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Time running out on Dolphins stadium deal

SunLife Stadium Getty Images

The Dolphins are only six weeks away from a potential countywide referendum regarding increased local hotel taxes to help fund renovations to Sun Life Stadium.  For now, the biggest problem isn’t the current national mood against the use of taxpayer money for sports arenas (in the absence of relocation leverage) but the fact that no agreement has been reached between the Dolphins and the politicians.

According to the Miami Herald, the city has yet to strike a deal with the team (let’s hope the open meetings laws are respected), and the county commission is contemplating a special session to schedule the vote.

We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez said.  “It’s hard, but it’s doable.”

With a mandatory 30-day notice period before the planned May 14 referendum, the “doable” window is quickly shrinking.

The project also requires state-level approval.  On Wednesday, the proposal picked up a positive vote from the House Economic Affairs Committee, one of various hurdles that must be overcome in the legislature.  The funding bill is more likely to become a law because the citizens ultimately will have a chance to vote yes or no on the plan.

In the end, that’s the biggest question.  Who will be more motivated to arrive at the ballot box — those who believe public support for a sports venue that can attract Super Bowls and other major events is necessary, or those who oppose welfare for billionaires in any form?

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38 Responses to “Time running out on Dolphins stadium deal”
  1. steelernationisuperiortothelowlyplebsofthenfllolol says: Apr 4, 2013 10:58 AM

    We laugh at the mockery that is Dolphins football.

  2. ravenator says: Apr 4, 2013 11:03 AM

    Beat the patriots and win the division – then I would support renovations to the stadium. Until that happens though, this is all done just to glamor the citizens into forking over more of their hard earned dollars.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 4, 2013 11:07 AM

    Losing football teams don’t deserve subsidies, they only deserve new taxes and penalties. Make the billionaire pay for it until he can prove that he does good things for the city through doing good things through his team. He has failed miserably in that regard so far and hasn’t shown much hope for turning things around. Don’t give him a dime and make him earn it.

  4. Cereal says: Apr 4, 2013 11:07 AM

    Why cant they play in the Marlins litter box ?

  5. harrisonhits2 says: Apr 4, 2013 11:28 AM

    Hopefully the Florida voters will be smart enough not to hand a billionaire a huge stack of free money and watch him laugh all the way to the bank.

  6. bigbrad184 says: Apr 4, 2013 11:33 AM

    I don’t know how the NFL can possibly award Miami one of the two Super Bowls that are up for allocation at next month’s owners meetings. Just seems like way too many hurdles still to clear and not enough time to get them done. SF and Houston have to be liking their chances.

  7. tpa43 says: Apr 4, 2013 11:33 AM

    The state of Florida should own half of the team if they take taxpayer money. The guy is a Billionare!

  8. fosteraustralianfortouchdown says: Apr 4, 2013 11:37 AM

    Superbowl 51 in Houston Texas

  9. basexc9 says: Apr 4, 2013 11:37 AM

    Locals do not pay anything for this, it will all come through a hotel tax on tourists. Dolphins will repay the loan interest fee eventually, and they will receive a tax break of $3 million per year. They will also pay for more than half the project themselves, including any cost overruns. Those are the facts. I would vote in favor of it if I was a Miami resident.

  10. jm91rs says: Apr 4, 2013 11:41 AM

    I Miami gives more money for a stadium after the disaster that Jeff loria conned them into, they deserve the bankruptcy they are going to be facing.

  11. fosteraustralianfortouchdown says: Apr 4, 2013 11:42 AM

    Everybody tavels at some point so we all still end up paying for the stadiums when we travel or vacation in a ciy with a nfl team

  12. jimbo75025 says: Apr 4, 2013 11:53 AM

    Sorry, but S Ross needs to take a drive over and pimp slap Jeffrey Loria. After the Marlins fiasco, chances are very slim Miami residents would approve a new stadium.

  13. purpleguy says: Apr 4, 2013 12:01 PM

    Several things to scratch one’s head about here: (1) they scheduled a county-wide vote to fund the stadium without a prior agreement on use of the funding? (2) there’s a county referendum planned, but the problem is a deal with the City of Miami? (3) this referendum has been scheduled for a while, yet they still haven’t held a sufficient number of meetings to reach an agreement?

  14. ebr362 says: Apr 4, 2013 12:16 PM

    I love all the Dolphin haters chiming in. If the locals aren’t smart enough to recognize that it is the tourist that is paying and not themselves then they shouldn’t get the benefit of the renovation when they come to events at the stadium.

  15. stogiesnfins says: Apr 4, 2013 12:18 PM

    “Who will be more motivated to arrive at the ballot box — those who believe public support for a sports venue that can attract Super Bowls and other major events is necessary, or those who oppose welfare for billionaires in any form?”

    I’m against gov’t welfare for anyone however, providing property tax breaks and other tax credits is a way to allow the billionaires to keep the money they earn and direct toward what they see as a more beneficial and profitable purpose. This is not welfare.

