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Fins Brass, Local Leaders Travelling To Tallahassee To Pitch Stadium Deal

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An artist rendering of proposed changes to Sun Life Stadium (Source: Miami Dolphins)

An artist rendering of proposed changes to Sun Life Stadium (Source: Miami Dolphins)

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Miami Dolphins

MIAMI (CBS4) – Just hours after Super Bowl 47, the Miami Dolphins are headed to Tallahassee to pitch a state of the art stadium plan in hopes of bringing the big game back to South Florida.

The 400 million dollar renovation would protect fans from the elements and modernize the 25 year old stadium.

While it has mixed support in South Florida, the toughest critics may be legislators who are being asked to foot half the bill.

On Tuesday, Miami Gardens Senator Oscar Braynon’s bill will be debated.

Details of the bill include:

  • Roughly $200 million would be raised for renovations from increasing taxes charged on hotel rooms in Miami-Dade from 6 percent to 7.
  • The Dolphins would also receive an annual three million dollar sales tax rebate
  • In exchange, the team would foot 51% of the bill.

South Florida’s Super Bowl committee has endorsed the stadium upgrades, saying it will help as they compete with the San Francisco 49er’s new stadium for Super Bowl 50.

Shielding fans from possible rain is great, but is it necessary? New Orleans had a blackout mid-game, Dallas was snowed in and the 2014 Super Bowl will be in New Jersey, which had  high of 31 degrees on Sunday.

“All of the professional sports leagues and team owners all work from the same playbook.  And step one is to threaten a municipality that we are going to be denied something.  We are going to move the team to Vegas in the case of the Marlins.  We are not going to get another Super Bowl in the case of Sun Life stadium,” said South Florida filmmaker Billy Corben, an outspoken critic of the stadium deal. “Let’s take a deep breath.”

Corben believes the “Pay Then Pray” for a Super Bowl philosophy is all wrong.  He finds it similar to the Marlins new ballpark which will cost $2.4 billion, five times the original price tag, once paid off.

“Any politician who supported the Marlins park deal was either duped or bought,” said Corben. “And either way they can’t be trusted.”

The difference this time is the stadium debate will take place in Tallahassee, which may be a tough sell.

“This legislative session our lawmakers will be considering giving a raise to public school teachers and whether to give hundreds of millions of dollars in welfare to enhance the private business of a billionaire,” said Corben.

A committee vote on the bill will take place Tuesday morning.

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