Matt Higgins picks new Dolphins President and CEO Dan Leberfeld

Miami, FL – A proven executive with a track record of success in business and sports, Tom Garfinkel has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium, it was announced today by Dolphins Owner and Managing General Partner Stephen Ross. Garfinkel was selected following an executive search led by RSE Ventures CEO Matt Higgins and Turnkey Sports and Entertainment.

In his role, Garfinkel will be responsible for all business operations of the Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium, including all budget responsibility. Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin will continue to oversee all football operations, reporting directly to Mr. Ross.

Garfinkel joins the Dolphins after working with the San Diego Padres since 2009. He was named to the post of President and Chief Operating Officer in April 2009 and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in April 2012.  During his tenure with the Padres, Garfinkel led an executive team that grew local revenues and attendance, improved and innovated concessions, implemented new wi-fi throughout the ballpark, built a farm system recognized as the best in baseball by in 2012, and executed a new local TV contract worth over $1.2B.  In addition, the team was recognized in a SportsBusiness Journal survey for having the number one ticket sales and service team in baseball in both 2011 and 2012.

Prior to joining the Padres, Garfinkel was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks. During his tenure there, he built a long-term strategic plan for the franchise, led the re-branding of the club and updating of Chase Field and led a team that produced the highest controllable revenues in the franchise’s history in 2008.


Prior to joining the Diamondbacks, Garfinkel spent five years with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as Executive Vice President, overseeing all business operations of the 400-employee company. He negotiated more than $500 million in sponsorship and driver contracts that resulted in a 280 percent increase of annual company revenue during his tenure. While Garfinkel was at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, the organization won two championships and grew to include three NASCAR Nextel Cup teams, one Busch Series team, two IndyCar teams and one Grand-Am team.

Garfinkel’s background also includes time at Texaco, Inc., where he managed sponsorship and corporate branding, and at Miller Brewing Company in strategic marketing and sales. Garfinkel earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Master of Business Administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.