Sun Life Stadium
6:35 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Dolphins Say NFL May Help Rebuild Sun Life Stadium But Public Funds Must Come First

As Miami-Dade commissioners sit down to talk about the public's role for the first time today, the National Football League is offering its support to help Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pay for improvements to Sun Life Stadium.

The Dolphins have been reluctant to talk about the idea but are hinting that the NFL's contribution is contingent upon public help first. The Miami Herald reports today the amount is unclear, but could be in the tens of millions of dollars.

SUN LIFE 2.0: Rendering of one aspect of the stadium remodel: modular seating for a Super Bowl.
SUN LIFE 2.0: Rendering of one aspect of the stadium remodel: modular seating for a Super Bowl.
Credit Miami Dolphins

Ross said last week that he's willing to pay at least 51 percent of the estimated $400-million-dollar cost of the renovations. He says they're needed to attract future Super Bowls to the region.

The rest of the funds, the team has proposed, would be provided by additional state funds and the raising of Miami-Dade's mainland hotel tax by 1 percent. Miami-Dade leaders may decide today whether to vote on a non-binding resolution to support the Dolphins' efforts to receive $3 million dollars a year in additional state incentives.

The team has mounted a public campaign to gain support for stadium improvements, including new television commercials and a brand new website, MiamiFirst.com, to promote the plan.  But they have been met so far with a skeptical public and Miami car dealer and activtist Norman Braman, who himself once owned the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.  Braman has called the plan "welfare for billionaires."