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Dolphins stadium proposal was losing badly based on early voting

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Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford should have let the people vote, after all.  Because the people apparently would have spoken more loudly and clearly than Weatherford ever could.

According to Patricia Mazzei and Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald, the proposal to increase the local hotel tax to partially fund upgrades at Sun Life Stadium trailed badly based on more than 60,000 early ballots cast.

The nays outpaced the ayes by a rate of 57 percent to 43 percent, with 34,780 opposed and 25,898 in favor of the measure.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the effort would have failed, but it looks to be a sufficiently large sample size to suggest that the rest of the votes wouldn’t have turned the gap around.

The message for the Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross is clear:  If they’re going to continue to pursue public money, they should do it in a way that doesn’t hinge on a vote of the general public, or on the cooperation of Will Weatherford.

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54 Responses to “Dolphins stadium proposal was losing badly based on early voting”
  1. melkipershero says: May 14, 2013 10:56 PM

    Thanks Loria.

    – Dolphins fans

  2. revskip says: May 14, 2013 10:56 PM

    Stephen Ross is heavily opposed to welfare. Unless it is welfare for billionaires.

    Good to see that fellow South Floridians have had enough of this BS.

  3. grandpoopah says: May 14, 2013 11:00 PM

    No welfare for billionaires’ toys. Enough already.

  4. mcjon22 says: May 14, 2013 11:00 PM

    I think they’d have a better chance pitching an entire new stadium in 3 years rather than updating Sun Life. The Marlins fiasco won’t be as fresh, the team should be better, the community most likely will have been passed up on for Superbowls and the College football championship game as well.

    Also, Trying to convince people it’s a wise investment to dump $450 mil into a 30 year old facility is a tough sell.

  5. scytherius says: May 14, 2013 11:05 PM

    Good. Stop subsidising whiney billionaires.

  6. simonwelds says: May 14, 2013 11:07 PM

    How about they vote… If they win the public pays if they loose the owner pays, all public voting should be set that way

  7. rod2771 says: May 14, 2013 11:15 PM

    Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that the Dolphins will end up with a new stadium instead?

  8. cjmcbragg says: May 14, 2013 11:28 PM

    That’s what happened in Baltimore for Ravens stadium lo those many years ago. Mayor Shmoke tried to put it on a ballot but it polled so low they took it off before the vote. It would have lost big time. Anyway they punted to the state where they just money intended for the school system and used it for the stadium. Yeah Go Ravens.

  9. footballhistorian says: May 14, 2013 11:32 PM

    Oh sure – why should the ignorant general public have a say on how their tax dollars are spent. Clearly the anointed few should be determining that…

  10. phinfan says: May 14, 2013 11:32 PM

    based on the orange seats growing like a weed for decades its true the miami area is sick of no playoff caliber team playing on sunday. If this were the giants or packers or patriots the public would be in full support.

    Ross you have only one option BUILD A WINNING TEAM

  11. jintfan says: May 14, 2013 11:33 PM

    Coming soon the Los Angeles Dolphins!

  12. phinfan says: May 14, 2013 11:36 PM

    Also: Ross has shown the public his earnings of the company and his net lose. For him to sell to another owner he would lose out on billions because the new owner would not allow a stadium that will be rubble soon to be included in the sale.

    He really went all out and for a smart realestate guy he really was white washed by a smart trash guy when he bought this franchise (wayne h). No returns after 30 days of purchase.

  13. afterthesecrowdedstreets says: May 14, 2013 11:41 PM

    This sort of news is precisely why Ireland embarked on his drunken sailor act this offseason.

    Goodell should enact some sort of football Dodd-Frank act to prevent this shortsighted crap from happening. Woe to the Dolphins fans.

  14. commonsensedude says: May 14, 2013 11:43 PM

    Were they by any chance using butterfly ballots?

