The city of Miami Gardens wants a permanent stream of revenue from the Miami Dolphins if Sun Life Stadium stops paying about $1 million a year in municipal property taxes, but the team’s owner warned Wednesday that the city cannot count on professional football staying if his latest plan to renovate the stadium fails.
“If I sell the team, I can assure you, with the viewpoint of the politicians and what they want to do, the new owner is going to move the team,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. Ross wants relief from about $4 million in yearly property taxes in exchange for privately financing a $350 million stadium renovation.
“If I'm putting up all the money, how's it not going to be successful?” he asked. “How could they reject this?”
Ross spent Wednesday trying to bolster support for his bid to have Miami-Dade County assume ownership of his stadium, which opened in 1987, a transfer that would spare the Dolphins a property-tax bill that last year hit $3.8 million. That includes about $1 million each to the county school district and Miami Gardens, where Sun Life is the city’s top property-tax payer.