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Volume 24 No. 156


The Dolphins "won a deal Tuesday from Miami-Dade County that will have the team renovate its stadium, including adding a partial roof, in exchange for county payments when the team brings big events to the Miami Gardens facility," according to Douglas Hanks of the MIAMI HERALD. The Dolphins’ plan, approved by the County Commission in a 7-4 vote, would earn the team $4M when Sun Life Stadium hosts a Super Bowl, $3M for hosting a College Football Playoff title game and “as little as $750,000 for international soccer matches and other special sports events.” The money for the 20-year deal would “come from hotel taxes.” Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel said that early work on the renovation of the stadium would “start by July, with major work taking place" during the team's '15 and '16 offseasons. With hotel-tax revenue “already strained,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez “negotiated a 10-year delay on payments to the Dolphins.” The deal also calls for the Dolphins to “sign a 30-year non-relocation agreement with Miami-Dade.” But while the team “agreed to stay 30 years, the subsidy program expires 20 years after it starts.” The program is “likely to start” in ‘16, provided the NFL “awards the Dolphins” the ‘19 Super Bowl next spring. If not, the program would “not begin until Sun Life is awarded a Super Bowl or a World Cup soccer match.” Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross is pursuing a $3M “annual state subsidy for the renovation, and plans to tap into NFL construction funds that are reserved for franchises that secure government assistance for stadium deals.” Garfinkel said that the renovation would “add more seats closer to the field while removing upper-level seats, bringing the stadium’s current capacity of about 76,000 down to 65,000" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/18).

WAITING FOR THE SUN: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes the renovations would help “upgrade the 27-year-old stadium's lights, sound system, seats and other facilities,” and include adding a “canopy over the seats, but not the field, to protect fans from the South Florida heat as well as the rain.” The next Super Bowl available for bid is in ’19, and finalists are “expected to be selected in October.” South Florida Super Bowl Committee Chair Rodney Barreto said, "We're back in the business, and we're going to work hard to bring home 2019” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/18).

A "seemingly done deal" to keep the A's at Coliseum for up to 10 more seasons has "hit a roadblock as city leaders question whether they are making too many concessions,” according to Matthew Artz of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. A vote set for Friday to ratify the agreement has been "called of," and the postponement “frustrated A's co-owner Lew Wolff, who thought he had a done deal.” Wolff yesterday in a statement said, "We have made countless concessions, including many requested late last week after we were told we had a deal. We are done negotiating. It is up to them to vote." Sources said that the team has "agreed to several revisions over the past week sought by attorneys representing the city -- a few of which provided additional flexibility" for the Raiders if they build a new football stadium adjacent to the Coliseum. But sources said that the A's have "refused to agree to any amendments that could change the economics of the deal" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 6/18).

In London, Ben Rumsby notes EPL club Chelsea will "consult local stakeholders about the possibility of redeveloping" Stamford Bridge, which has been its "only home" since the club formed 109 years ago. Chelsea "had insisted previously that the exorbitant cost of expanding their 41,837-capacity ground made doing so economically unviable and the club actively explored moving to nearby Battersea Power Station and Earls Court." However, those options "evaporated" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/18).

THE DAWG POUND: In Cleveland, Glenn Moore reported FirstEnergy Stadium renovations "are on time and on budget," and construction "will be done in time" for the Browns' first home preseason game on Aug. 23. Phase 1 of the renovations include two new videoboards, "nearly triple the size of the old units," and LED ribbon boards "around the stadium." The Daktronics videoboards "will be the NFL's fourth-largest in 2014 and will triple in size from last year's boards" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/17).

THE CATS' CRADLE: Broward County (Fla.) officials on Monday said that a vote on the NHL Panthers' request for "millions more in public funds is likely months away." In Ft. Lauderdale, Brittany Wallman noted while county officials in March said that a consultant "would spend 60 to 90 days analyzing the controversial request from the Panthers organization, that consultant still has not been hired." The Panthers organization is "asking to be relieved of paying its portion of debt payments on the arena" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/17).

NEARING A BOIL: In Indiana, Mike Carmin notes Purdue Univ. is "inching closer to finalizing a plan" for the south end zone seating at Ross-Ade Stadium. Purdue AD Morgan Burke "envisions a patio area with upscale tents -- similar to what’s used at PGA Tour events -- featuring food and beverage (including alcohol), and tables with umbrellas that can accommodate an estimated 1,500 fans" (Lafayette JOURNAL & COURIER, 6/18).