Billionaire Stephen Ross has a significant, non voting stake in the Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium and F1 Miami Grand Prix on the block.
The sale of the sports properties was first reported by Andy Slater at Fox Sports 640 earlier today, who said Ross was in preliminary talks with hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin. Forbes has learned that other potential investors are also kicking the tires and that it is possible that more than one investor buys a piece of the assets.
One person familiar with the sale book says the enterprise value for a minority stake of the assets will exceed the $6.05 billion sale for full ownership of the Washington Commanders in July, which makes sense when you consider the enormous cash the properties generate.
In August we valued the Dolphins at $5.7 billion, 11th in the NFL, with operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the 2022 season of $111 million. The $111 million of operating income includes over $35 million from non-NFL stadium events, like soccer and concerts, but excludes the F1 Miami Grand Prix and Miami Open tennis, which is a long-term joint venture with Endeavor Group Holdings and is therefore not owned by Ross. F1 Miami Grand Prix, which began in 2022, is owned by Ross via a 15-year deal with Formula One and has projected operating income in the range of $350 million to $500 million over the 15 years.
The football team and its stadium have some $640 million of debt.
In 2008 Ross bought half the football team, stadium and some surrounding real estate from Wayne Huizenga for $550 million. In 2009 he purchased another 45% from Huizenga, placing an enterprise value on the two-part acquisition of $1.1 billion. Since 2008 Ross has invested over $4 billion in real estate in south Florida and over $1 billion in the team and Hard Rock Stadium.
And Ross is looking to invest more in sports and real estate, according to someone familiar with his plans. To fund future investments, it’s easy to understand why Ross would sell some equity. As one person put it to Forbes: “Valuations for sports properties are high (making equity cheap), and debt is expensive.”