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After Dolphins lose Super Bowl bids, Weatherford defends Legislature's non-deal on stadium

After the Miami Dolphins lost their bid to host Super Bowl 50 or 51, House Speaker Will Weatherford took to his blog to defend the Legislature's decision not to pass a bill providing up to $389 million in taxpayer support for an upgraded stadium.

Weatherford said the Dolphins stadium deal had "three strikes against it" and that it didn't stand a chance. 

"Even with the millions of dollars being spent, the referendum was going down," he wrote. "The voters spoke…and so did the Legislature."

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross put out a blistering statement after the legislative session ended earlier this year, blasting Weatherford for not hearing the bill. The Dolphins believed that an upgraded stadium would have helped the team win a bid to host Super Bowl 50 or 51.

Here's Weatherford's blog:    

Not to mix sports analogies, but the Dolphins Stadium deal had three strikes against it:

  • First, it failed to pass the House Appropriations Committee, which was its last committee of reference. House Appropriations Chair Seth McKeel said on April 17th that he had no plans to hear the Dolphins bill.
  • Secondly, the bill didn’t have support from the local delegation.  According to Representative Carlos Trujillo, “I like the Dolphins, I like the football team, but I don’t think it’s the best use of our public funds.”
  • Finally, the local referendum was rejected by Miami-Dade voters with 57 percent of the vote.

Even with the millions of dollars being spent, the referendum was going down.  The voters spoke…and so did the Legislature. The Dolphins are a great Florida team, and I hope the leadership will focus their energy on constructive and collaborative solutions. Now, let’s all support our Dolphins getting to the Super Bowl this year.