  15. NotoriousKDV says: May 14, 2013 11:45 PM

    I had a feeling that the voters would have voted against this. But even if for some inexplicable reason, they had voted in favor of it, they still should have gotten the chance to vote on it. Suppressing democracy is not the way this country should be run.

  16. theravenlives2 says: May 14, 2013 11:49 PM

    That’s what happened in Baltimore for Ravens stadium lo those many years ago. Mayor Shmoke tried to put it on a ballot but it polled so low they took it off before the vote. It would have lost big time. Anyway they punted to the state where they just money intended for the school system and used it for the stadium. Yeah Go Ravens.

    =================================
    Dude, where do you get this crap? The Bill for the Ravens Stadium was the same bill for the Orioles Stadium. Edward Bennett Williams, the owner of the Orioles, said he could move the team if he didn’t get a new stadium. The state commissoned a lottery to create the Maryland Statium Authority and to pay for BOTH stadiums. The money sat there in an interest-bearing account until the Ravens moved to Baltimore.
    The place where M&T Bank Stadium sits was cleared and made parking for the Orioles, with the knowledge that – if Baltimore ever got a football team – the land was “shovel-ready”. They even cleared the utilities under the parking lot in anticipation of building the football stadium there.
    If you’re gonna post on a thread, man, you should at least get your facts straight.

  17. revskip says: May 15, 2013 12:03 AM

    footballhistorian says: May 14, 2013 11:32 PM

    Oh sure – why should the ignorant general public have a say on how their tax dollars are spent. Clearly the anointed few should be determining that…

    ———————————————————-

    Perhaps you didn’t read the article but the general public voted against it in early polling.

    Furthermore in the representative government which we have had for the past couple of hundred years what you suggested is exactly what happens. The public elects officials. The officials make decisions for the public. If the public hates those decisions they vote for a new representative.

  18. MyTeamsAllStink says: May 15, 2013 12:18 AM

    The Las Vegas Dolphins …….

  19. nonjaghater says: May 15, 2013 12:25 AM

    Wow now i’m gonna see a bunch of new “nope”n neons signs proliferate. ( Did u patent this Florio?)

  20. lostsok says: May 15, 2013 12:26 AM

    This is why we have elections…not polls. No one knows what would have happened, because of a corrupt Republican (but I repeat myself).

  21. andreweac says: May 15, 2013 12:37 AM

    “Oh sure – why should the ignorant general public have a say on how their tax dollars are spent. Clearly the anointed few should be determining that…”

    That’s why we vote for elected officials. You don’t want to be basing policy on public referendum. You end up like California…

  22. Robert says: May 15, 2013 12:50 AM

    The Dolphins are perfect for L.A.

  23. waitstop says: May 15, 2013 12:53 AM

    I’m not for subsidizing these billionaires, but the money was going to come from a hotel tax on people visiting the city, not from the citizens who were voting.

  24. i10east says: May 15, 2013 12:58 AM

    Some kinda way this correlate with wanting the Jaguars to have an uncertain future in Jax, not the historic Dolphins in Miami, right?

  25. hedleykow says: May 15, 2013 1:03 AM

    All signs indicate it would be pretty stupid for the NFL to consider any more expansion teams. The main leverage the league has now in swindling the public out of their hard earned wages is to threaten to leave town, and the only way that works is when there are still a couple of prospect cities to threaten to move to … and I’m not sure that even works anymore.

    People have gotten wise to their little game. Goodell makes 20 million a year and stays up nights trying to figure out how to get more of your 50k a year into his pocket.

  26. sourdoughsam says: May 15, 2013 1:34 AM

    “The message for the Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross is clear: If they’re going to continue to pursue public money, they should do it in a way that doesn’t hinge on a vote of the general public”

    No. The message is that the public does not support using tax dollars for this project. This is not the type of thing the public purse should be used for.

  27. granadafan says: May 15, 2013 1:35 AM

    Taxes should be used for education, infrastructure like roads and freeways, emergency services, helping the poor, etc. Taxes should NOT be used for the lavish palaces of multibillionaire owners of billion dollar teams in an industry worth tens of billions of dollars.

  28. tomtravis76 says: May 15, 2013 5:20 AM

    This looks like the final piece that will allow the NFL and Ross to make the move. The league will not stand to be slapped in the face by the people. They will still have two teams in the state. Miami will become the new LA as far as the threat city to be moved to, until the league expands in about 6-10 years. The history , records, name will remain in Miami.

    Ross will still generate money via the U and Orange Bowl game agreement. He will still have his company selling events, etc at the stadium. Ross will now just be a legend in LA for bringing back football to the city. He can now double dip.

  29. dwnhillwhaler says: May 15, 2013 5:58 AM

    Yea no welfare for billionaires! Populist nonsensical idealism! Yea!

    Does anyone remember what happened to Joe Robbie? The builder of the stadium? He used his own money and left his family riddled with debt. Went from billionaire to welfare recipients.

  30. craniator says: May 15, 2013 6:07 AM

    Guys — this isn’t “Welfare For Billionaires” — it’s a proposal for the -use- of public funding — the proceeds from which go back into the Dade County coffers after the facility is renovated.
    It’s how the majority of stadiums around the league were built.
    Get your facts straight before you indiscriminately start bashing others simply because they’ve been successful.

  31. j4man1 says: May 15, 2013 6:08 AM

    Bottom line- If the dolphins want a new stadium, they need to have a good team. Don’t expect the public to pay for a new stadium when the team using it sucks.

  32. my2cents27 says: May 15, 2013 7:01 AM

    When you have 2 extremely large markets like San Antonio and Los Angeles desperate for an NFL team, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if we had the San Antonio Chargers or the Los Angeles Dolphins in 5 years!! Cities that say no to NFL owners usually don’t remain “NFL cities”! It will be interesting to follow both of these stories!!

  33. orakpocalypse says: May 15, 2013 7:10 AM

    How much money have Dolphins players and owners payed in taxes? I’d assume it should be at least enough for this.

  34. andreweac says: May 15, 2013 7:15 AM

    “Guys — this isn’t “Welfare For Billionaires” — it’s a proposal for the -use- of public funding — the proceeds from which go back into the Dade County coffers after the facility is renovated.”

    Then find the money privately! Considering how low interest rates Re if the project makes any financial sense Im sure they could find investors.

    Why should taxpayers be on the hook for something private investors won’t touch?

    Because it’s welfare for billionaires — screwing middle America.

  35. andreweac says: May 15, 2013 7:17 AM

    As an Los Angeles resident LA is hardly desperate for NFL football. If there was a public vote on giving a new team economic “incentives” to build a stadium it would fail terribly at the polls.

  36. dolphinsrule65 says: May 15, 2013 7:55 AM

    1. Apparently you haven’t been paying too close attention to every single NFL stadium in the NFL. They have ALL been financed at some degree by the cities they occupy. The city understands the monetary risk as the revenue generated by venues at said stadium are far greater in returns. Having the taxpayers contribute to a percentage of investment is how EVERY SINGLE thing gets built in every city. The whole point is to create wealth in a city. If the owners solely built the stadium on their own dime, the city would only get tax revenues and nothing more. The cities negotiate returns based on their investment. In essence, the city of Arlington in Texas financed a large portion of the stadium and are reaping the returns exponentially. Learn what you are talking about and understand local commerce before you spout off your rhetoric about those FAT CATS you despise so much. You have to spend money to make money or does that cliche allude your intellect?
    Also, why blame the rich for asking the people to vote on it? They aren’t sneaking through legislation in the middle of the night and paying off elected officials. This is a public vote. If the public wants a stadium and they vote accordingly, then they should get it. This is the purest form of empowering the citizens of this country. I am laughing at the ignorance of your post!

