Posted: 2:06 pm Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says team will conduct ‘business as usual’ with no furloughs during NFL lockout
By Post Staff
The potential NFL lockout is just three days away from becoming reality, but the Dolphins aren’t letting it slow down their business operations.
While the New York Jets are planning to make their employees to take a 25 percent paycut in the form of a one-week furlough each month until the lockout is resolved, the Dolphins will be conducting “business as usual,” owner Stephen Ross said Monday, though a team source said employees are understandably nervous that paycuts could come eventually.
“Hopefully we’re not in the position where we have to do that,” Ross said Monday at PGA National, where he played golf with Chad Henne at the Fin Cup, a charity golf event that kick-started the PGA’s Honda Classic. “We can’t really let it stop what we’re doing. We wouldn’t be ready for when we can go.”
Ross, who bought the team in 2009, said the lockout, which would likely begin Friday at 12 a.m., is an unfortunate reality.
“The fans have a lot of anxiety, as we do,” Ross said. “You all realize you’re flirting with danger, but I think the way it’s going (the NFL) needed some changes, and hopefully we’ll get those changes.”
Despite the owners and players union remaining far apart on several issues, most notably the split of the league’s $9 billion in total revenue, Ross said he remains optimistic there will be a 2011 season.
“Certainly I don’t want to miss a season, nor do (the fans), and I think the players don’t either,” Ross said. “I think calm heads will meet and see what really the issues are, understand the issues and hopefully we’ll get beyond that and have a season.”
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said 2011 season ticket sales are “in accordance with the last several years.” The Dolphins sold 51,069 season tickets for 2010, up from 49,415 in 2009 and 46,131 in 2008. The team’s record is 61,121 season tickets sold in 2006.
The Dolphins did not raise ticket prices for 2011. Season tickets remain cheaper than individual game tickets, and the Dolphins are offering a money-back guarantee for any missed games due to a lockout.
“It’s pretty much straight ahead, and we’ll deal with changes as they occur,” Dee said of the team’s business and ticket operations.