Report: Stephen Ross Will Pay for Sun Life Stadium Renovations Himself UPDATED

Categories: Sports

Well, consider this a win in the battle against using public money to pay for professional sports facilities. The Associated Press reports that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has dropped his push for public financing to fund renovations to the aging Sun Life Stadium and will soon announce he'll pay for them himself.

Update: Not so fast! Ross would foot the bill for the stadium upgrade only in exchange for a deal that would let the team out of paying property taxes on the stadium.

The original AP report was pretty terse. It cites only an anonymous source but says Ross will soon publicly announce his intention to pay for the $400 million upgrade out of pocket. Ross is also talking to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez about the plan.

As it turns out, the deal would be a lot more complicated. According to the Miami Herald, Ross would essentially relinquish ownership of the stadium to Miami-Dade County. Marlins Park and American Airlines Arena are also owned by the county, so it's not completely unusual. However, that would mean the team would no longer have to pay property taxes. That could put in danger about $3.8 million in county tax funds a year used for things such as education and libraries. The stadium is also the the City of Miami Gardens' top taxpayer.

Mayor Gimenez would approve a deal only if it didn't harm the budgets of the school board and Miami Gardens.

Gimenez, however, told the Herald that "it is a much better deal than" the public/private cofunding plan discussed last year.

Ross is eager to get the work done because Super Bowl applications are due in August. Miami, tied with New Orleans, has hosted the Super Bowl more than any other area but has been shut out in recent years. NFL execs have pretty much flat out said Miami wouldn't see another Super Bowl without stadium upgrades. The last Super Bowl in Miami was held in 2010.

Host cities for future Super Bowls have been determined through 2017. Miami is not a finalist to host the 2018 game either, which means that even with the renovations, Miami might not see another Super Bowl until at least 2019.

Ross unveiled an ambitious campaign last year to secure public funds for half of the planned $400 million upgrade. With public outrage over the Marlins' stadium deal still simmering, the plan went absolutely nowhere with either the public, local government, or up in Tallahassee. In fact, the political plan died during last year's legislative session. At the time, the Dolphins said they would not pay for the full cost of the renovations.

Here, in case you're wondering, is an image and details of what the plans for the renovations called for in 2010.

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Sun Life Stadium

2269 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens, FL

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46 comments
Evelyn Thomas
Evelyn Thomas

I think too many ppl are stuck on him being filthy rich! "Well congrats to him and It's great you are able to spend that kind of money on renovating a stadium that will bring much to many!!"Get out and make things happen in your lives and STOP HATING ON THOSE WHO HAVE MADE IT !!GEESH

Nick Ugalde
Nick Ugalde

Also, he should've gotten the help for a stadium and not the marlins but he went about asking for it the legal and ethical way, and everyone knows that's not how you get things done in Miami, unfortunately

Nick Ugalde
Nick Ugalde

Ok let me break it down for you people, Joe Robbie built this stadium with his own money- and it bankrupt him and his family! It is very unpopular to say-help that billionaire with his business! But if the stadium is renovated then we can see as many as five Super Bowls over the next fifteen years and zero if we don't! All he wants is a tax break to guarantee he will spend $400,000,000 of his own money to bring this town all that extra tourism money! Please do it!

Alex Wall
Alex Wall

screw that, make him pay for the stadium AND make him pay taxes. You know what, pal, that's what the rest of us do. We pay for our own damn businesses. We pay for our roofs. Then we pay taxes.

Martina Knizka
Martina Knizka

Pay for stadium and taxes.... It's the people who make him the $$$$$$$

Chgo Dave
Chgo Dave

flat tax no loopholes everybody pays !....

Robert DiGiorgio
Robert DiGiorgio

Everyone needs to stop counting someone elses money and think they should be punished for being financially successful. Dolphins Stadium deserves support for everything they have given to the community for the past 50 years and the shear fact that is was built with the personal financial risk of Joe Robbie. Stephen Ross is asking for less than any other stadium in the country has already received. The Miami Marlins payroll was 40 million and they got the stadium they did with the deal they did. Salary cap for NFL is 133 million for 2014, that is more than 3 times more than the Marlins but we wont help them one bit. WTF??? Mr Ross, if you cant get any support for your team and stadium in South Florida, then move it to LA where they might appreciate it.

