The Miami Dolphins are getting early support from state legislators to use tax dollars to renovate Sun Life Stadium.
A Florida Senate panel on Tuesday unanimously approved a measure (SB 306) that would guarantee $3 million a year for the next 30 years to help pay for stadium upgrades.
It's just the first vote, however, with a final vote coming during the session that starts in March.
But the swift approval could be a sign that the Republican-controlled Legislature will support the deal despite past objections to helping out South Florida sports franchises.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants to use the state money to help pay for $400 million worth of renovations to the stadium. He proposed upgrades to the stadium in January, including:
- More comfortable seats
- New seating closer to the field
- State-of-the art HD video screens
- HD sports lighting
- Modern escalators and elevators for fan transportation
- Updated kitchens for better concession options
Ross vowed to pay for half of the $400 million modernization plan. Last month, Miami-Dade County Commissioners passed a resolution that supports spending millions of tax dollars on the plan.