  37. dolphinsrule65 says: May 15, 2013 7:58 AM

    Cleveland Browns (1999)
    Stadium cost: $290 million
    Percentage of public funding: 74.7%

    Pittsburgh Steelers (2001)
    Stadium cost: $357.5 million
    Percentage of public funding:78.7%

    Denver Broncos (2001)
    Cost: $365 million
    Percentage of public financing : 68.4%

    Houston Texans (2002)
    Cost: $424 million
    Percentage of public financing: 73%

    Philadelphia Eagles (2003)
    Cost: $474 million
    Percentage of public financing: 40%

    Arizona Cardinals (2007)
    Cost: $455 million
    Percentage of public financing: 67.7%

    Indianapolis Colts
    Cost: $720 million
    Percentage of public financing: 86%

    Dallas Cowboys (2009)
    Stadium cost: $1.2 billion
    Percentage of public financing: 28

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1998)
    Stadium cost: $168.5million
    Percentage of public funding: 100%

  38. jason8er says: May 15, 2013 8:19 AM

    Love my Fins, but I really don’t like Miami. I mean, how stupid can people be. The Dolphins were going to pay all those funds back, and Miamians call that “welfare for billionaires”? That’s called a loan, morons.

    Forget about the 100’s of millions that Superbowls and other big event would infuse into the local economy, that bed tax doesn’t go away after the Dolphins pay the county back. That money then becomes pure gravy that the county can spend on the REAL welfare that so many idiot Miamians rely on.

  39. DonRSD says: May 15, 2013 8:23 AM

    Ross was better off trying to get tax dollars for a NEW stadium, rather than renovate a 30 year old stadium.

    Renovating Joe Robbie wouldve lasted maybe 7 seasons – then time to build a new stadium.

    Just cut to the chase and build a 1 billion stadium and use tax payers money.
    Retractable roof and all. Make it better than Jerry’s World & the people will come.

  40. anrockray says: May 15, 2013 8:23 AM

    I saw where Ross was going to donate half his $4 Billion fortune to charity…can’t imagine why he wouldn’t use some of that cash to upgrade the stadium?

  41. johanvil says: May 15, 2013 8:30 AM

    Some people seemed sure that if it would finally get to the vote then everything was done.

    Don’t underestimate what happened with the Marlins’ stadium and how people would react after that.

  42. getitrightflorio says: May 15, 2013 8:47 AM

    Looks like the circus is moving to Miami with the rest of the NY residents

  43. dolphinatic13 says: May 15, 2013 8:57 AM

    Watch what happens, a new stadium will be built just up the road in The Palm Beach area. Sorry LA, sorry Vegas, the team will not be leaving Florida any time soon.

  44. thechronicjoker says: May 15, 2013 9:15 AM

    The dolphins are not moving to LA. Remember the Rams and Raiders were already there once. What third times a charm..

  45. jason8er says: May 15, 2013 9:19 AM

    Gotta love the clueless, who keep thinking Ross’ 4 billion in holdings is cash on hand that he can just whip out and use, lol. Newsflash – Ross is a billionaire on paper. He still takes out loans for huge projects. Jeez people, more than a quarter of his worth is the Miami Dolphins franchise alone.

  46. drunkennupe says: May 15, 2013 9:24 AM

    What happens if the Dolphins leave Miami is….Miami-Dade or even the state of Florida for that matter will lose tax revenue….since we are protecting our sacred revenue. Property taxes for the current stadium is ~4 million and let’s not calculate the sales tax generated by stadium purchases and surrounding purchases. I think Florida residents have a warped sense of where their tax revenue is actually generated from.

  47. chewingonlightbulbs says: May 15, 2013 9:44 AM

    Much more likely the Coral Springs Dolphins than the Los Angeles Dolphins. Some South Florida suburb will kick up the cash the way Sunrise did for the Panthers.

  48. hitdog042 says: May 15, 2013 9:51 AM

    Nobody is moving to LA. Worst football fans in the nation. NFL has learned that lesson.

