Dolphins Reach Stadium Upgrade Deal: Up To $5 Million a Year in Event "Finder's Fees"

While one proposed stadium was dealt a death blow yesterday, another stadium moved one step closer a new deal with the county.

The Miami Dolphins and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez reportedly signed an agreement yesterday that would see the county pay the team money for bringing marquee events to Miami. In exchange the Dolphins will pay for the $350 to $400 million in planned renovations to Sun Life Stadium out of pocket.

The agreement will now head to the county commission.

Under the deal the county would pay the team millions of dollars if certain events are hosted at Sun Life stadium. The money would come out of the county's hotel tax fund, and be distributed like this:

  • $4 million for a Super Bowl or World Cup finals match
  • $3 million for a World Cup semi-final or a college football championship game
  • $2 million for a college football play-off game
  • $750,000 for an certain other international soccer matches or other sporting events as long as at least 55,000 paid tickets are distributed and they bring in a significant amount of tourists to the county (think something along the lines of a Wrestlemania).

Noticeably, large concerts will not be part of the deal. Neither are college bowl games, like the annual Orange Bowl.

The payments would be capped at $5 million a year, and will not start until 2024.

Once approved by the city commission, the Dolphins would begin the process of renovating the stadium almost immediately. Improvements would include a rooftop canopy, new lower-bowl seating, high-definition lighting, and other improvements. Football season would not be interrupted, and work would be done before the 2016 season according to the Miami Herald.

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