SBD/April 3, 2013/Facilities

Dolphins' Stadium Public Funding Approved In Florida Senate, But Expanded For All Sports

Sun Life Stadium improvements would be assessed against other projects
An attempt to fund the Dolphin's proposed Sun Life Stadium improvements “morphed Tuesday into a catch-all sports stadium package that could provide tax dollars for everything” from an MLS venue in Orlando to Spring Training improvements statewide in Florida, but “require teams to compete for the money,” according to Aaron Deslatte of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. The bill approved yesterday in  the Florida Senate “originally started as an attempt" to give the Dolphins a $3M annual sales tax rebate and the "ability to raise more local bed-tax dollars with voter approval.” But State Sen. Andy Gardiner yesterday added an amendment to “require the Dolphins and other teams to compete for state dollars through a new process that would pit local governments against each other for sports-stadium construction or renovation money.” The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity would then “evaluate the projects and rank them from best-buy to worst, and the Legislature would ultimately decide which ones” to award $2-3M annually. Gardiner said, "Essentially, they're going to have to compete with each other. I would much rather have two sports franchises, two cities, two counties competing for the funds because you'll ultimately get the best deal for the taxpayer" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 4/3).

SUPER-SIZED: South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee member Nicki Grossman said that the group "expects the overall tab" to host Super Bowl L in '16 to be about $21M. In Miami, Douglas Hanks notes the cost of the event "could be twice as much" as it was for Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in '10, but less than the $25M "cited by rival" S.F. in the bid for Super Bowl L. Plans submitted last week "include an expensive cluster of pre-game activities in downtown Miami, including barges anchored on the waterfront to create more space for the events." The "bulk of the money would come from corporate sponsors" in the area in South Florida." Grossman said that the committee "fell about 4,000 hotel rooms short of the 14,000 the NFL wants reserved for Super Bowl, in part because of ill-will generated" by the Dolphins' bid for money to renovate Sun Life Stadium. South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee Chair Rodney Barreto said that he "expects to have more hotel rooms reserved by the time the final bid is officially due May 1" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/2).
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