Miami-Dade County passes Dolphins stadium deal

County will pay team for hosting Super Bowls at Sun Life Stadium

MIAMI – South Florida's Super Bowl drought may soon be ending.

Maybe not for the Miami Dolphins, but for the entire area.

By a 7-4 vote, Miami-Dade County commissioners approved a deal Tuesday that will pay the team incentives for hosting major events like the Super Bowl.

In return for the incentives, the Dolphins will fund entirely the renovations for Sun Life Stadium. Those renovations are said to cost up to $350 million.

"Let me be clear: No general fund monies will ever be at risk," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.

Former Dolphins, including quarterback Dan Marino and defensive end Jason Taylor, were among those in an attendance for the vote.

While not the help Stephen Ross envisioned receiving when first proposing stadium renovations, the Dolphins owner seemed please with the agreement.

"I want to thank the Board of County Commissioners and Mayor Gimenez for approving this unique and creative plan to bring Super Bowls and other marquee events to Miami-Dade County," Ross said following the vote. "We have one of the world's most aspirational cities and as such, deserve a stadium that will provide significant economic impact to Miami-Dade County. This will not only secure the future of the Dolphins, but will ensure that Miami has one of the world's best venues to host events of this magnitude going forward."

The NFL has long suggested that amenities at Sun Life Stadium need to be upgraded before bringing the Super Bowl back to South Florida.

Miami-Dade County has hosted 10 Super Bowls since 1968, but none since 2010. The team has fallen short in recent bids to host the game and is currently not on the Super Bowl rotation schedule which is set through the 2018.

A new canopy over the 27-year-old stadium seats is among the upgrades planned in the new project.

Under the terms of the deal, the Dolphins will continue to pay property taxes on the stadium.

Sun Life Stadium has been home to the Dolphins since opening in 1987.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."