Dolphins looking for payments for events to help stadium upgrades

Mike Ehrmann

The Miami Dolphins continue shuffling plans in hopes of finding one to fund Sun Life Stadium renovations. The latest proposal involves payments from Miami-Dade County to reward the organization's ability to attract major sporting events.

The Miami Dolphins have abandoned a proposed deal in which they asked to be free of annual property tax payments on Sun Life Stadium in order to cover the cost of renovating the facility. The Dolphins currently have to pay $4 million a year in property tax (the only professional sports stadium in Florida which pays a tax of this kind), and originally said that they would fund renovations to the stadium in exchange for waived payments.

Instead, the team is now asking Miami-Dade County to make a payment to the team any time the stadium attracts a major sporting event to the site. That would include things like World Cup soccer matches, the College Football Championship Game or the Super Bowl.

Now, why would the county make these payments and why do they care if the stadium is renovated? Simple: the league has made it clear that no further Super Bowls will be hosted in the area until the stadium is updated. The stadium needs better lighting and covers over the seating areas. Miami has hosted 10 Super Bowls -- tied with New Orleans for the most ever -- but lost out in bids for the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowls.

With upgrades expected to cost between $300 and $400 million, it's no surprise that the team, owned by Stephen Ross, wants help. Making that big of an investment could benefit the county in the future, so the Dolphins are doing whatever they can to get the county on board for some kind of financial relief.

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