When it comes to his prized Miami Dolphins, Related Cos. founder Stephen Ross is keeping ownership of the NFL franchise in his corporate family — with Related president Bruce Beal Jr. receiving the right of first option to purchase the team once Ross’ time at the helm comes to an end.
NFL owners approved the succession plan at a recent meeting in Boca Raton, Fla, according to CBS Sports, as Ross – who turns 76 in May – sought to be proactive about the Dolphins’ ownership situation to avoid any uncertainty regarding who will inherit the team in his wake.
Beal Jr. joined Related in 1995 and was promoted to the role of president in 2012. His father, Bruce Beal Sr., and uncle, Robert Beal, led Boston-based real estate investment firm Beal Cos. before that company’s merger with Related in 2013, which formed Related Beal.
The arrangement is akin to “keeping the [Dolphins] in the family,” sources told CBS Sports, with Ross and Beal Jr. said to be very close after working together for many years. But sources also noted that the plan does not indicate that Ross intends to sell the team imminently, and rather constitutes “responsible succession planning.”
It also does not guarantee that Beal will purchase the team, though he’ll have first crack at doing so should Ross pass away or decide to sell the team. The Related founder purchased 50 percent of the Dolphins from previous owner Wayne Huizenga for $550 million in 2008, and assumed full control of the team in 2009.