, the sale represents a bittersweet moment for me, but the timing is right to complete it. I know under Steve's leadership the Dolphins are in outstanding hands.

"We are still a five per cent partner in the franchise and the stadium, and the Huizenga family and organization will do everything we can to support Steve and the team for the benefit of all of South Florida."

The Dolphins never reached the Super Bowl under Huizenga's ownership.