Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 157


Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross said the “public is the one that really benefits” from the proposed upgrades to Sun Life Stadium, according to Armando Salguero of the MIAMI HERALD. Ross said, “As we disclosed in our financials, we don’t make a lot of money. In fact, we lose a lot of money. ... What we’re talking about here won’t really bring any fans in if I’m not winning [games].” He said, “This will help bring marquee events. We’re talking about BCS Bowls and Super Bowls and I guarantee we’ll get that.” Ross: “I never threatened to move the team even though we need modern facilities. It’s a lot cheaper to do a modernization than it will be to wait another 10 years and build a new stadium.” He said of asking for public funding to help renovate the facility, “The fact is one has only so much money you can spend. There’s a private-public partnership here. I’m carrying more than my share of it by paying in today’s dollars roughly 70 percent of the $350 million cost. That’s the minimum I can pay and it can go higher.” Ross was asked if he would “continue to own the Dolphins even if this issue doesn’t work out.” He said, “Yes. If I die, my family will have to sell it and then that’s where I worry about who’s going to be the buyer when you don’t have a facility to play in, and you have declining attendance and you’re losing money. That’s when you have to worry about the Dolphins being able to stay in Miami.” When asked if a future owner could “sustain the Dolphins here in this existing stadium without renovations,” Ross said, “I don’t think so.” He added, “If we’re winning and doing all the right things, the answer is yes. Will we be having marquee events? No. Would it be kind of a laughingstock? Yes” (MIAMI HERALD, 4/20).

WHO STANDS TO GAIN? In Miami, David Sutta noted taxpayers “could argue” Ross is the one to “benefit the most” in the proposed financing plan. He asked Ross, “Do they really stand to gain as much as you?” Ross said, “Yes. The economic benefits really don’t just end at the stadium. It’s really the hotels, the small businesses, the restaurant workers, the hotel workers, the taxi cab drivers. They all benefit by what we do and driving people to Miami-Dade County.” Forbes reported Ross’ net worth is “$4.4 billion,” and he made “a billion dollars in the last year.” Sutta noted of the renovation cost, “A check like this would be miniscule.” But Ross said, “Well not really. I have a lot of other businesses that need assets that I continue to support and grow and continue to grow and it’s part of that. I bought the Dolphins not to see how much money I can make but really creating a winning football and enhancing the community.” Sutta asked, ”Is this in your mind a good deal compared to what a good deal should look like or is it just a little better than the Marlins?” Ross: “This isn’t even close to the Marlins deal. I don’t think there has ever been a deal that’s been offered to any community, anywhere in this country, that is as good as what we’re offering and how the community can benefit by it” (, 4/19). In Miami, Patricia Mazzei explored the negotiations under the header, “Anatomy Of A Deal: How The Dolphins Negotiated A Stadium Renovation With Miami-Dade County” (MIAMI HERALD, 4/20).

If a bill to help Daytona Int'l Speedway collect more than $70M in sales tax rebates over the next three decades is passed by Florida state legislators “during the session that has two weeks remaining, starting in July the measure could funnel millions of dollars annually in sales tax revenues from the city, county and state to the Speedway,” according to Eileen Zaffiro-Kean of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. City Commissioner Rob Gilliland said, "We're a very lean municipality and we simply can't afford to give up our existing sales tax revenue." City and county leaders “have praised the Speedway plan overall as a ‘game-changer’ for the area's economy, and Speedway officials point out that in future years the city and county would enjoy a wealth of new tax revenues many times greater than anything it might lose to the rebates.” Gilliland also is “quick to say he mostly supports the measure.” But he said that he “just wants to see wording added to the bill to protect the city.” The current versions of the bill “both give the Daytona Beach City Commission and Volusia County Council the ability to put the brakes on some of the rebates the Speedway is after even if the bill becomes law.” The sales tax rebate also is “a selling point for a plan that still needs the approval of the Speedway's parent company, International Speedway Corp.” DIS President Joie Chitwood said, "This bill would allow us to receive the same treatment that all the other professional sports teams receive." He added that if the bill “doesn't pass, the timing and scope of the overhaul could be impacted” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/22).

The Bucks have told NBA Commissioner David Stern that the franchise "will have a plan that includes a new arena when the team's lease at the BMO Harris Bradley Center expires" on Sept. 30, 2017, according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Stern on Friday said, "The Bucks came to us and said we will have a plan that will have a new arena at the end of this extension of this lease. 'And will you please give us an extension and approve it?' And we did." The lease extension, reached last fall, is the "longest lease between the arena and the franchise in more than 10 years and the first multi-year extension" since '07. But what was "not entirely clear was whether the lease extension constituted a deadline of sorts for the Bucks." Bradley Center BOD Chair Marc Marotta on Friday said that the board is "cognizant of the timeline of the lease." Marotta said the lease and the commitment of $18M from key members of the business community to the Bradley Center "has always been viewed as a bridge to the future toward a modern facility." Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Timothy Sheehy said that he "plans to form a task force of MMAC officials to discuss what comes next in the discussion of a proposed arena" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/20).

The estimated cost for UNLV's proposed 60,000-seat domed stadium is $548.4M, the "biggest chunk" of the $900M UNLV Now stadium project, according to Alan Snel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. UNLV officials have "publicly refused to discuss project costs, but did share the price tag" in a Nov. 20, 2012, cost estimate report with representatives of the hotel-casino industry and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. The Eiman Consulting report shows that total Phase 1 project costs "for what UNLV has dubbed the 'Mega Events Center,' excluding financing costs, hit $899,841,523." That includes $52.7M in "contingency costs." While the proposed stadium has "garnered the spotlight and scrutiny, the project has profound implications for other university sports." UNLV to build the stadium "will have to relocate the playing fields of several sports and build new facilities." In addition, the cost-estimate report found that campus buildings "will need to be relocated, including half a dozen buildings that will cost more than $950,000 apiece" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/22).