Right Field

Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Gives University of Michigan $200M

$100,000,000 of it specifically earmarked for the athletic department:

From the moment the Michigan athletic department created its master plan two years ago to remake South Campus, athletic director Dave Brandon consulted with the university’s biggest donor.

That relationship paid off today, when Stephen Ross’ $200-million gift to the university included $100 million for athletics, including naming the athletic campus after Ross.

“I spent a lot of time working with him, working through our vision for what the campus could look like, walking him through the 16 projects and getting his input and involvement,” Brandon said after the announcement of what he termed “a transformational gift.” “This is a man who understands real estate, understands how to build beautiful, functional buildings. In addition to the $100-million injection of capital, we also have somebody on our team who can be helpful to make sure we spend it wisely and get it right.”

And here’s Stephen Ross after state legislators in Florida shut down his scheme to finance stadium upgrades with taxpayer money, with a thinly veiled threat to Republican Speaker of the House Will Weatherford:

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.

In summary, the man can write a check to Michigan for $200M, but going to bank and getting fiancing for his stadium — he owns the stadium, it’s his –was something he couldn’t contemplate without putting South Florida taxpayers on the hook? 

And you think that $100M will help you against Ohio State? Pffft. 



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