    Remember, no gov’t has any money prior to taking it from those who earn it.

    So, there may be a third group at the ballot box. Those who like to see people left alone to direct their earnings to where they conclude a greater value will be returned. This is much better than handing it over to a politician who did not earn the money and therefore is likely indifferent toward it’s value.

  16. garrygates says: Apr 4, 2013 12:19 PM

    I’m getting pretty tired of reading the same article from Florio, over and over and over again. The Dolphins have offered so many incentives to taxpayers, that it has basically become a freeroll.

    A decent chunk of the money will be paid back, the plan can be nixed if the team is unsuccessful in winning their targeted Super Bowl bids, and not to mention, the city rakes in a TON of revenue from this stadium across multiple sporting and entertainment events… (See Wrestlemania!)

    Articles like this are so unbelievably irresponsible.

  17. tpa43 says: Apr 4, 2013 12:34 PM

    Smart. Make it less attractive for tourists to come to Florida by charging them more taxes to pay a Billionare. Who’s idea was this Rick Scott?

  18. lombardisshineinfoxborough says: Apr 4, 2013 12:58 PM

    As a Pats fan that’s made a number of trips down to Miami for games, I don’t immediately even see what the need for renovations are? The stadium isn’t state of the art, but seems fine to me. My only complaint might be the location, but I’m not sure what the better options may be…

  19. tpa43 says: Apr 4, 2013 12:59 PM

    Also, middle class people pay something called interest. Love how a Billionare gets free money and a no-interest loan while pockets all the proceeds?

  20. dirtydrew says: Apr 4, 2013 1:04 PM

    Just say NO! Let the billionaire put up his own dough. Then, if the team stinks and no fans want to pay for seat license fee, he can pay for it.

  21. thetooloftools says: Apr 4, 2013 1:07 PM

    If you build them a new stadium, they will gut the team…. wait… the team has already been gutted.
    Never mind.

  22. whysomanylosers says: Apr 4, 2013 1:08 PM

    That stadium is not that old, plus the are just got a new “state of the art” baseball stadium (Marlins Park) built in the middle of a crap hole (the old Orange Bowl). It comes complete with leaky roof and grass that wont grow (in Florida!?)

    I hate to be shorted sighted, but the owners and politicians need to come up with a better solution.

  23. bobbyd12 says: Apr 4, 2013 1:25 PM

    Some of the dumbest comments always come from Dolphin articles and I bet 99% are from out of staters. Down here we can really care less what you folks think. No one wants to go to Super Bowl games in miserable, cold weather in depressing cities such as Pittsburg. Ross is paying 58% of this thing and the rest I’ll come from a 1% tourist tax. He is also paying back the money to the County and State. The SuperBowl brings in millions of dollars to local business. BTW, if the 1% tax at the hotel bothers you that much, go vacation in Ohio in the winter instead of Miami. If 1% is that much of a burden we don’t want you here anyway.

  24. officialgame says: Apr 4, 2013 1:30 PM

    To the imbecile who states “locals will not pay it is a tourist tax” you are clueless as to how this relates to Florida as a whole. Bottom line the owner Mr Ross, a businessman bought the team and its assets on its merits and improvements to his assets should be borne out by him. The taxpayers of Miami aren’t there to further enrich Mr Ross. Furthermore any new tourist tax should be used for the betterment of all Miami taxpayers.

  25. bigdawg24 says: Apr 4, 2013 1:46 PM

    Maybe this is the reason the new Dolphin logo took the helmet with a “M” emblem off of it, so they wont have to change it again when they move to L.A.

  26. annes22 says: Apr 4, 2013 1:47 PM

    All the out of staters on here need to mind their own business. It’s pathetic reading what you have to say.
    We don’t care what you think, and I am sure Mr Ross doesn’t need advice from you either.
    He’s a billionaire, and if any of rest of you are then why are you wasting time on this site??? Worry about your own teams and their problems. I am sure they have plenty!!

  27. squared80 says: Apr 4, 2013 1:53 PM

    It’s a tough sell when the Marlins get a brand new ballpark, tank, and clean house after only 1 season. Good luck with that.

  28. nejerseygirl says: Apr 4, 2013 1:55 PM

    basexc9 says:
    Apr 4, 2013 11:37 AM
    Locals do not pay anything for this, it will all come through a hotel tax on tourists. Dolphins will repay the loan interest fee eventually, and they will receive a tax break of $3 million per year. They will also pay for more than half the project themselves, including any cost overruns. Those are the facts. I would vote in favor of it if I was a Miami resident.

    ——————–

    Oh, perfect. So it’ll be the rest of the country that gets to pay for this awful team.

  29. garrygates says: Apr 4, 2013 2:13 PM

    tpa43 says:
    Apr 4, 2013 12:34 PM
    Smart. Make it less attractive for tourists to come to Florida by charging them more taxes to pay a Billionare. Who’s idea was this Rick Scott?

