Miamidade Sports Commission To Take A Swing At Contract For Unpaid Boxing Work
By Zachary S. Fagenson
The Miami-Dade Sports Commission has been managing newly minted boxing franchise the Miami Gallos for nothing and won’t get the $117,000 its owed for its work to date unless a contract between the commission and World Series of Boxing is signed.
Commission Executive Director Mike Sophia said he met with county Commissioner José "Pepe" Diaz, also chair of the sports commission, Tuesday morning and decided on an executive committee meeting to vote on the contract this coming Monday, the day before the opening match.
What happens if the committee rejects the contract is unclear. Mr. Diaz couldn’t be reached.
The two, it appears, spoke little as the sports commission took up running the team’s day-to-day operations, including marketing, promotions and ticket sales, without a signed contract
"I have to make sure that what we’re getting [in] a contract meets the goals and needs of this county," Mr. Diaz — who noted he learned of the team’s name through a Miami Today article — said in a previous interview. "I didn’t know a lot of these things and I’m the chairman. I have to now take everything into accountability."
The sports commission is to receive $341,000 for managing team for a year. $85,000 of that once the contract is final. The remainder is to be paid in $32,000 installments at the first of each month from November to June.
"The initial payment and the Nov. 1 [payment] would be due if/when the contract is approved and executed," Mr. Sophia wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
The sports commission in recent weeks has been sending out press releases documenting the team’s training and sparring matches as well as its participation in a Nov. 6 Ronald McDonald House Charities fundraiser.
The website www.miamigallos.com is currently under construction and the boxing team has a regularly update Twitter profile.
While the sport of boxing has seen better days, Mr. Sophia has argued taking on the team will afford the sports commission more resources than it’s had in recent years.
The yet-to-be-approved contract requires that Mr. Sophia dedicate no less than 80% of his time to the team but gives the sports commission the resources to hire several new hands to help with other endeavors, such as Super Bowl, World Cup and Olympic bids.
"All told we’ll have more staff hours available for the sports commission than we’ve had in last two or three years," Mr. Sophia said in a prior interview. The "directors of marketing, event operations [for boxing] are people that we’re going to be able to use for" sports commission work.
The season includes 12 events, six in Miami at the AmericanAirlines Arena and six at venues around the world. They kick off Nov. 23 and run until mid-March. If the Miami team were to move into the playoffs, additional matches would be scheduled during April and May.