Every time you turn around it seems that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is trying to get money to upgrade his stadium. Today, politicians will once again take to voting on a referendum that could finally get Sun-Life stadium the renovations they need.
At stake for the Dolphins owner is around 350 million of his own money. Ross has tried on three different occasions to get funding for the renovations that would include seating closer to the field and a sunshade that would cover most of the fan seats. His initial attempt fell short of the Florida House of Representatives where he tried to get a special vote on state funds and hotel tax increases. His second attempt was on the local level where he tried to convince the Miami-Dade politicians to give him property tax breaks. That failed as well.
Today’s vote would allow Ross to pay for the renovations out of pocket with no reimbursement from the county. However, Miami-Dade would have to pay Ross four million dollars if Ross lands the Super Bowl. Other events would also have monetary payments back to Ross by the community should those events be large enough like the World Cup, NCAA bowl games, and the likes. The county commissioners have been dealing with the on again off again attempts of Ross for two years now but this seems like the best option for the community.
The deal would not immediately take funding away from the school systems as previous ideas would have. Instead, the monetary gain by Ross would be paid out from those events and would be capped should the stadium host more than a few games per year. The voting is expected today at the County Commissioners meeting.
If the vote passes, Ross is expected to sign a 30 year lease to stay in Miami.
[h/t: Miami Herald]