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Miami-Dade mayor: Dolphins owner 'trying to do the right thing' on stadium renovation

@doug_hanks @PatriciaMazzei

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez emphasized his support Friday of county ownership for the Miami Dolphins’ stadium if the team can reach a deal over lost tax revenue for the school system and the facility’s home city of Miami Gardens.

“I really like [team owner] Steve Ross. I think he is trying to do the right thing, but nothing that you ever get done here is going to be easy,’’ Gimenez told WQAM 560 sports-talk host Joe Rose. “We’re not far apart. I think the [county] commission can see the logic in this, and I hope most of the people in Miami-Dade County can see the fairness in this.”

Ross has offered to use private money to pay for a $350 million to $400 million stadium renovation in exchange for Miami-Dade County taking ownership of the 1987 facility, which would free Ross of a property-tax bill worth $3.8 million in 2013. The Miami Heat and the Miami Marlins, like Florida’s other pro-sports teams, don’t pay property taxes because they operate government-owned facilities.

When news broke this week of Gimenez’s talks with Ross over a potential deal, the mayor said he wanted the team to satisfy both the school system and Miami Gardens, which both receive about $1 million a year from Sun Life property taxes. “That’s money for our children,’’ Gimenez said to Rose. With Sun Life the top taxpayer in Miami Gardens, Gimenez said taking over the stadium without some relief for the city “would be a huge blow to their tax base.”

In the interview, Gimenez offered a hint at some of the terms under consideration. Ross wants the county to own Sun Life, but he’s not looking for government help in maintaining it, Gimenez said. Both the Heat and Marlins receive millions of dollars in yearly subsidies from Miami-Dade hotel taxes that help pay for debt service, maintenance or operations of the facilities the teams run.

The proposed Dolphins deal “may be the best of all because he’s not asking us to maintain it,’’ Gimenez said.

Comments

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Ed Jenkins

The citizens see this as improved from previous proposals as long as market rent is paid and the taxpayers are not being handed a money losing stadium. However there is no reason to go through these maneuvers as no other private business would be considered for such a proposal so why this business just because it is a professional sports franchise?

Progres

Ed,

Granted I'm a big Dolphins fan. That said if push comes to shove and Ross gets his hands tied the end result would be bad. Ross would likely sell the team to someone that would move them for financial reasons. We're not far from that and that in turn would leave the city with zero. Not only that but a step before Ross selling the team would likely involve him exploring the idea of knocking it down and building it elsewhere in the county.

But like I said worst case scenario is the city gets no money because the leave one way or another.

Frankly it's an unsaid guarantee that the moment they do the renovations that Miami will be put back into the Super Bowl rotation. That alone should be enough to get the deal done. The spike in business is unreal and we'll worth concessions.

It's a shame this didn't get done last year. Mike Dee had a nice plan and a great relationship with the community until the state got involved.

Hmmmm...

Has the pompous guy apologized publicly to the politicians he previously attacked while throwing a hissy fit last time he didn't get what he wanted?

Until that happens, I wouldn't be so sure something would even be considered.

Ed Jenkins

There are some who are both taxpayers and fans of the team as this long time season ticket holder is. However most wise people understand that there is no chance that this team will ever leave south florida as there are several teams in horrible financial condition compared to this team including Buffalo, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Tennessee that will move long before this team and accept less favorable terms. However a team must have a destination to move and Los Angeles is the only city that there would be any logic for a team. Finally one must consider that this fool ross who was ripped off by Huizenga owns the stadium and if he or some new owner were to move the team, they would be destroying the value of the stadium they own which would not be a wise financial decision. As a result the consideration of this team moving is not a possibility and threats of this concept should be ignored.

joeblow

Progres:
your argument is a bogus one. the old "they will move if we don't give them what they want" is outmoded and hollow.
Ross isn't going anywhere. let him sell the team, who cares?
the NFL makes BILLIONS. let the rich owners and players pay the freight!
I attended ONE Dolphin last year as a guest. I wouldn't pay to attend a pro sports game.
The colleges are so much more exciting than the pros anyway.

Hmmmm...

Has the pompous a.. apologized yet?

Another hissy fit coming from the wussy girly man?

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