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Still No Deal In Stadium Talks Between Gimenez & Dee

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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) – Talks may resume Friday between Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee after negotiations over revamping Sun Life Stadium using public money ended early Friday morning without a deal.

When the meeting came to an end early Friday, Mayor Gimenez told CBS4’s Brian Andrew that they are no closer to a deal than they were Thursday afternoon when they actually started.

Dee had a different spin.

“We made a lot of progress,” he said.

The Mayor’s take was a bit different.

“We are no closer tonight than when we walked in,” said Mayor Gimenez.

Dee explained it’s a complicated process.

“When you are talking about a 30-year agreement and what is involved, you have to pay attention to the details and we are doing that.”

Both sides are trying to agree on a deal over the use of public funds to renovate Sun Life Stadium.

“We are talking about tourist dollars and it is money that could belong to Miami-Dade although right now we have no way of levying that tax so it is not tax money that we have today. It is money we could levy in the future,” said Mayor Gimenez.

The Dolphins are asking for $3 million a year from Florida and increasing mainland hotel taxes in Miami-Dade to 7 percent from 6 percent to fund about 43 percent of a $390 million renovation of Sun Life. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would use private dollars to pay for the rest.

“We’re making great progress,” Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said before the meeting started. “The events in Tallahassee give us momentum.”

The proposed deal would keep the team in Miami Gardens for another 30 years.

The Dolphins are hoping a referendum election can be held before the end of May, when NFL owners will meet to decide who will host Super Bowls 50 and 51.

Mayor Gimenez called it a “simple deal”, but they’re still debating what percentage of hotel tax dollars should be given to the team.

Mayor Gimenez wants to give commissioners at least two days to consider the proposal.

That’s significantly more time than they had to mull over the deal for Marlins Park, a plan he opposed as a commissioner.

“This is not going to be like that deal over there,” the Mayor said as he referenced the Miami Marlins Stadium which can be seen from the window of his 29th floor office at the Stephen P. Clark Center in Downtown Miami. “It’s completely different. It’s a different animal. We’re not going to finance anything.”

Mayor Gimenez said the pace of any deal moving forward will depend heavily upon the Florida division of elections, whom he’s asked to let him know whether he can make the Dolphins pay the $3 million to 5 million it would cost to put on a special election.

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