The Miami Dolphins are expected to ask for about $400,000,000 from state and local coffers when they unveil stadium improvement plans Monday afternoon, reports the Miami Herald.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been hankering for upgrades to Sun Life Stadium -- including a partial roof -- since 2009, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told him other league owners felt the venue "lagged behind" new stadiums.
But the timing is not good. Miami-Dade taxpayers are still furious about the county's terrible deal with the Miami Marlins, for which commissioners pledged a total of $2.4 billion to build the team-owned Marlins Park at the site of the former Orange Bowl without taking a public vote. The Marlins lied about their finances, failed to lure tenants to city-built retail space, promptly shed most of their marquee players in a post-inaugural season fire sale, and left the city with a costly SEC investigation into related bond sales.
Then there's recent reminders that despite all their success, somehow the Miami Heat's books never reflect a profit -- allowing the NBA's sixth-most valuable franchise to skate year after year without paying rent to Miami-Dade County for the use of AmericanAirlines Arena.
Are Dade residents tired of getting taken for a ride by their sports teams? Despite plenty of examples showing new stadiums are actually municipal drains, the Miami New Times suggests "Miami loves the Dolphins so in the end they'll probably find a way to get this deal done."
“It can’t be anything close to what the Marlins did," state Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens) cautioned in the Herald. "Unless you do something totally counter to what the Marlins did, nobody is going to vote for it.”
Check out renderings of the Dolphins' plans below: