Posted: 1:57 pm Friday, March 11th, 2011

FHSAA: Football state finals at Sun Life Stadium too expensive 

By Matt Porter

FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing told the Joe Rose Show on WQAM-560 on Wednesday that the organization would like to play the state football finals in Sun Life Stadium, but it costs too much. The full transcript follows:

JR: Are we ever going to get the high school state football championships back down here again?

RD: “Listen, y’all came real close this time. Y’all put a bid in down there. Can you talk to the people at the stadium? I mean, it was too expensive. I mean, It’s very expensive to use the Dolphins’ stadium down there.”

JR: So, if I can get the price down, you’ll get it done for us?

RD: “Yes sir. Can we partner on that? Listen, the last time we were there was the biggest crowds we’ve had.”

JR: So you’re all for it. There’s nothing against it. The price for our Sun Life Stadium was too expensive.

RD: “It’s like $60,000 or $80,000 per game because they want to re-sod the field after we use it, and we play eight games. That’s a lot of money.”

JR: No, that’s too much. I’m with you on that. But if I can get that price down … how many years until that contract is up?

RD: “The contract we’re in negotiation with now is good for three years, but here’s the thing, you all just came in third in the bidding. There were six places that bid for it this three years, and Miami came in third. And the problem was, it was either split between Sun Life Stadium and FIU Stadium down there, and we don’t want to switch going back and forth between stadiums, that’s too confusing for people, where do you go? You know what I mean? And Sun Life Stadium was just totally too expensive, but what a wonderful experience it is for a high school student-athlete. So hey, Joe, work with me on that. We’d love to be back down there.”

JR: Well, then, I’ll get going on that. We can help and see if the Dolphins, who really loved having it last time, and see if we can get the price down where we can win. So, you’re saying that your whole board, they loved it and they would like to come back down?

RD: “Oh yeah, we have four or five board members from there, so see if you can get Don Shula involved.”

* * *

The state football championship left Sun Life Stadium in 2006 and has three years left at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Do you think South Florida is the best place to have the tournament? If not, where should it be held?

Personally (selfishly), I’d like to see the finals at Sun Life Stadium because I wouldn’t have to grab a hotel room to cover the games. Also, I’m dead sure South Florida would pack the place.