Reporting Tim Kephart
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium came one step closer to a full vote in the state senate when the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the bill.
The stadium renovation bill now moves to the Senate rules committee which also has to pass the bill before it can move to the full Senate for an up or down vote.
“Today, the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association’s endorsement and the Senate Appropriations Committee’s overwhelming vote show that the efforts behind giving the voters of Miami-Dade County the final say on the future of Super Bowls, BCS Championships and international soccer in Miami continues to grow,” Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said in a statement after the vote.
The plan laid out by the Miami Dolphins would feature roughly a 50/50 split of money from the team and money from local tourist taxes to help pay for the major renovations Sun Life needs to secure future Super Bowls and other events.
Miami-Dade County voters are hesitant to give approval to the plan after the Miami Marlins put together the funding for Marlins Park largely on the back of taxpayers. The team then blew up the roster and is expected to be one of the worst teams in baseball in 2013.
The Dolphins have been very careful to separate themselves from the toxic Marlins in the way the plans are structured and paid. Still, the Fins plan is dwarfed by the spending agreements other teams have made with cities.
For example, the Atlanta Falcons and the city of Atlanta reached an agreement for a new home stadium for the NFL franchise that will cost $1 billion. The state-of-the-art stadium hasn’t started construction yet, but the Falcons and other sources vowed to pay 80 percent of the cost and cap the public contribution to a new stadium at $200 million.
The Fins want a little more than $200 million, 50 percent of the cost, to upgrade a stadium originally built in 1987.
The current plan from the Dolphins has a who’s-who of businesses backing it including multiple hotels, chambers of commerce, and the University of Miami and Super Bowl/Orange Bowl Host Committee.