Dolphins close to a stadium renovation “deal”

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The Miami Dolphins are closing in on agreement with Miami-Dade County regarding upgrades at Sun Life Stadium.  But the final deal will hardly reflect the terms the team initially envisioned.

Last year, the Dolphins wanted to get public money to help pay for renovations that would put South Florida back in the Super Bowl rotation.  The effort to increase a local hotel/motel tax failed.  Miserably.

Then, the Dolphins wanted real estate tax credits for the land occupied by the stadium and parking lots, in exchange for upgrades privately funded by owner Stephen Ross.  Again, the effort failed.  Miserably.

The end result, as Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giminez explained to CBS Miami, entails certain grants/incentives that will be made available if/when Ross lures the Super Bowl and similar attractions to town with renovations he pays for out of his own very deep pockets.

“[If he brings certain marquee events in, we could give him grants for bringing that in,” Gimenez said.  “But the grants are much smaller than the economic impact of that event.”

The economic impact of events like the Super Bowl remain debatable, especially in light of all the richest-get-richer stuff that an interested city must offer in order to have a chance at landing the event.

The incentives/grants to the Dolphins would consist of a chunk of the money generated by tourist taxes.  CBS Miami estimates that, for example, the Dolphins would get $4 million if the Super Bowl returns to town.

“You’re pretty close,” Giminez said about the estimate, “but I’m not going to say what that is because we haven’t finalized those negotiations yet, but they are pretty close to being final.”

The deal would include an annual cap, which as a practical matter would give the Dolphins an incentive to space out the events.  If too many happen in one year, the Dolphins quickly will reach the point of not diminishing but disappearing returns.

Ultimately, the perks for Miami have diminished greatly over what the team had wanted.  The lesson for the other 31 teams is that significant public money comes only when there’s a real chance that the franchise will be disappearing to a new city.

33 responses to “Dolphins close to a stadium renovation “deal”

  1. Well , that’s what happens when you have a bunch of Leftists congregated in one geographic area: “No , no , no , bad , bad , bad ! We don’t want any new jobs or economic growth here . . . it’s welfare for billionaires . . .” , etc. All this heated rhetoric when even the initial offer Stephen Ross made was , I believe , the most generous one ever made by an NFL owner on a stadium deal in history.

  2. Evidently, the culture in Miami has changed over the years such that the city evidently really couldn’t care less about NFL football these days. Sad state of affairs for their die-hard fans, and really any fan of the NFL’s storied past and most prolific franchises.

  3. Let them leave. A true public private partnership benefits all parties not one sided taking all ie nfl owners. I hope this is the first of many where nfl owners get called to the carpet and the raping of our cities are stopped. Sorry lord goddell you and your greedy minions reign of terror stops in Miami!

  4. Why is Lebron mentioned here? Even though he is the greatest athlete ever to play any sport this is not an NBA site. Let’s keep it to the NFL unless you want to compare the Heat ownership and management (the best in the world) to the Dolphins organization (sadly lacking).

  5. I love seeing rich guys shot down when they try to belly up to the public trough.

  6. I bet all these clowns talking about Miami never even been to Miami. Miami is and always will be a Football city. LBJ is just a bonus

  7. Good, glad that cities are finally learning to stand up to the bottomless pit of greed by these billionaires.

  8. What a lot of rubbish some of you on here write.
    You have no clue about Miami, probably never ever been here so stay away and quit the nonsense written. LeBron is the best player in basketball, so get over it. There are plenty of fans at the Dolphin games, obviously the knowalls on here have no clue, never been to a game.

  9. A bunch of leftists? Lol

    And the best stadium deal would be Kraft privately funding Gillette Stadium in its entirety and the state spending 50 mil to improve the local roads as the only public money involved.

    Its disgusting that a lot of people without a second thought will cut health care and housing for the elderly and disabled but scream bloody murder that we won’t give these poor starving billionaires hundreds of millions at a time for what they can easily pay for themselves

    Oh that’s right, the rich guys provide you with entertainment but the elderly are just struggling suffering people who need help

  10. harrisonhits2, Take those jobs away I guess ? Lets encourage our elderly to sit home even if they want to feel some self worth by getting to work everyday.
    Not what my hard working (republican believing in supporting yourself ) mother would have wanted.

  11. Reading the responses, you have to wonder if this site is run by dolphin fans (that’s misleading right there). I’ve lived in South Florida for 44 years and have watched this team since Shula took over in ’70. The fans back then backed a winner and always will. They don’t call it “bandwagon city for nothing.

  12. The team has been rotting garbage since before Shula left. At some point, the team needs to provide a product worthy of people spending their time and money to support it.

