Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ross to personally pony up funds for Sun Life work


Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross has exhausted nearly all his options in attempting to secure the funding needed for renovations to the aging Sun Life Stadium.

Monday, he played his final card.

After multiple, unsuccessful attempts to acquire partial public funding for renovations to the 27-year-old facility, Ross announced that he plans to pay the entire $400 million cost out of private funds, according to the Associated Press.
Facing intense competition from newer, more modern venues across the country, the renovations are believed to be necessary for the region to secure bids for Super Bowls and other major sporting events.

Ross, who has an estimated net worth of $5.4 billion, has offered to pick up the tab entirely after public funds had been repeatedly blocked by lawmakers still stinging from the disastrous 2009 Marlins Park deal, which houses Major League Baseball's Miami Marlins.

Though he is no longer requesting taxpayer money, the report states Ross is seeking $2 to 4 million in annual property tax relief as a part of his latest proposal, which may still face resistance from the local government.

"Mr. Ross's proposal is better than last year's," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement. "However, there are still hurdles that the Dolphins organization must overcome before I feel comfortable with the proposal."

Potential renovations include upgraded lighting and video boards, additional club- and field-level seating and a canopy to shade fans. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear that Sun Life Stadium is currently inadequate to host another Super Bowl.

South Florida has been the site of 10 Super Bowls, tied with New Orleans for the most of any host region. Miami most recently failed in its bids for future Super Bowls in 2016 and 2017.

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