County commission approves referendum on Dolphins stadium deal

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The May 14 referendum on the planned renovations to Sun Life Stadium remains on schedule.

The Miami-Dade County Commission voted 9-2 Wednesday to allow voters to decide whether or not to approve a deal between the Dolphins and the city that would raise hotel taxes to provide $289 million for renovations to the Dolphins’ home. The commission also gave it’s tentative approval of the tax hike, pending the results of the referendum. The move from proposal to referendum is the fastest in county history, a move fueled in large part by the May 22 vote by the NFL on where Super Bowl L will be held in 2016.

The Miami Herald has a full report on the hearing, which featured all involved tripping all over themselves to avoid mentioning the name of the Marlins baseball team that got a lot of public financing for their new stadium. The team loaded up on high-salaried players before the park opened last year, but have sold off almost all of their best players before the start of this season to great rancor from the community.

Those in favor of the deal drew sharp lines between that deal and this one, which calls for the Dolphins to pay back a portion of the money provided by the county. We’ll find out next month whether or not voters agree that this is the right move for South Florida.