  13. Since many studies have discredited the “economic benefits” of hosting large events I won’t even bother to address that trite argument for giving free money to men with more than enough of their own to spend on an enterprise that ultimately benefits them most of all. Good to see that people in Miami were smart enough to force Ross to do what every other business owner has to do, use his own money to fund his business interests.

  14. I so love the idiots who think that just because a person is on the Forbe’s billionaire list they have a billion dollars in the bank. Um, no. First of all, a great many of the billionaires on that list have their fortunes tied up in assets, which because of their nature (if they’re good investments) are actually more valuable than having the equivalent in cash in the bank. Second, if you have a billion dollars cash, spending a quarter of it on an investment that has an indefinable ROI date is a bad investment. Third, stop bringing up Gillette Stadium, Kraft got a sweetheart deal because he’s a NE local with connections; Ross would’ve gotten shafted building a new stadium.

    So, yeah, Ross asking for public funding upfront for an upgrade that, in the end, improves the FAN experience isn’t asking much, especially since MOST of that money will come from the bed tax paid by out-of-towners. Also especially since JRS attendees pay among the lowest ticket premiums of any team in the league and most of that money goes to team payroll plus various other activities (such as upkeep on the stadium and practice grounds). Instead, twice local fans have voted to continue to be scrub fans, which isn’t terribly surprising.

  15. Defending billionaires is moronic. Look what happened in Hamilton county Ohio. Mike Brown took the public to the bank with the threat of moving the team. Now L.A. arnt you glad you don’t have a team named ‘BENGALS’. And arnt paying all Mike Browns bills with your tax dollars?

  16. Guess it is time for the dolphins to leave town. Seems if you are not willing to anti up for the team then you should not have them.
    As bad as some counties in Wisconsin. They were counties next to the county that paid for the Packer stadium upgrades, they went and voted right away that they should not pay one dime. Then got angry and went to court when the team said people from their country would then be in the back for getting tickets. Thankfully they lost, if you do not wish to pay, why should you benefit from someone elses money. Oh wait, that is the calling card of the Democrats, no wonder why they thought they deserved to be handed tickets in the front of the line while others paid, they are a mostly democratic county.

  17. Why do people support these billionaires? I don’t care about sweetheart deals or any of that. What I care about is using taxpayer funds to give the wealthy more wealth. They get the stadium renovation, they own the stadium, they get the revenue from the tickets, they make out while the public and football fans get the shaft. Money tied up in assets, WHO CARES? They’re worth 1000’s of millions of dollars, they can come up with $100-500 mil on their own. Stop trying to rape the taxpayers. It’s disheartening and chips away at the foundation that is the NFL. I just have a hard time understanding those who support billionaires receiving millions of dollars when they clearly do not need it.

  18. He (Ross) wants money to improve the fan’s experience, so taxpayers should pay? Makes sense, right? I mean, when the local mall or a restaurant want to renovate to “improve the consumer’s experience,” they belly up to the taxpayer trough too, right?! No, they pay for their improvements, just like every other business. Major sports seems entitled to taxpayer monies, that’s wrong.

  19. I wish Cam Cancelloer would join the NBA and try to cover Lebron James for just one game.

  20. The Dolphins are not going anywhere, Ross is a Miami guy that is committed to spending his own money to fix up the stadium (which he owns). The Dolphins will be in Miami forever. I am sure that most of the bad comments were left by jealous fans of other teams (Jets, cough, cough) who are stuck with their LOSER team and with having no Lebron in their city. BTW Tannehill is going to make a drastic improvement this year with a real NFL grade Oline and a real NFL offense under our new OC.

    Geno Smith < Blaine Gabbert.

  21. If the good people in Miami won’t pay two-hundred million dollars to renovate Dolphins Stadium (and justifiably, I might add), what makes anyone think that we Angelenos are going to shell out a cool billion for a brand new, shiny stadium? It won’t happen!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And if the owner wants to renovate Dolphins Stadium to supposedly “improve the FAN experience,” then let the FANS pay for it in the form of higher ticket prices. What’s more, I don’t care if Ross’s assets are in dollars, donuts, Swiss cheese, or concentrated frozen orange juice, if he wants to expand his business so he can make more money, he can do what business owners all over the world do in such circumstances, get a loan from a bank.

  22. I dont understand how you can go from “The deal is nearly done” to “Obviously the Dolphins should move to L.A.” lol I mean come on, the renovations will be done and 5 years from now after the Dolphins have won a Super Bowl or 2 (Don’t laugh, if Tannehill plays just a little better than last year but gets more time to throw he’s gonna light it up) the Super Bowl will then be played IN Miami with perhaps the Dolphins competing for a chance to play in it as well.

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