Stephen Ross announced his plan for renovating Sun Life Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Sun Life. also the home of the Miami Hurricanes and host of the Orange Bowl, was built in 1987, and is close to losing its billing as a top venue, despite having just hosted this year’s NCAAF BCS National Championship Game.
In his press conference on Monday, Ross laid out a plan to improve the stadium that would include better seating, a partial roof and advanced technologies among other improvements. The reported cost for these renovations is said to be upwards of $400 million dollars.
With a new young quarterback and the return of an entire coaching staff for the first time since the 1989-90 season, it is possible that Ross feels empowered to ask the people of Miami to help pay for the facelift at more than double the price he was turned down for just a year before. It is said that the majority of the bill will be covered by Ross himself as well as several private investors, but the organization still plans to ask for help from the taxpayers.
This comes just one year after the people of the region forked over a whopping $639 million dollars to build a new stadium for the Miami Marlins. Not only did the new stadium, manager, and big name MLB players fail to ignite the passion of the South Floridians, a losing season ensured there would be no second chance. Next comes the firing of controversial manager Ozzie Guillen, followed quickly by a fire sale of truly epic proportions, dumping nearly every major name attached to the Marlins roster.
This has left the taxpayers in South Florida with an awful taste in their mouths, and chances are, they will be not very keen on the idea of raising money for another pro team any time soon.
It is extremely doubtful there would ever be a scenario in which Ross would dupe the people the way Marlins owner Jeff Loria has, but it is even more doubtful that the people would willingly put themselves into a position to be duped again. Not so soon after the Marlins fiasco, anyways.
According to the Miami Herald, the tax money would come from an increase on hotel taxes set aside for the building project, and a doubling of a $2 million rebate the organization already receives for the stadium. While these appear to be fairly harmless requests to the good people of South Florida, there can be little doubt as to how the people are going to respond.
Ross may not be anything like Loria, but it will not matter. The people were burned just last year, and it will take more than a quarterback with potential and his gorgeous wife to get the taxpayers to open their wallets any time soon.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.