Stadium funding passes by without a vote

May 29, 2013 by  

Plans to renovate Sun Life Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, may be in the balance after the Florida State Legislature concluded its 60-day session earlier in the month without the house voting on state financing for the project.

The Florida Senate made additions to a huge transportation bill to raise the $350 million needed to make the stadium improvements, but the house leadership declined to bring it to a vote.

Despite pleas from several lawmakers, House Speaker Will Weatherford asserted that the proposal needed more investigation before being adopted. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross claimed Weatherford mislead him on his support for the bill, but the House Speaker denied this.

At risk are both future Super Bowls for Miami and the projected 4,000 jobs a stadium renovation would create. The decision came less than three weeks prior to a group meeting of NFL owners to choose host cities for the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowls. The Dolphins are in competition with San Francisco to host Super Bowl 50, taking place in 2016.

Tallahassee legislatures may still be shy from the fallout they received after the 2009 Miami Marlins stadium issue. It may come down to a grassroots effort, complete with a poster printing or a flyer printing campaign, if the needed renovations are going to receive public funds.

On the field, the Dolphins’ pre-season campaign gets underway at Dallas Cowboys on August 4, before the season starts in earnest at Cleveland Browns on September 8.