|Will we see this Super Bowl scene in Miami any time soon? (US Presswire)|
While the city of Charlotte said it would put up $143 million to keep the Panthers happy and renovate their stadium, the city of Miami wants a little more commitment before it will give money to the Dolphins.
Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez said Monday, via the Miami Herald, that the NFL might have to promise to give the city another Super Bowl before it uses county hotel taxes to help fund $400 million in stadium renovations.
The last Super Bowl that occurred in South Florida was Super Bowl XLIV, and for now, there are none scheduled although Miami is a finalist for Super Bowl L, along with the new stadium in the San Francisco area.
Gimenez and the Dolphins, though, have agreed to let voters decide whether those local tax funds should be used for the stadium. A referendum will be held before the next owner's meeting in May when hosting cities will be named for Super Bowls L and LI -- which will be chosen between Houston and the losing host city of Super Bowl L.
Even if the voters approve the measure, Gimenez could allow the county to withhold the tax from being used for the stadium.
“I don't want to be eligible for anything,” Gimenez said. “I'd like to see the results and actually land something.”
This is not usually how the NFL operates. In just about every case, a city has to kowtow to the demands of the NFL (Build a new stadium! Or fix up your old one!) before the owners give that city the big game. Miami's tact, though, is a little different, and considering NFL owners usually don't prefer to be dealt with in this kind of matter, it seems that Gimenez's words are risky.
“A provisional award in May [by NFL owners] for the 2016 or 2017 Super Bowl is impractical and the request would not enhance South Florida's chances in a very competitive situation,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Herald.
Aiello then called back to clarify his statement: “If the bid is presented and there is no stadium renovation financing plan approved, then the statement I gave earlier stands. If you're saying the mayor's plan is [that] financing would be in place, and there are no further votes and approvals needed, and all that is needed is the Super Bowl to be awarded, that is a totally different scenario. I would not describe that as hurting their chances.”
While the Dolphins publicly say they believe the voters will show their support for the team, it's not a stretch to believe the residents will simply be tired of funding pro sports' teams stadiums (especially with the way the Miami Marlins deal has played out).
“The Dolphins have shown to be a lot different than the previous organization we dealt with," Gimenez said. "The Marlins -- that's the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Let's say what it is. That was a bad deal, and a lot of things were kept in the dark. I don't deal that way. I'm sure the Dolphins don't deal that way.”
Even still, the county is cautious moving forward with the idea to give more public money to the Dolphins. If it costs the area a chance at another Super Bowl, I guess that's the risk it's willing to take.
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