SBD/May 21, 2014/Facilities

Dolphins Want Payment For Events Rather Than Tax Relief To Fund Stadium Upgrades

Ross would use private dollars for a $350M renovation of Sun Life Stadium
The Dolphins “plan to abandon their push for tax relief in favor of asking” Miami-Dade County to “pay the team for recruiting” the Super Bowl and other major events to a renovated Sun Life Stadium, according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross had been negotiating with the county to “have the county take over ownership of the stadium, which would free the team of a yearly property-tax bill” worth nearly $4M. The "broad outline" of the plan is that Ross would use private dollars for a $350M renovation of the stadium, and Miami-Dade “would then pay the team for each major event the stadium brings.” Sources said that the Dolphins also are “proposing that major concerts be eligible for bonus payments.” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that the money would “come from county hotel taxes, the same dollars that currently subsidize” the Heat and “pay the debt on Marlins Park.” Hanks notes Gimenez “declined to say how large the payments might be, but described them as modest compared to the kind of spending a Super Bowl can bring.” The stadium deals for the Dolphins and David Beckham’s MLS expansion team “may intersect,” since the Univ. of Miami "may want to move from Sun Life to the proposed soccer stadium.” UM has a long-term lease to play football at Sun Life Stadium, and the contract “could give him an extra bargaining chip with Gimenez, who is pushing for the soccer stadium” (MIAMI HERALD, 5/21).

LET'S GET IT STARTED: In West Palm Beach, Andrew Abramson notes the upgrades would “begin this summer and be completed in two phases” -- the first before the '15 season and the second in time for the '16 season (PALM BEACH POST, 5/21). In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes Ross is “eager to get in the running” for Super Bowl LIII in '19 after losing out on the '16 and '17 games, and not being a finalist for the '18 game. Finalists for Super Bowl LIII are “expected to be determined in October” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/21).
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