  49. hitdog042 says: May 15, 2013 9:55 AM

    It’s too bad Columbus is so close to Cincy Cleveland Indy and Detroit. Football crazy town where NFL could thrive. If it weren’t for all the other teams so close in proximity they’d be happy to take the Dolphins and build them a stadium. NFL owners would never pass it tho. Too close.

  50. granadafan says: May 15, 2013 11:20 AM

    If some pro-welfare-for-billionaire posters think this is merely a loan and the city will be paid back, then these posters would surely be satisfied if the multibillionaires obtained a LOAN. They certainly have the collateral to put up for the loan (billion dollar TV contracts, the team worth over a billion, an industry worth tens of billions).

    Let’s call it what it is. GREED by greedy multibillionaires. If you can’t recognize that, then there’s no helping you.

    To the Dolphins fan above, the new 49ers stadium being built in Santa Clara will NOT use public money.

  51. igotsanduskied says: May 15, 2013 11:47 AM

    Dolphinsrule65: ifb you think the cities create wealth from this and get a far greater return on their “investment” then I have some magic beans to sell you. What you are stating is what the owners try to sell, but the Wall Street Journal and NY Times have done several pieces on this and the results are pretty conclusive: it’s a bad deal for the taxpayers, the economic gains are not as great as advertised and the cities usually lose more than they gain.

  52. cjmcbragg says: May 15, 2013 1:02 PM

    For theravenlives2 says:
    May 14, 2013 11:49 PM
    =================================
    Dude, where do you get this crap? The Bill for the Ravens Stadium was the same bill for the Orioles Stadium.
    ==============================
    Dude Oriole Park broke ground 1989 Ravens stadium was built in 1998. The MD Stadium Auth was created partially funded by the Lottery but Oriole Park WAS NOT built on lottery money it was part of a collection of grants, public and private money used as the last peg of Schafer’s inner harbor revitalization project. When Oriole Park broke ground in 1989 do think the idea started in 1988- NO 1985 during Harbor Revitalization. The lottery was sold to the Baltimore City delegates (who were against it) as a way to bridge the gap between city schools and county schools not for a Stadium. What came out of that eventually was the Thornton School funding but that would be later. The state lottery needed Baltimore City delegates, which generally voted with PG county as a block to get lottery so they sold it with school funding – FACT. Mayor Shmoke irritated his quasi base by suggesting the possibilty of casino’s in Baltimore City. Now here’s the uncomfortable part cause I know PFT folks hate racial politics but it is what it is. The Baltimore City delegates, most of whom are black, were then and are now in bed with the black ministers which is the power base. The black church community is always quid pro qou. Shmoke violated that by making promises about the city with letting his ‘base’ leadership in on it and boom goes the dynamite. There was a referendum planned and there was a referendum cancelled when they (City and State Delegates) realized it would fail becasue Shmoke overestimetd his juice with his ‘base’. So the stadium authority and Shmoke cancelled the vote and State used lottey money which they were able to get by promising it for schools for the stadium. Now many people suggest that that was the plan all along and it was just a big bait and switch, maybe maybe not. But the FACTS are FACTS. Go back to the tape of when the Ravens won their first superbowl and listen to Art Modell’s speech. He specifically thanked Baltimore County for their support. He was actually thanking Baltimore County delegates becasue they were all in and the Baltimore City delegates were all out. So Dude where do you get your crap from and I going to safely assume that wherever that crap came from its being typed on a computer in Baltimore County because the City folks and the County folks have different versions of reality on this to include the The state crushing Thorton funding (56million) that was supposed to be used for city school improvement but never happened because there wasn’t enough money. But hey we got a stadium though. Not everyone talks out their you know what.

  53. sillymako83 says: May 15, 2013 1:48 PM

    Ross should go ahead and pay for the renovation himself, BUT…hire all out of state construction companies to do the work.

  54. magicbucs says: May 16, 2013 1:09 AM

    It’s a hotel tax. Paid more by tourists. Not citizens that live in Miami unless they are cheating on a spouse. Idiots

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