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Dolphins strike stadium renovation deal with Miami-Dade mayor

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross watches warmups at Dolphins Stadium in Florida. Getty Images

Before the Dolphins can put to vote their effort to finagle public money to renovate Sun Life Stadium, a deal must be struck between the Dolphins and Miami-Dade County.

On Monday night, that finally happened.

The Dolphins have announced the forging of an “unprecedented” agreement with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.  It was one of the major hurdles that needed to be cleared before a tentative May 14 special election regarding a one-percent increase in local hotex taxes.

“We are proud to join Mayor Gimenez in agreeing to an unprecedented public-private partnership that will modernize Sun Life Stadium and protect property tax payers, while helping secure the future for Super Bowls, college championships and international soccer in Miami-Dade,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement released by the team.  “The future is also brighter for the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Orange Bowl.

“We look forward to working with the County Commission to ensure that the voters of Miami-Dade have the final say on creating more than 4,000 jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.  When the people of Miami-Dade go to the polls, we are confident they will support this partnership, where the Dolphins will pay approximately 70 percent costs, will repay approximately $167 million to the state and county, will pay for 100 percent of any cost overruns during construction, and will be committed to staying in Miami-Dade for the next 30 years.

“I want to thank Mayor Gimenez and his team for their hard work and commitment to bringing jobs and opportunity to the people of Miami-Dade.  This is truly an unprecedented agreement, and the Mayor deserves tremendous credit for making it happen.  I love this community and nothing would make me prouder than watching the Miami Dolphins play a Super Bowl in a modernized Sun Life Stadium.  That’s more than a dream for me — it’s a goal I will work toward every day.  I know that together we can make it happen.”

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high.  But in light of the reality that no team has ever played a Super Bowl in its home stadium, Ross should gladly settle for either/or — or both at different times.

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41 Responses to “Dolphins strike stadium renovation deal with Miami-Dade mayor”
  1. johnnyb216 says: Apr 8, 2013 11:04 PM

    And yet another billionaire owner gets a public handout from taxpayers who actually need the money.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 8, 2013 11:07 PM

    Also needs a good long term plan for his roster. The GM badly needs to be replaced with much higher priority than constructing another building to play in. To play in with what? Something that will consistently be less than the best? That’s no fun and only through crazy luck would that strategy work out. That’s not worth much pride.

    The Dolphins need to focus on the guts of the team in addition to the shell if they want to earn true pride and championships.

  3. The Mayor says: Apr 8, 2013 11:21 PM

    Miami just seems to love giving away hundreds of millions of dollars to billionaire team owners.

  4. kane337 says: Apr 8, 2013 11:30 PM

    Seriously, this man could afford to pay for it all on his own.

    Sell the team and move back to New York Mr. Ross.

  5. lostsok says: Apr 8, 2013 11:34 PM

    While I generally don’t like teams getting handouts, the Dolphins worked progressively with the local government to forge a deal that doesn’t just soak the taxpayers. As billionaires go, I’ll give Ross props for that…but…

    I’m a lot more impressed with how Ireland is rebuilding the roster than with how Ross is rebuilding the stadium, though. And a lot more concerned with who the left tackle will be than whether there’s wifi.

  6. finsfan4life1977 says: Apr 8, 2013 11:38 PM

    Good job. Now hopefully the voters pass it, and the Dolphins will play a SuperBowl in their own stadium in a few years.

  7. billsboy88 says: Apr 8, 2013 11:38 PM

    Yup, forget about investing in a strong infrastructure, education, or healthcare system, we need those tax dollars to build stadiums so the wealthy can watch the very wealthy play for the ultra wealthy.

  8. iansmith559 says: Apr 8, 2013 11:50 PM

    Hopefully with dolphins using public funds , the dolphins would Lower ticket prices so the average PUBLIC fan can attend the game!!!

  9. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Apr 9, 2013 12:01 AM

    Wonder how much Gimenez pocketed on the deal. Not that I mind. I’m a season ticket holder (40 years) and I want the renovations. Just saying I’m pretty sure some money changed hands on this one.

  10. mcjon22 says: Apr 9, 2013 12:38 AM

    The fact that the Dolphins have to jump through all of these hoops for what is basically a low interest-long term loan, speaks volumes of how ignorant most South Floridian’s really are.

