Stephen Ross' Four Biggest Lies About Sun Life Stadium Renovations
On Monday, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross shucked his $400 million plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium, the venue the city's NFL franchise has called home for the past 26 years. During a press conference showing off a bunch of nice rendering of how the stadium will look with 3,600 new seats closer to the field, spanking new gargantuan HD video screens, and an open air canopy to protect spectators from the elements. It was quite a dog and pony show that included representatives from the University of Miami, as well as the Orange Bowl, the Super Bowl host and Pan American Games bid committees.
Ross is promising that the Dolphins are not looking to bamboozle Miami-Dade taxpayers in their quest for public financing to help pay for the upgrades. But that hasn't stopped the billionaire real estate developer from floating a few whoppers to get taxpayer monies:
4. The Dolphins could relocate to another city.
On Monday, Armando Salguero, the team's patsy masquerading as a Miami Herald sports columnist, coyly suggested that "nothing is tying the Dolphins to South Florida other than tradition and ownership" since the team doesn't have a lease at Sun Life. Yeah, well Dolphins President Mike Dee quickly shoveled that load of manure into a dumpster because the team is not going anywhere.
3. Miami will be able to compete for future sporting events.
Ross wants taxpayers to believe that without the upgrades, Sun Life won' be able to snag another Super Bowl or BCS national championship 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 back the big game in 1994, 1999, 2007, and 2010. The NFL doesn't pick South Florida based on the stadium amenities. Even Ross admitted as much during his press conference. "We have the best weather in the winter in this country," he said. "We sometimes forget that fact."
2. To protect spectators from South Florida's harsh elements.
Of the five Super Bowls played at Sun Life, only XLI was affected by a torrential downpour. The other four were played under clear skies. The only people who suffer under a brutal sun or torrential downpour during a game are Dolphins fans who attend home games. And they could care less about having a canopy. Dolfans would rather see Ross shitcan General Manager Jeff Ireland and make the team a playoff contender again.
1. Only tourists and visitors will pay for the improvements.
In a press release issued Monday, Ross claims he is "prepared to fund the majority of costs" for the $400 million upgrade. Yet, he wants Miami-Dade County to foot half the bill by increasing convention and hotel taxes by one percent, claiming the burden will not fall on taxpayers and that the money won't come out of funds used to pay cops and firefighters. However, convention and bed tax revenue still belong to the people. What's more, whenever locals stay at Miami Beach hotels, as well as frequent shops, restaurants and nightclubs, we also have to pay the extra tax. Ross also wants the state legislature to increase an annual sales tax rebate the stadium receives from $2 million to $4 million. That's money that can be used to hire more cops, teachers, and firefighters.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.