Apparently the Florida Panthers don’t have the best reputation with the three other major sports franchises in South Florida.
Marlins president David Samson explained the gulf Thursday at a sports business symposium, as reported by Sun-Sentinel.
“Let’s put it out there: What really hurt this year — and we talked about it — is what happened with what the Panthers did at the Dolphins’ practice facility a few months ago. That’s not what you do when you’re in a market when you’re working together with teams. It’s just not appropriate,” Samson said.
What happened was Panthers’ sales executives handing out business cards to fed-up fans protesting the Dolphins’ management, or mismanagement as the team’s 6-10 record in 2011 may suggest. (But hey, free-agent signing David Garrard’s a…quarterback.)
Panthers president Michael Yormark subsequently released a statement denying there was a rift but admitting Samson had a point about the incident at the Dolphins’ practice facility: “We spoke to those sales executives, underlying the respect we have for the other teams in the market, and the issue has since been rectified.”
However, Samson also still holds a grudge over the Panthers’ decision to build an arena in Broward instead of working with the Heat on a shared downtown facility.
“It’s an extra layer of competition (for concerts, etc.) that really is not necessary. From my standpoint of somebody who is in Miami sports, that was a bad day when the Panthers went north,” Samson said. “It has an impact politically. It impacted us for 10 years trying to get a ballpark. It’s still going on right now.”