On January 14th, 2013 the Miami Dolphins announced a controversial plan to completely renovate Sun Life Stadium. The proposed renovations to the 25-year-old facility included expanded seating, a canopy to cover fans and new high-def video screens. The Miami Dolphins promised to privately finance at least half of the cost. The remaining funding would come from a $3 million-per-year tax rebate for the Dolphins and a 1% increase to the Miami-Dade County hotel bed tax.
A Florida Senate committee's smiling approval of the Miami Dolphin's request for stadium renovation money may have set off a flurry of similar campaigns by sports teams and enterprises around the state.
The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved sales tax breaks that would help the Dolphins finance a $400-million renovation of Sun Life Stadium. The team is still hoping for a penny increase in the hotel bed tax for the rest of the public share of the bill, which it says will be less than half of the total cost.
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The Dolphins win the first battle in their fight for public funding to renovate Sun Life Stadium, with the Miami-Dade County Commission agreeing to ask the state for an increase in the hotel tax. But Florida state lawmakers might not be receptive.