Braman responds to Dolphins attack ads
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Auto magnate Norman Braman responded to full-page newspaper ads in which the Miami Dolphins ownership refute his claims that proposed renovations to the Sun Life Stadium would cost millions of taxpayer dollars, Tuesday morning.
When asked by 7News why he is becoming involved in the matter, Braman replied, "because, damn it, somebody has to. The problem with everything that has occurred in this community is that we accept all this. We complain about it, but we accept it all, and it's time that somebody stands up and does something about it."
The billionaire entrepreneur did not back down from his statements Tuesday morning, even in the face of advertisements taken out by the Miami Dolphins supporting the $350 to $400 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium. In that ad they tried to debunk Braman's claims. It reads, "You are entitled to your own opinion, Mr. Braman, but not your own facts."
The Dolphins claimed that when Braman was the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, he accepted public money for luxury skyboxes. Braman fired back, saying the revenue went back to the City of Philadelphia. "There's only one word that describes this ad, and it's desperation," he said
Braman was the major voice in opposing the new Marlins Stadium and led the opposition to recall former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez.
Those who support the Sun Life modernization were quick to point out this deal is different. "Just because the Marlins did a bad deal doesn't mean we should oppose a good deal where at least a majority of the cost is paid from private sources," read the Dolphins' ad.
Last week Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he would invest the majority of costs. This was not the case in the Marlins deal.
In addition, there will be "no request for a tax increase for Miami-Dade residents. Public funding will be focused on sales tax produced from the stadium and from a penny of hotel bed tax for tourists."
The Dolphins began this PR push last week with the release of television commercials and continued their efforts Tuesday in the newspapers. They will move to County Hall Wednesday where Miami-Dade commissioners are expected to discuss the matter.
The Dolphins said that South Florida's economy will benefit, and will be rewarded with Super Bowls and an estimated 4,000 jobs. Major hotels such as the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach are also backing the renovation.
But Braman is not buying it. "You have the [support of] these hotel guys, [but] they're not paying the damn taxes," he said. "It's time we got our act together," he continued.
Reports said the Dolphins owner has made a bid to buy the company intent on building a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles. But Stephen Ross reportedly said, "I have no interest at all in moving the Dolphins."
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