Dolphins stress keeping jobs local for Sun Life Stadium modernization

Miami Dolphins want to upgrade stadium

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Miami Dolphins officials stressed providing jobs to local workers during an announcement about the modernization of Sun Life Stadium Tuesday afternoon.

Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said the project would create at least 4,000 construction jobs for a 22-month period.

"They're from an estimate from those who have been working with us on cost estimates as well as labor estimates," he added.

Dee announced a partnership between Sun Life Stadium and Operation 305 to hire a mostly Miami-Dade County based workforce. The Dolphins want 10 percent of the construction workers to hail from Miami Gardens and 70 percent to be from Miami-Dade County.

"Modernizing Sun Life Stadium will create thousands of jobs for Miami-Dade and pump millions of dollars into the local economy. To ensure that the benefits of this project stay in Miami-Dade, we will be working with Operation 305 and local business leaders to recruit local small businesses and local workers for the construction and ensure that we are hiring a diverse Miami-Dade workforce for this project," said Dee.

"With Miami-Dade's unemployment rate at nearly 10 percent, our community needs the thousands of jobs that the Sun Life Stadium modernization will create," said Christopher Hodgkins of Operation 305. "Operation 305 looks forward to building on the success with the Port of Miami Access Tunnel project and is proud to be partnering with the Miami Dolphins on the Sun Life Stadium modernization project."

Hodgkins handled workers hired to work on the Miami Access Tunnel.

"Concrete raker, steel worker, laborer, a backhoe operator -- all of those folks, what we did on the tunnel is -- if they didn't have the skill, we train them," he said.

The Dolphins also brought in Marsha Jackson as a business consultant, who said she wasn't concerned about the lack of contractual obligations to field a mostly Miami-Dade based workforce.

"Every single project I've done, it has been aspirational goals," she said.

The Florida Legislature must first pass a bill giving the Dolphins a sales tax rebate and allowing a local referendum on the tax subsidy.

"It's hard to imagine that local Miami-Dade representatives could oppose something that is going to bring jobs to our community right now," said Dee.

The first Operation 305 job fair will be held Thursday. Click here to pre-register.

The Deal

The Miami Dolphins say Sun Life Stadium needs at least $350 million in improvements to remain competitive with newer stadiums around the NFL for Super Bowls and high-profile events.

The team wants $289 million from a 1 percent increase in the hotel bed tax in mainland Miami-Dade County and $90 million from a sales tax rebate.

The Dolphins have offered to pay the county and the state back the money it receives from the sales tax rebate.

The Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers, who will move into a new stadium next year, are vying for Super Bowl L in 2016. The loser will compete against the Houston Texans to host Super Bowl LI in 2017.

NFL team owners will announce the locations of Super Bowls L and LI on May 22 in Boston.

Early voting on whether to provide the tax subsidy to the team began Monday. Click here to see the early voting schedule and locations.

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