Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says teams should pay for stadiums, not ask for public money

ByEric Williams ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PHOENIX -- The only owner to vote against the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told reporters here on Monday that he believes Raiders owner Mark Davis did not use all of his options to get a stadium deal done in Oakland.

"I was more interested really in the fans in Oakland, and what a team means to the city," Ross said. "That's my primary concern. I think that's who you take into consideration first. You have to exhaust everything to try and stay in a city."

Owners voted 31-1 to approve the Raiders application to relocate to Las Vegas. The Raiders received an unprecedented $750 million in public money to build a new stadium for the team. Ross, who voted against the project, recently paid for over $500 million in stadium improvements at Hard Rock Stadium -- the home for the Dolphins -- and believes owners should foot the bill for new stadiums in their markets rather than asking for public money.

"You've got to look around," Ross said. "There's very little public money available for teams today. And if you own a team, you should have the deep pockets to deliver. You need some public money for infrastructure and things like that. But with the costs of stadiums today, our country can't afford to put all of the money in those things."

Ross said that Davis did not put forth his best effort to get something done in Oakland.

"I believe when you own a team you're a steward for the city," Ross said. "It's like owning a utility company. And I just don't think everything was done to try and stay in Oakland.

"You can only make a deal when the owner wants to make a deal. Who are you going to negotiate with? How is it going to happen? There's got to be a driving force."