In case you haven’t already read this article, here it is. Basically, Marlins President David Samson hinted at the fact that they nor the Dolphins and Heat have a good relationship with the Florida Panthers. I would just like to give a little feedback on the comments made as both a Panther and Dolphins fan.
First off, it is very clear the issue here is more about the fact that Bank Atlantic Center received money for renovations while Sun Life Stadium did not. I would love some renovations to Sun Life. Let’s face it, it is very hot in Florida during the summer and fall and a canopy would be nice for the fans. However funding that renovation on the privately owned Sun Life Stadium with Broward County tax dollars that could go to the publically owned Bank Atlantic Center which resides in Broward County seems a bit unfair.
Another issue seems to be the Panthers are being left out of the South Florida sports teams. I understand hockey is not huge in the US and to some it seems very small in Florida. However if people that say those things took the time to come out to a hockey game, I think they would realize how passionate the fans are here in South Florida. It really should not be that challenging to support every team in this market. During this past season for the Florida Panthers, they had Logan Morrison and Heath Bell come to a game. They also sat with Allison Williams during an intermission, which was quite entertaining, and discussed the Panthers and the upcoming season for the new Miami Marlins. During Game 1 of the playoffs for the Panthers, they had Dan Marino from the Dolphins drop the puck. On the Panthers end, there seems to be a lot of supporting of the other South Florida teams.
I also understand the problem the Dolphins would have with 2 Panther sales reps handing out business cards during a protest outside the Dolphins facility. Yes, that was not necessary but Panther President and COO Michael Yormark said that he didn’t condone that kind of behavior and the sales reps had been spoken to. It was a very small protest and I don’t think distributing a few business cards to a handful of people is a big deal. It also is interesting to me because Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said he didn’t want to talk about the issue but then goes onto say “I would rather take the high road and say the three of us have an outstanding relationship and work very collaboratively toward the advancement of sports in South Florida.” Again, clearly, leaving the Panthers out of the group.
I think this should be resolved privately and not in the media for everyone to see. The fact that all 4 teams are so closely located with a limited fan base and that they are all vying for the same fans makes for a very competitive environment. No matter what, each South Florida sports organization should support the other.