    Take a look around, most NFL teams are trying to get the hometowns to pay for every single penny of stadium improvements or new stadiums in general.

    The Dolphins are putting up more money for renovations than the Vikings did for their new stadium!

  11. latenightroach says: Apr 9, 2013 12:56 AM

    “the voters of Miami-Dade have the final say on creating more than 4,000 jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the local economy”

    “Dolphins will pay approximately 70 percent costs, will repay approximately $167 million to the state and county, will pay for 100 percent of any cost overruns during construction”

    I just don’t get why this would be a bad thing. Seems like no matter what that franchise does or doesn’t do, people still gripe. So a tourist would have to pay an extra $1 to stay in a $100 room per night. Whoopty-doo. I bet Hawaii has more hotel room taxes and they don’t even have an NFL football team.

  12. pleasefirecam says: Apr 9, 2013 1:07 AM

    Good luck building that mess…worse county in the States for building, NOA’s alone will cause a year in delays!

  13. andreweac says: Apr 9, 2013 1:25 AM

    This article was about as fair and balanced as Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow. Just running a political propaganda statement? C’mon, I thought PFT was better than that?!?!

  14. rajbais says: Apr 9, 2013 1:26 AM

    Hopefully the renovations include seat removals.

    The issue is that the Super Bowl opportunity makes the high seat quantity to be too big of a priority.

  15. badintent says: Apr 9, 2013 1:48 AM

    South Dade setting a new record for corrupt deals. Batista is alive and well in Miami. Time for the FBI and the Justice Department to sweep clean this sewer and vermin into a vacum and dispose into a Toxic waste dump.Coral Gables and the Grove are screwed with new and more higher taxes for this Mickey Mouse Banana Republic.

  16. revskip says: Apr 9, 2013 2:26 AM

    Ross will get his money, there was never any question of that. Worse yet, there will be more handouts down the road.

    If the taxpayers pay in to build the stadium the team owner should engage in profit sharing with the city. But common sense thinking like that will never happen.

  17. securb2013 says: Apr 9, 2013 6:31 AM

    If Ross and the Mayor wanted to do something for the fans they would make the stadium more accessible by public transportation.

  18. leafsfins says: Apr 9, 2013 7:02 AM

    Some people commenting on here are as cheap at they come….get over it

  19. orangecisco says: Apr 9, 2013 7:08 AM

    The islanders had a similar plan that would have minimally affected the taxpayers while rebuilding the Nassau Coliseum and keeping them where they belong. I hope Miami voters are a little more receptive.

  20. DonRSD says: Apr 9, 2013 7:09 AM

    In 5 years – the stadium “renovation” will be outdated.

    Just build a new stadium right next to Joe Robbie (in the parking lot) and call it a day.

  21. ravenator says: Apr 9, 2013 7:26 AM

    Dont you have to have a real football team first?

  22. harrisonhits2 says: Apr 9, 2013 7:30 AM

    Shame on the Miami Dade mayor then. I wonder what kickbacks he’s getting on the back end that he agreed to this…..

  23. 1uniquename says: Apr 9, 2013 7:37 AM

    80% of the people paying this tax are tourist, the other 19.9% are business men, it’s a 1% hotel tax increase, your hotel cost you $1000 it will now cost you $1,010, Gimmie a break. Nobody will even notice and it won’t hurt a single business and if we get a super bowl because of it those business in all of Miami AND ft Lauderdale will make more money in those two weeks than any other two weeks of the year. I served and then managed a restaurant in ft Lauderdale, super bowl time was like Christmas and hell week all mushed together.

  24. flmike says: Apr 9, 2013 7:42 AM

    How does the Mayor of Miami-Dade have any baring on a studium that is located in a whole other county. This is a joke, F%$K Ross and his wanting to privatize his profits and socialize his expenses. Thank god I live in Palm Bch Co., You truly do need a passport to go to the Banana Republic known as Miami.

  25. jjb0811 says: Apr 9, 2013 8:39 AM

    Only the NFL could get away with being a non-profit organization and having their profitable partners get government handouts.

  26. paepae805 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:04 AM

    What more does this stadium need. It looks like a beautiful stadium and is constantly getting upgrades. They just installed the giant HD boards a few years back and weren’t all the luxary boxes redone as well? What will be added that requires tax payers assistance?

