Miami Dolphins owner Steven Ross would like to renovate Sun Life Stadium. I was there for a game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009 and I can see why. I looked around and asked myself if I could envision a Super Bowl being hosted here, and my answer was no. So I get it.
Team CEO Mike Dee says the team is not looking for a “Band-Aid” plan for renovations. He said that the stadium needed the kind of modernization that would be equivalent to a new Stadium. Dee said that the Dolphins will not pay for any renovations after the refusal of the GOP-controlled Legislature to pass a funding plan to assist.
The Super Bowl and other non-football events serve as an economic positive for the community and the city. From certain perspectives, it would appear to be a wise investment by the city in efforts to boost the economy. However, there are understandable aspects that would explain the reluctance by the state of Florida to share in the financial responsibility of stadium renovations.
First and foremost, Ross is 73, and the sale of the team in the near future is inevitable. The state of Florida would like to protect themselves against investing in renovations and having a new owner move the franchise out of Florida.
At the same time, Dee says the chances of that scenario becoming reality will be increased if a new owner sees the state of Sun Life Stadium to be a problem, and actually made headlines on Monday when he stated that the Dolphins’ future in Miami is “clearly bleak”.
What would go a long way in bringing the two sides together on this issue would be the on-field success of the team. This offseason, the front office has made long strides to that end by being very aggressive in free agency with the signings of Mike Wallace, and taking the same approach in the NFL draft by trading up to select Dion Jordan.
It would definitely strengthen the Dolphins’ position in negotiations if they had a playoff team as collateral. The last decade or more of instability and on-field failure has been more than enough to validate the state’s reluctance to fund this renovation project.