Stadium bill not likely to pass
HIALEAH, Fla. (WSVN) -- As a legislative vote on financing renovations for Sun Life Stadium comes down to the wire, things are not looking good for the Dolphins.
Lawmakers have until midnight to OK the deal, but some signs point to it possibly being game over, as the legislative session will end then. Friday is the deadline to see if the Florida legislature will allow voters in Miami-Dade County to vote on the modernization plan of Sun Life Stadium.
One supporter of the bill, Tico Casamayor said, "It is definitely just not a one-time fix. This brings money throughout the year for my company. Just the fact that you do Super Bowl work lets me get other business, but it actually does bring business related to the Super Bowl."
Casamayor owns AC Graphics in Hialeah, and he is a proponent of the modernization plan. He believes the project will create jobs. "Throughout the year those projects have not only doubled my staff. It helps me hire more people, staff more people. So, I can attest it brings more business to the economy to Miami-Dade County."
The Dolphins have long maintained the Sun Life Stadium needs updating. They have pointed out the rust and peeling paint. They say improvements are a must to attract Super Bowls and college championship games. They say the project will cost $350 million, and they have pledged to pay 70 percent to the deal, while the other 30 percent will largely come from a tax from hotels in mainland Miami-Dade County.
Early voting began this week, but none of these votes may matter if the legislature does not pass a bill allowing the voters to have their voices heard on May 14.
Vocal critics of the plan, like Mayor of Cutler Bay Ed MacDougall, hopes the bill stalls in Tallahassee. "They are saying it's not a tax. It is a tax. It's a one percent tax on hotels in the mainland," said MacDougall.
While the bill languishes in the senate, the Dolphins still have until midnight for the bill to be approved. They are hoping for some late game magic to get this plan to the voters.
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