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Lawmakers, Dolphins Announce Unprecedented Agreement To Repay State As Part Of Stadium Modernization

Posted Mar 27, 2013

Dolphins agree to repay the principle balance derived from the rebate.

State Senator Oscar Braynon, State Representative Eddy Gonzalez and State Representative Erik Fresen, today announced that the Dolphins have agreed to repay the State of Florida for its contribution to help fund the modernization of Sun Life Stadium. The Florida Legislature is considering a bill to provide $3 million a year to help fund the modernization by providing a sales tax rebate on goods and services sold at the stadium.

The team has agreed to repay the principle balance derived from the rebate, which is consistent with the pledge the team has made to Miami-Dade County to repay the principal amount the team would get from a portion of a one-cent increase in the tourist tax on mainland hotels in the county.

In all, the stadium owners would repay approximately $167 million in public money, including $120 million to the county and $47 million to the state. The stadium owners will use the public funding to finance the $389 million construction project and be responsible for paying the debt, which means there is no public debt or debt service, and no risk to public finances. Unlike prior stadium projects, county property tax funds would not be tied to the project in any way, not even as a backstop to the construction financing as is the case in other projects. The state and county money would be repaid at the end of the term in 2043, assuming the project is approved by Miami-Dade voters in a referendum in May.

“We are not only committed to bringing Super Bowls, BCS Championships and international soccer to Miami by modernizing Sun Life Stadium, but we are also committed to crafting a fair and advantageous agreement for taxpayers,” Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said. “Today, we have taken a huge step towards those goals by agreeing to pay the State of Florida back the money used to finance the construction project. Combined with the proposed repayment to the county, we have now committed to repaying $167 million in public funds – an unprecedented step certainly here in Florida and perhaps nationally.”

In recent days, the Dolphins have:

• Conditioned final approval of the stadium project on landing a Super Bowl for Sun Life Stadium at the NFL owners’ May 22nd meeting;

• Agreed to pay for the costs of the referendum in May to save taxpayers money, if legal;

• Agreed to repay $120 million to the county, which is the principal amount from the tourist tax to help finance the project;

• Agreed to pay up to $100 million in penalties if Sun Life Stadium doesn’t attract Super Bowls, BCS games, international soccer matches and other similar events over the next 30 years; and

• Agreed to sign a 30-year non-relocation agreement to keep the team in Miami-Dade