The home of the Miami Dolphins opened in 1987. It is one of the oldest stadiums in the country. The team’s CEO appeared before a Senate Committee seeking three million a year from sales generated by the team. That money is already available to other franchises. The Dolphins want the money to renovate the stadium. “We don’t need to have a billion, billion- five shrine a new facility to stay competitive. But on the flip side of that we also can’t have an aging facility”, says Mike Dee, Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium CEO.
There’s just one problem. The bill only helps the Dolphins who don’t qualify for the same break as other teams because they were in the state before the 1988 law was passed. “I just have real trouble when we’re going to write a law that benefits one team”, says Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice – Committee Chair.
Others voiced concern as well. The reality is that every franchise in Florida, but the Marlins who just got a new stadium, want something from the legislature to improve their attendance.
The Tampa Bay Rays want a new stadium, The Jags in Jacksonville also want in on the action. The vote opens the door for other teams to get into the negotiations, which is just fine with the Dolphins CEO. “Senator Braynon said we had an open mind, that he had an open mind to making that change, but we take great confidence away from today’s step”, says Dee.
The bill is still a heavy lift for lawmakers. Broadening it to other teams makes the lift less heavy.