CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins have started a political ground campaign to fund a massive stadium renovation with tax dollars.
The NFL team confirmed this week that it hired a polling firm to get a feel for support in Miami-Dade to redo the stadium. The team claims that these renovations are necessary to house big events like the Super Bowl and World Cup soccer.
Last week, Dolphins CEO Mike Dee met with the Miami Beach mayor and manager in hopes to couple the stadium efforts with a drive for renovating the city’s convention center.
This meeting came a month after the Dolphins came out with a website publicizing the stadium design, which includes a partial roof, high-definition lighting, and 3,000 more high-priced seats near the field. The website, cleverly called “A Vision for South Florida,” claims that these improvements are needed in order to keep South Florida the “big event capital of the Americas.”
Sounds like the Dolphins are taking a page out of the Marlins playbook, which needed an entire new stadium to “save baseball in South Florida.” All Miami-Dade residents, now paying about $2 billion in taxes for a baseball stadium the Marlins could have mostly paid for themselves, know how well that one turned out.
This is not the first time that the Dolphins have tried to gain tax dollars for stadium renovations. The Miami Herald reported that earlier this year Dee and the team lobbyist pushed for an arrangement in Tallahassee that would allow Miami-Dade County to increase the tax-charged hotel guests from 6 percent to 7 percent — the extra revenue would have gone to backing renovations in the stadium. The Dolphins ended up scrapping the plan when they did not get support from Miami’s tourism industry.
Now, the Dolphins are hoping that pairing with Miami Beach, which is calling for at least a $500 million upgrade, will win over the tourist industry and residents alike. The reasoning is that the convention center is what drives the economy year round to begin with.
The Dolphins’ efforts follow the victorious campaign by the Florida Marlins to win tax dollars for building a brand new stadium. However, “saving baseball in South Florida” came at a huge price. The Marlins somehow convinced city commissioners, with the help of a certain county mayor who citizens are currently petitioning to recall, that they were in financial ruin and needed tax dollars to stick around. In August their financial records were finally leaked by Deadspin.com, showing that the Marlins had actually been turning over millions in profit the entire time.
And now the Dolphins want tax dollars for Joe Robbie, Pro Player, Dolphin, Landshark, Sun Life — whatever it’s called now — Stadium? These sports teams seem to really like to push their luck. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Mayor Carlos Alvarez may not be around to help them dupe commissioners.
The Miami Herald – Miami Dolphins rev up public push for stadium work
A Vision for South Florida
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