Miami-Dade commissioners refrained from referring to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday in the board's first meeting since Florida lawmakers ended the team's effort to upgrade Sun Life Stadium.
But the renovation plan, negotiated over several late nights by Mayor Carlos Gimenez and approved by a majority of commissioners, came up anyway -- obliquely.
During a discussion over a vending-machine contract, Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo lamented that the contract had come up at two previous meetings "for nothing," because his colleagues and the administration were now changing their minds.
"I sympathize with that," Gimenez said. "I just went through a process for nothing also."
Commissioners, understanding the Dolphins reference, chuckled. Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa joked that Bovo, who had opposed the stadium-renovation deal, should say no more. But he did.
"We're much richer because of it," Bovo said.
The Dolphins made a nearly $4.8 million nonrefundable payment to the county for a referendum that was ultimately canceled. Miami-Dade expects more than $1 million will be left over to spend elsewhere.
Said Gimenez: "You can thank me later for that."