Last week, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross started hawking his $400 million plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium by showing off nice renderings of 3,600 new field-level seats, gargantuan HD video screens, and an open-air canopy. The dog-and-pony show ended with Ross swearing his franchise isn't looking to bamboozle taxpayers like the Miami Marlins did. But that hasn't stopped the billionaire real estate developer from lying his pants off while trying to get his hands in taxpayers' wallets. Here are his biggest fibs about the deal:
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4. The Dolphins could relocate to another city: Armando Salguero, the team patsy masquerading as a Miami Herald columnist, coyly suggested that "nothing is tying the Dolphins to South Florida other than tradition and ownership" because the team doesn't have a lease at Sun Life Stadium. After a furious public reaction, Dolphins president Mike Dee quickly shoveled that load of manure into a dumpster. The team isn't going anywhere, people.
3. Miami will be able to compete for future sporting events: Ross wants taxpayers to believe that without the upgrades, the stadium won't be able to snag another Super Bowl or BCS title game. That's a load of hogwash. The stadium hosted its first Super Bowl in 1989 in the wake of a race riot that engulfed Overtown. Ugly civil unrest didn't stop the NFL from bringing the big game back in 1994, 1999, 2007, and 2010. The NFL doesn't choose South Florida based on stadium amenities. Even Ross admitted as much while noting the real reason we snag these events: "We have the best weather in the winter in this country."
2. Spectators need protection from South Florida's harsh elements: Speaking of our awesome weather, of the five Super Bowls played at Sun Life Stadium, only XLI was affected by a torrential downpour. Dolphins fans couldn't care less about having a canopy. They would rather see Ross shitcan general manager Jeff Ireland and make the team a playoff contender again than buy a damn roof.
1. Only tourists and visitors will pay for the improvements: Ross says he is "prepared to fund the majority of costs." Yet he wants Miami-Dade County to foot half the bill by increasing convention and hotel taxes by 1 percent. He claims that the burden wouldn't fall on taxpayers and that the money wouldn't come out of funds used to pay cops and firefighters. However, those taxes still belong to the people. What's more, whenever locals stay at Miami Beach hotels or frequent shops, restaurants, and nightclubs there, they have to pay that extra tax too. Ross also wants the state legislature to increase the stadium's sales tax rebate from $2 million to $4 million. That's money that can be used to hire more cops, teachers, and firefighters.