MIAMI LAKES, Fla. - At a Miami Lakes town meeting, Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee persuaded residents for a sleeker and better Sun Life stadium that would use public dollars to partially fund the improvements.
"The court of public opinion speaks loudly," said Dee. "We listen to it every day. I think what we've heard from our fans is ‘You guys need to be transparent. You need to put your cards on the table. Face up.'"
Dee didn't mention the Miami Marlins by name, but vowed to "be different."
Those who spoke at the Wednesday meeting, which filled the Royal Oaks Park Community Center with about 75 people, said the Marlins deal hadn't scared them away from the idea of using public funds for a football stadium.
"We thought they have to do what they have to do," said longtime Miami Lakes resident and Dolphins fan Marie Deming. "They definitely have to do something with that stadium."
Resident Gianni Castellanos said she was still wary of the plan that would increase the bed tax for mainland Miami hotels by a penny.
"I think the money's going to come from the community," said Castellanos. "Whether they phrase it whichever way they want, we're still going to end up paying for it somehow or another, I think."
The bill pushed by the Dolphins that would get tax dollars for the upgrades has already cleared a Florida senate committee.
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