A marathon negotiation has yielded an agreement between the Miami Dolphins and Miami-Dade County that would cost the team up to $120 million in penalties if its upgraded stadium does not host several significant events, including four Super Bowls.
The team would also not be eligible for about $120 million in county money for the $390 million in planned upgrades to the Dolphins stadium if it does not land either Super Bowl 50 or 51.
Announced after 10 p.m. Monday at county hall, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said the team would get up to $7.5 million in the first year, or 75 percent of the revenue, from an increase in the mainland hotel bed tax to 7 percent from 6 percent. The dollar amount the Dolphins would get increases by 3 percent annually and expires in 26 years, according to The Miami Herald.
“We are proud to join Mayor Gimenez in agreeing to an unprecedented public-private partnership that will modernize Sun Life Stadium and protect property tax payers, while helping secure the future for Super Bowls, college championships and international soccer in Miami-Dade,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement. “The future is also brighter for the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Orange Bowl.”
The team would refund as much as $120 million to the county after 30 years, a point the team had agreed to in earlier talks.
The $120 million in penalties would come if the team does not host several events including the Super Bowls and four national championships over 30 years.
The team is also seeking $47 million through a state sales tax rebate to help pay for the $390 million in stadium renovations. State legislators meet until May 3, with all committees that have reviewed the legislation approving it, so far.
Time is of the essence because the Dolphins want to compete for Super Bowl 50 or 51 and the National Football League is expected to announce future Super Bowl host cities on May 22.
The Dolphins are shooting for a stadium referendum on the bed tax increase for May 14, which is when other local elections are being held.
To meet the May 14 window, the county needs 35 days in advance to publish notice of the stadium referendum. The county commission is expected to meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and needs 24 hours advance notice to review documents for the stadium deal.
In his statement, Ross emphasized that the project would generate 4,000 jobs.
“I love this community and nothing would make me prouder than watching the Miami Dolphins play a Super Bowl in a modernized Sun Life Stadium,” Ross added. “That’s more than a dream for me – it’s a goal I will work toward every day. I know that together we can make it happen.”
Source : Oscar Pedro Musibay