Profiteering innovator Wayne Huizenga dies at age 80

Former Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins, and Florida Panthers owner Wayne Huizenga died on Friday, and any time a soul passes from this earth there’s a sadness, and we pass long our sympathies to all of Huizenga’s relatives and loved ones.

And now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about how Wayne Huizenga helped to make the sports world a worse place while he was alive:

Does all this make Huizenga a bad man? First and foremost, he was a corporate businessman, trying to extract maximum value from the assets he owned, whether his sports teams or waste-hauling company or Blockbuster Video, even if at the expense of the public or his fellow team owners or his team’s on-field success. Whether this makes him a capitalist running dog or someone merely following his own rational self-interest depends on your political perspective, but it’s undeniable that his cash grabs were more innovative than that of most team owners, and had a more detrimental effect on the sports landscape. So while he may have exhibited “kindness and generosity,” as his former team tweeted last Friday, he also did all those other things too; and that, in all his complexity, is how he should be remembered by history.


4 comments on “Profiteering innovator Wayne Huizenga dies at age 80

  1. Good article…reminds me of a late New Orleans Saints owner who bought the team in a business deal with Edwin Edwards and fleeced the entire state of Louisiana for decades. The entire Benson tower shenanigans on the cause of the Saints is one of the darkest things to come from that sewer down there.

  2. It’s a small and subtle change, but the world felt like a slightly better place on Saturday. I’m sure his family will miss him and I have sympathy for their loss. I won’t be shedding any tears, however.

  3. A famous radio quote from Wayne waaaaay back in the early 90s:
    “I’m gonna say something and I want you guys to mark it down. If Broward County decided to build an arena, I will not play here. Because I won’t have you guys (reporters) following me around saying ‘here’s a guy who said one thing and did another.’” Wayne ended up taking his hockey team to Broward anyway.