  27. igotgamenj says: Apr 9, 2013 9:10 AM

    When it is all said and done South Florida will have a beautiful stadium.

  28. annes22 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:10 AM

    I love reading all the critics on here. Most of you have never been to the Dolphin’s stadium I’ll bet, yet you think you know all the answers. Probably have never been to South Florida. Worry about your own problems, and let the Dolphin ownership deal with theirs.
    Who wants to sit in the snow and watch a Super Bowl in New York, that has to be the worst?? Stupid place to have it. Should be either in a domed stadium or in decent weather.

  29. 8drinkminimum says: Apr 9, 2013 9:21 AM

    Someone suggested pouring more money into infrastructure, education and healthcare.

    This deal contributes to infrastructure and if you ever travel to south Florida in recent years you would have seen Rt 95, the Fla Turnpike and Rt 595 all undergoing expansion and revitalizing.

    As for education the US already spends more on education per pupil than any other country in the world. We can debate the return on that investment but more $ isn’t the answer unless, of course, you are a teacher.

    Re healthcare fix the system that allows medicare to continue to be a debt monster and then we can talk.

  30. i10east says: Apr 9, 2013 10:01 AM

    I heard that the deal with Sun Life and the stadium will end soon. So with the new logo and all, how bout striking up a deal with Sea World? ‘Sea World Field at Miami Gardens’.

  31. taintedsaints2009 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:18 AM

    it will ALL be paid for by electronic pull tabs! right Minnesota?

  32. jm91rs says: Apr 9, 2013 10:54 AM

    Ha! After the fiasco with Loria and the Marlins new stadium, any fan that votes for this is an idiot.

  33. xpensivewinos says: Apr 9, 2013 11:35 AM

    I’m willing to bet most football fans in South Florida are far more interested in when the Miami Dolphins will actually be relevant again. They haven’t been to a Super Bowl since Ronald Reagan was President.

  34. skylander14 says: Apr 9, 2013 11:36 AM

    This deal makes the politicians in Minnesota look corrupt and stupid by comparison. In the Vikings deal the team is contributing far less (roughly 50%) to the project and in reality not putting any of their own money towards the stadium. It is also going to referendum unlike Minnesota, even though Mn had a law saying stadium bills need to be approved by voter referendum, It is very frustrating that politicians approve these crooked deals despite overwhelming opposition by the public that pays for them.

  35. phinfan says: Apr 9, 2013 12:06 PM

    Tax payers pay for a stadium that costs them $300 for nose bleed tickets.

    Seems fair.

  36. jimmymarlinsfan says: Apr 9, 2013 12:06 PM

    Jm, marlins stadium was paid for with a hotel bed tax. The only fiasco is the one in your mind

  37. fosteraustralianfortouchdown says: Apr 9, 2013 12:33 PM

    Hopefully it gets voted down so Houston gets SB 51

  38. joez2433 says: Apr 9, 2013 2:29 PM

    I live in Miami and I personally wont have to pay for a dime of this, it is a hotel tax for tourists. I dont understand why the peopel down here are against this when we are not paying for it (unless I get a hotel room) but we can only enjoy the benefits. The Marlins deal is completely different from the Dolphins

  39. fishyinalittledishy says: Apr 9, 2013 4:54 PM

    Get stadium upgraded, for gods sake, is a small increase in hotel tax really going to make a lot of difference. It makes me mad when ever anybody wants to go for something whether its a new stadium., Olympics games etc etc we hear its always going to cripple the local tax payers but it never makes any difference. The Dolphins are a prestige franchise known throughout the world whether the haters like it or not. Miami is a world famous city a great place to visit so a few extra dollars is not going to put people off. It will not put me off when i come over to watch the Dolphins next season.

  40. edrouse says: Apr 9, 2013 7:22 PM

    dont the people of miami know that tourist will be paying for this ..this will bring jobs and money …

  41. jerrygray721 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:31 PM

    i’m starting to think that the fins are damned if they do and damned if they dont. if between the 70% of thier own money and paying back 167 mil. and bringing in huge revenew is not enough they also are not adding 1 cent of tax to the average everyday person down there. not to mention they also have agreed to return the money if they are not awarded the super bowl. i would challenge any deal involving public money for any other sports team to do better.

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