New plans unveiled for Sun Life Stadium
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Miami Dolphins unveiled a plan to fund the future of Sun Life Stadium.
The Miami Dolphins want to host Super Bowl L at Sun Life Stadium in 2016, but they realize they have competition with San Francisco. Dolphins owner Steven Ross realizes the stadium needs to be improved if they want to host the event in Miami.
The project is expected to cost approximately $350 million to $400 million. Ross has made several promises to Miami-Dade residents saying that he will personally fund the majority of the project. "We pledge to invest more personally, and return more to the community." Ross has also said Miami-Dade tax payers will not see an increase in their taxes.
Additional options have been discussed like increasing hotel bed costs in Miami-Dade and borrowing money from the state to renew the inside of the stadium. But not everyone loves the idea. "I don't feel like the public should get involved," said a fan. "You have these billionaires that make so much money, you know? It should only be them. They have so much money, so why not? Why get the public involved?"
Business man Norman Brahman who was a vocal opponent for the new Marlins Stadium also disagrees with the renovation. "I think this is Marlin Two revisited again. You're talking about someone who has a net-worth of over $4 billion, the third wealthiest owner in the NFL, who's coming to the taxpayers again for a handout. This nonsense about the stadium not being up to date is pure bologna. This is Ross' way of trying to lean on the taxpayers."
The last public and private partnership was Marlins Stadium and that proved to be a PR nightmare with taxpayers feeling they were ripped off after they dismantled the team after just one season. The Dolphins said this is an entirely different scenario.
Ross believes by funding the majority of the project, he's already doing more than enough. "The burden isn't all on me," said Ross. "I'm prepared to do what I think is more than what an owner has done in the past. I believe in this community, and I believe in this kind of project. I think everybody in the community can benefit from it."
Ross later added that the stadium needs to be modernized and that would include more comfortable seats closer to the playing field and a canopy to protect fans from the elements. He said the bottom line is that the price tag is almost $400 million and, Ross said, he does not want to pay the full amount but wants to consider other options without having Miami-Dade taxpayers pay.
Dolphins officials believe the renovations will bring 4,000 jobs hosting college championship games and other major events in South Florida.
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