UPDATED at 9:01 p.m. with more information on Dolphins' critique of Norman Braman and government subsidies.
Norman Braman has reviewed the Miami Dolphins' latest offer, and he argues the concessions aren't worth as much as they seem. The culprit: inflation.
This week, a Dolphins proposal surfaced in which the team offers two new payments to Miami-Dade in exchange for using hotel taxes to help fund a nearly $400 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium. Both involve payments to Miami-Dade 30 years after the renovation starts.
For the first payout, the Dolphins will pay back Miami-Dade $120 million, the county's proposed share of the initial renovation costs. For the second, the Dolphins would pay penalties if promised sporting events didn't come to an upgraded Sun Life -- including $15 million per Super Bowl if the stadium falls short of a four-Super Bowl quota within 30 years.
Braman argues that $120 million in 2013 dollars will probably be worth $50 million by the time 2043 rolls around -- as inflation devalues the currency. (According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $120 million today would have the same buying power as $23 million in 1973.)
Using the same assumption, $100 million in penalties would be worth just $42 million by the time Miami-Dade collects in 30 years. "It doesn't change the equation,'' Braman said of the Dolphins offer, which leaked this week. "It's playing with the numbers."
The Dolphins hit back hard on Braman's statements, accusing him of criticizing the Dolphins while enjoying public support when he was an NFL owner and current tax breaks for the auto dealership he owns in Miami.
"Rather than continuing his bitter attacks, Norman Braman needs to answer for his own hypocrisy. When Braman owned the Philadelphia Eagles, he requested millions of dollars from taxpayers to build his team a new stadium while paying himself millions of dollars a year. Over the past few years, his auto dealerships requested and receive tax subsidies from the state of Florida. He never paid back a dime. Clearly, the hypocrisy never ends with this guy," Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said in a statement.
A Dolphins spokesman said Tuesday night that the statement referred to state tax credits to Braman Motors. Businesses can qualify for tax credits for expanding payroll.
In Philadelphia, Braman had asked for city land for a new Eagles stadium on a site where the city had also pledged a $22 million package of tax abatements, incentives and grants should a stadium be built there, according to a 1994 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Braman was quoted as saying he would like the same incentives offered other potential stadium developers.
Recently, Braman described his proposed deal with Philadelphia as largely free public land in exchange for a stadium he would build himself. The deal never materialized. Sun Life sits on county-owned land. --DOUGLAS HANKS