    And yet another absolutely ridiculous comment… You think that raising bed taxes on tourists by LITERALLY $0.01-0.02 per stay, over the course of a 30 year period is going to make it less attractive for tourists to visit Florida?

    Wow, average Americans tilt the living &%*$ out of me… Educate yourself, before you embarrass yourself. A wise man once said, it’s better to remain silent and assumed an idiot, than to speak and remove all doubt.

  30. deadeye says: Apr 4, 2013 2:25 PM

    “As a Pats fan that’s made a number of trips down to Miami for games, I don’t immediately even see what the need for renovations are? The stadium isn’t state of the art, but seems fine to me. My only complaint might be the location, but I’m not sure what the better options may be…”

    =============================

    Good point. But the fact is that one of the reasons the Dolphins can’t sell out home games (beyond their own suckage) is the stifeling heat. Ross wants to put a roof on the stadium that keeps the sun off the crowd and makes the game day experience more enjoyable for the fans.

  31. MyTeamsAllStink says: Apr 4, 2013 2:55 PM

    now taking the field,,your San Antonio Dolphins!

  32. patswhatsup says: Apr 4, 2013 3:37 PM

    I think Dolphins fans should vote yes. The Dolphins can definitely be in the playoffs this year. The residents won’t pay, it’s tourist tax.

    By the way, Jeff Ireland just spent 147 million of Stephen Ross’ dollars on free agents. It’s not like he isn’t investing.

  33. htotheb says: Apr 4, 2013 3:55 PM

    As a lifelong Dolphins fan and South Floridian I fully support this measure. It’s the only way to get another Superbowl or increase attendance at games. To try and equate Stephen Ross to Jeff Loria is ridiculous.

    The Marlins have been pitiful for a decade now, while as a (admittedly often misguided) Dolphins fan I always have faith in my team and think we have a chance any given Sunday.

    It wasn’t too long ago the Heat were a mediocre at best team, and now they are probably the hottest sports team in the country (pun intended.)

    It comes from patience and faith in management. All of you Dolphin haters probably wish your team made a couple of the off-season moves the Phins have. Hating is bad for your soul.

    Loria is a lowlife who should have never been trusted in the first place, Stephen Ross has done nothing but try to win. He’s offered to pay for more than half of the renovations and to pay the rest back to the state. The only tax being levied is for tourists at hotels. Anyone think they’re going to stop coming?

  34. lombardisshineinfoxborough says: Apr 4, 2013 4:31 PM

    deadeye says: Apr 4, 2013 2:25 PM

    “As a Pats fan that’s made a number of trips down to Miami for games, I don’t immediately even see what the need for renovations are? The stadium isn’t state of the art, but seems fine to me. My only complaint might be the location, but I’m not sure what the better options may be…”

    =============================

    Good point. But the fact is that one of the reasons the Dolphins can’t sell out home games (beyond their own suckage) is the stifeling heat. Ross wants to put a roof on the stadium that keeps the sun off the crowd and makes the game day experience more enjoyable for the fans.

    Naively, I didn’t even think about that…and I’ve roasted there before. Makes sense. Hope it works out for you guys.

  35. nejerseygirl says: Apr 4, 2013 4:54 PM

    bobbyd12 says:
    Apr 4, 2013 1:25 PM
    Some of the dumbest comments always come from Dolphin articles and I bet 99% are from out of staters. Down here we can really care less what you folks think. No one wants to go to Super Bowl games in miserable, cold weather in depressing cities such as Pittsburg.

    deadeye says:
    Apr 4, 2013 2:25 PM
    Good point. But the fact is that one of the reasons the Dolphins can’t sell out home games (beyond their own suckage) is the stifeling heat. Ross wants to put a roof on the stadium that keeps the sun off the crowd and makes the game day experience more enjoyable for the fans.
    ____________

    So.. fans don’t want to be cold while they’re watching the game, but they don’t want to be hot either……

    Seriously, football is played from August – January. So Miami fans will be hot for maybe a month.. during pre-season.

    I really don’t feel that bad. It’s definitely not worth spending billions of dollars on. How about the Dolphins focus instead on building a good team? I would love for the Pats to have some good competition in the AFC East.

  36. officialgame says: Apr 4, 2013 5:23 PM

    I’m sure Norman Braeman will be all over this.

  37. phinfan says: Apr 4, 2013 7:00 PM

    First off… They should sue the NFL for having them bully cities into revamping their stadiums to host a superbowl. It should be a fan vote not a ‘who has the biggest bestest stadium that year’. Second… Why revamp the stadium? If you’re going through all these hurdles whats the point in revamping? Start from scratch so the tax payer doesnt have this mess in 15 years when the rest of the facility falls to pieces. At least its NEW. imo

  38. dolphans13 says: Apr 7, 2013 11:27 PM

    Dolphins and dolphans,

    Welcome to California. we have room for two stadiums.

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