The Miami Dolphins have offered to repay Miami-Dade County for a portion of the public costs of renovating Sun Life Stadium, and to pay millions of dollars in penalties should the team fail to bring major events to South Florida, including four Super Bowls over the next three decades, The Miami Herald has learned.
The Dolphins have told the county they will repay Miami-Dade for the initial share of the renovation costs in about 30 years, but the rebate would not include the debt payments that will likely come with the deal, according to a source familiar with the Dolphins’ offer and a draft term sheet obtained by The Herald.
During meetings last week with NFL owners in Phoenix, the Dolphins shared a confidential report on their ongoing negotiations with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to bring the issue to a countywide vote, according to an NFL source. The source said the Dolphins revealed they have offered to use private dollars to fund $225 million in construction costs for a renovation now estimated at $389 million, less than the $400 million figure that was the most commonly used estimate for the deal.
That amounts to the Dolphins asking for public money to fund about 43 percent of the construction costs, less than the 49 percent that was initially floated as a starting point by the team. And the Dolphins have offered to go one step further and repay Miami-Dade for the $120 million the county would be expected to put into the renovation, the NFL source said. The remaining $44 million would come from a state sales-tax subsidy.
The new details on the Dolphins’ offer come as the team faces pressure to close a deal with Gimenez and then launch a campaign to win a countywide referendum that would be needed to get the funding plan approved. The Dolphins want to pay for a portion of the renovations with a new $3 million rebate on sales tax it pays the state, as well as with new dollars generated by increasing the taxes charged mainland Miami-Dade hotels to 7 percent from 6 percent.