SBD/March 28, 2013/Facilities

Dolphins Willing To Repay State Tax Rebates To Secure Funding For Stadium Renovation

Sun Life Stadium would be the home of the Dolphins until 2043
The Dolphins yesterday announced “a new concession aimed at boosting support” for the team’s proposed renovations to Sun Life Stadium, according to Olorunnipa & Beasley of the MIAMI HERALD. The team announced that it would be “willing to repay" $47M in state tax rebates after 2043. It is the “latest in a series of concessions" made by the Dolphins, who are seeking taxpayer help "despite the political uproar over publicly-financed stadiums in South Florida.” The Dolphins have “agreed to keep the team in South Florida for three decades, snag at least one Super Bowl by 2017, allow Miami-Dade voters to decide on whether to raise hotel taxes and, possibly, cover the cost of that referendum vote.” The team in total "pledged to pay back" about $167M, including $120M to Miami-Dade County and $47M to the state. That amount covers “much of the upfront costs, but not necessarily the cost of interest and inflation, which could be substantial.” The Dolphins are “hoping Miami-Dade County will raise the mainland hotel tax" from 6% to 7% to help finance their estimated $389M renovations. The team "needs voters to approve the hotel tax in a referendum, and the county must notify the public of a special election 30 days before it takes place." For a May 14 referendum -- which is "likely the latest it could occur to influence the NFL’s 50th and 51st Super Bowls award announcement on May 22 -- that notice must occur within the next three weeks." Florida state Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, who sponsored the bill, and Dolphins CEO Mike Dee “both acknowledged time is a concern," but they were “confident a deal could still be done" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/28). Dee “further defended the team's stance on what amounts to no-interest loans by saying it has never been done before” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/28).

A FISH STORY: Dolphins CEO Mike Dee yesterday confirmed the team's new logo is the image that has been circulating online for several weeks. In Miami, Adam Beasley notes the new logo yesterday "got the thumbs-up from two respected voices: Don Shula and Dan Marino." Shula wrote on his Twitter feed, "Glad to see new logo has all the same colors from our great 70's & 80's teams. A new look for a new era." Marino wrote on his feed, "Saw the new Fins logo. Followed the development stage & now its great to see the finished product" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/28). CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish said, “I like it. Typically when you see an old logo, an old famous logo, sort of being pushed to the side in favor of something new, we’ve seen franchise after franchise screw this up.” CBS Sports Network's Allie LaForce said, “What I like about it is it doesn’t look as cartoony. The first one looks like something straight out of a children’s cartoon.” Parrish: “And if you have to pay all these free agent contracts, what’s the best way to do it, or one of the best ways to do it? Create new merchandise that everybody has to buy. Smart business practice here” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 3/27). NBC Sports Network's Erik Kuselias noted the old Dolphins logo had a “helmet and an 'M,'” while the new logo “looks like a Dolphin and a jet had an offspring.” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said he was “always going with the logo worn by the team that went 17-0. Why would you change it?” (“PFT,” NBCSN, 3/27).
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