Dolphins want $225 million for stadium

Jan. 6, 2011 at 10:17 AM
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MIAMI, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The Miami Dolphins want to change a state law to let Broward County spend hotel taxes on a $225 million renovation of the team's stadium, officials said.

The Dolphins-backed bill to renovate the 1987 stadium would also let Miami-Dade increase its hotel tax and would revive a plan to expand the Miami Beach Convention Center, The Miami Herald reported.

"We have to test the waters," said Mike Dee, chief executive officer for the National Football League team. "We need the support of the community."

Dee said Sun Life Stadium is a major element in South Florida's tourism industry.

Dee said the region has hosted more NFL Football League championships than anywhere else and a renovated stadium with a partially enclosed roof and upgraded seating could add about $2.5 billion to the South Florida economy through 2040.

Not everyone supports the proposed tax plan.

Miami Beach commissioners opposed the use of public dollars for the privately owned stadium in 2009.

"Our first priority is to make our regional convention center more competitive," said William Talbert, president of the Miami-Dade tourism bureau.

Florida state law bars any county from charging hotel guests more than a 6 percent lodging tax. The proposed law would raise the cap to 7 percent and let Miami-Dade split the new revenue evenly between the stadium and expanding the convention center.

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