Ken Griffin and the $7.5 Billion Dolphins Deal That Wasn’t

ken griffin
Even if Griffin’s deal didn’t quite materialize, it still unofficially sets the market for an NFL franchise. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images
John Ourand
March 21, 2024

First, a bit of news… Ken Griffin, the brusque billionaire hedge fund manager and adopted Floridian, has seen his effort to buy a minority stake in the Miami Dolphins break down. Griffin, C.E.O. of Citadel, first engaged in negotiations with Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross, a real estate tycoon, back in the fall. And talks progressed so far that I was told during Super Bowl week that a deal was 90 percent done. 

The size of the position Griffin was set to acquire remains unclear, but the deal would have valued the team—and its arena, Hard Rock Stadium—at $7.5 billion, which would have considerably eclipsed the current record for a transaction. (Unsurprisingly, given his history in the real estate and REIT business, Ross is one of four NFL owners—alongside Josh Harris, the Patriots’ Bob Kraft, and the Panthers’ David Tepper—who also own their own stadium and the peripheral real estate.) Last year, Harris, a private equity mogul, paid a then-record $6 billion for the Commanders and FedEx Field.