Darrin Gaitor
Darrin Gaitor

It would be nice but he need to go head....and tare it down and don't fuck with tax payers money!!!!!!!!

Shawn Jones
Shawn Jones

He is a billionare!!!!! A billionaire. Pay for the shit wtfff u gonna take all that money with you ross in a few years when ur gone. Take care of your fam close friends first. then the stadium hook it upppp. And then donate a billion or whatever left to cancer research. Done.

Sean O'Hanlon
Sean O'Hanlon

NO DEAL. This would effectively be more public financing in the long run. It's time the NFL stopped fleecing taxpayers and started paying their fair share.

Lenny Lebowitz
Lenny Lebowitz

I dont watch football but i know the dolphines suck and they have to make money to keep the team and that same shitty team brings a lot of money to the local area and the people who work at the stadium and if it goes bust it would cost florida a shit load in unemployement and sales tax lost

Ivan Oliva M
Ivan Oliva M

No. It is not a fair deal. He should pay taxes on that property just like everyone else on their property.

Kyle Brea-Stevens
Kyle Brea-Stevens

Why doesn't the County just waive property taxes for all homeowners that update their homes? See how many jobs are created then!

Evelyn Thomas
Evelyn Thomas

YES!THE RENOVATION WILL BE DONE BY WORKERS!!#JOBS

wthlth
wthlth

Are you people bad at math or just looking for a reason to be unhappy (and that includes the author).   Ross is willing to spend $400 million to upgrade the stadium in exchange for not paying $4 mil in taxes each year.   If I offered to give you one hundred dollars today in exchange for paying me one dollar each year would you take it?  If not, you have no financial sense.

Sam Wright
Sam Wright

Just to let everyone know that their beloved Heat have a deal where they don't pay taxes either unless they make a profit, so last year is the first time they paid taxes

Johnna Alvarez
Johnna Alvarez

We are paying in return they are making it city property to not pay 4million a year in property taxes.....

Ron E. Chits
Ron E. Chits

If he pays no taxes he wins even more....fuckin wake up

Elsa Thompson
Elsa Thompson

Good.. not like we get anything out of it...

Louis Wing
Louis Wing

I think he finally figured out that we weren't gonna pay for that b***s***.

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

No means FUCKING NO.  

Time for Gimenez to GTFO if he agrees to this

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

Not really,  It's more about doing what right for our community and not being a greedy POS.    Its a private business that he can afford to renovate without depriving the surrounding community of much needed tax $.   Instead of doing the right thing and funding it himself he has chosen to whine "But but but the Marlins......  But but but the HEAT"  Ross doesnt care about our community he just wants to get his....at any cost

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

Since we've already been raped twice its only fair that we get screwed again?

What asinine logic.   If he cant fund his business without burdening our citizens maybe he should gtfo

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

NFL teams are a cash cow for their owners.  Phins wouldnt be going anywhere even if Gimenez had the guts to tell Ross to go screw.


You were probably one of the morons who would have wanted us to vote in favor last year

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

who else would they be done by?

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

@wthlth  

Its you who has no financial sense.    If this happens Miami-Dade will be getting $4 mill less each year in taxes than it is right now  thats the bottom line.    Perhaps you dont understand that its a privately owned stadium

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

We do,  and the HEAT doesnt pay taxes as the county owns the arena.

They made a rent payment for the first time in 13 years

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

but we will be,  to the tune of $3.8 mill per year

wthlth
wthlth

@miamitrev2 So the bottom line is how much from the stadium in total tax without any other thought?  Jobs created, that this might lead to Superbowls and other economy boosting events not worth one cent?  Perhaps you don't understand that privately owned means the tax payers didn't pay hundreds of millions for the stadium like in most other places. But I sit here in awe of your financial sense since, as you said, I have none.

wthlth
wthlth

@miamitrev2 so you would rather have had the taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions to build the stadium like in most other areas?  I know you have a strong opinion, but not so sure you see the big picture.  Especially since you did not respond to any of my points above, which I repeat by incorporation.

miamitrev2
miamitrev2 topcommenter

@wthlth

The vacant lot would make the county $3.8 more in taxes per year than if this agreement happens


We all know the Dolphins arent going anywhere  cut the crap 

Should everyone who renovates their private property also be exempt from paying property taxes or only Billionaires?

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