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Miami Beach Commission Opposes Dolphins’ Stadium Plan

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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 BEACH (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins went one for two Wednesday in garnering support for the funding plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium.

In a statement issued late in the day, the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association (GMBHA) said they supported the idea of raising hotel taxes on mainland hotels from six to seven percent to help pay for the $400 million renovation. Hotel taxes would be unchanged for Miami Beach, Surfside and Bal Harbour.

The GMBHA’s support, however, hinged on whether some of the new revenue would go toward tourism campaign for the county.

“It’s also important to note that our membership wants to ensure that a portion of the additional tax collected be used for tourism-related marketing and promotion because we believe this will be a win-win for all of us,” according to Raj Singh, GMBHA’s Chairman of the Board.

Meanwhile, the funding proposal received a rousing thumbs down from the Miami Beach city commission which unanimously opposed it.

The Dolphins have argued that the tax dollars would go a long way in helping their bid for the 2016 Super Bowl. The team wants a countywide referendum to endorse the plan before they make the bid.

Even though taxes in the city won’t be affected, Miami Beach commissioners said they opposed it because if the Dolphins did win the bid having the Super Bowl in Miami-Dade would be a potential conflict with the annual Miami International Boat Show which would happen on the same weekend.

This is not the first time the commission has not endorsed a proposal to spruce up the stadium. In 2010, they refused to endorse a similar plan put forth by the team.

Earlier this month, CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reported a poll by Florida International University pollster Dario Moreno which indicated nearly 73 percent of likely Miami-Dade voters were opposed to the tax-break plan. Norman Braman, a former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles who unsuccessfully sued to halt the Marlins’ deal, called the Dolphins bill “corporate welfare.”

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