Dolphins CEO meets with business leaders about stadium renovation
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- The CEO of the Miami Dolphins met with Aventura business leaders about investing in a proposed multimillion-dollar renovation of Sun Life Stadium, Wednesday.
"We have to make sure we have a venue that keeps up in the game," said Mike Dee to the executives who attended the special meeting, which took place inside the Dolphins' locker room at the stadium.
A special election in Miami-Dade County about the fate of the prospective renovation of Sun Life Stadium could be taking place later this spring. Voters would decide whether or not public funding will partly foot the bill for the $400 million modernization. "The good news is that we have a head start," said Dee. "The better news is that, when you talk about jobs and economic impact and all the things that emanate from this modernization moving forward, it matters to people," he continued.
Reaction to Dee's presentation met with the approval of some of the Aventura businesspeople who attended. "It makes sense to go to the citizens," said Bob Hollander. "The smartest thing you can do is reach out to the people out there that are doing the business, making things happen," observed Ben Launerts.
The referendum was announced Monday at a joint news conference Monday with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
According to an unidentified woman who also attended Wednesday's meeting, not everyone agrees with the measure. "There's been a lot of controversy, and you want to hear from the real sources," she said.
The Dolphins argue that the $400 million face-lift is necessary to land future high profile sports events like the 50th Super Bowl and college championship games.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has pledged to fund more than 50 percent of the deal himself.
Dee indicated that he has no plans to slow down his efforts to achieve his ultimate goal. "We were at Miami Lakes last week, we'll be at Miami Gardens tomorrow. We're planning literally hundreds of these [events] over the next three months," he said.
If the referendum results in the Dolphins' favor, public funding for the Sun Life Stadium would come from an increase in the hotel bed tax in mainland Miami-Dade County and a sales tax rebate on goods sold inside the stadium. The modernization's biggest detractor is billionaire auto magnate Norman Braman, who calls it "welfare for a multi-billionaire."
Dee believes that once the voters understand the details of the project, the Dolphins will get the support they need. If the special election is approved, it will take place in April.
The NFL is scheduled to vote on the location of Super Bowl L in May.
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