Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ross, Dolphins agree to put stadium funding to vote


Miami Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross has been pushing hard for Miami-Dade county to approve public funding for renovations to Sun Life Stadium, but now he has agreed to put the matter in the hands of voters.

According to the Miami Herald, the Ross and the Dolphins have dropped their objections to hold a public vote on the bill. (photo: Bob B. Brown, Flickr)

The stadium renovation proposal has been slowly moving through the legislative process, but after local officials neglected to put the stadium bill on the agenda for their next session, Ross and the team agreed to the public referendum that they had previously opposed.

But now, the future of the project, of major sporting events in the region, and perhaps of the Dolphins in South Florida depends on the votes of a community still stinging over a disastrous deal to build a new stadium for the Miami Marlins.

Ross' proposal calls for a minor increase in a hotel tax that would largely be paid by non-residents.

Ross hopes to curb the county residents' fears to fund another stadium by pledging to pay for over half of the $400 million cost of the upgrades with private funds, with sources saying that the billionaire may be willing to contribute more to help the deal pass.

Another concern of supporters of the bill is time, as the NFL owners are scheduled to select the host of Super Bowl L on May 22, an event Ross is fighting hard to win for the region.

But at this point, it's up to the voters of Miami-Dade to share that desire, and to vote for an upgraded Sun Life Stadium.

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