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Report: NFL Wants Local Tax Exemption

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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 (CBSMiami) – The National Football League is holding South Florida hostage for stadium upgrades to Sun Life Stadium in exchange for future Super Bowls. Part of the funding for those games would be from tourist/hotel tax hikes, just don’t ask the NFL to pay those taxes, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

The last time the Super Bowl came to South Florida, in 2010, the area rejected the request from the NFL fox an exemption for NFL executives from all local taxes, according to the Herald. But in the race for Super Bowl L (50), Miami’s primary competition has decided to bite.

According to the Herald, Santa Clara, California, which is building a new $1.2 billion stadium has agreed to waive hotel taxes for NFL executives if the Super Bowl comes to the brand new stadium.

The hotel tax issue is only one of a host of problems the Miami Dolphins will have to overcome to get a major renovation to Sun Life Stadium passed and in place ahead of a May 1 decision on what city will host Super Bowl L.

Multiple Miami-Dade County groups and businesses have endorsed the plan to raise the hotel tax to fund the upgrades at Sun Life. A state senate bill is currently heading to the appropriations committee to create a new subsidy for the stadium and call for a vote by Miami-Dade County on the hotel tax increase.

The chances of the increase being voted into place will depend on how well the Dolphins can sell the plan locally and how far away the Fins can stay away from the toxic Miami Marlins stadium boondoggle.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has promised to center future Super Bowls in Miami-Dade County as part of the plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium, according to the Herald. The last time the Super Bowl was in South Florida, most NFL activities took place in Broward County, according to the Herald.

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.

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