On Friday, Miami lawmakers ended a 60-day legislative session without coming to an agreement over funding renovations to the stadium, reports The Miami Herald. The move could put future Super Bowls at the Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium in doubt.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross subsequently released a harshly worded statement, condemning Florida house speaker Will Weatherford, accusing him of dishonesty. Weatherford had rejected the pleas of lawmakers to consider a last-minute-amended version of a bill to finance the planned improvements to the stadium.
“He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade, and that is just wrong,” Ross said.
The rejection of the bill had immediate implications for both the Dolphins and across Florida. A vote which would have been held on May 14 for Miami-Dade County voters to give the referendum a thumbs up or down has been scrapped, at a cost to the Dolphins, themselves. Ongoing renovations to the stadium have been immediately halted, and the team says it has no plans to invest its own money into the 26-year-old facility.
“We cannot do this without a private-public partnership,” said team CEO Mike Dee.
While the renovations to the stadium were looked at as “comprehensive upgrades” which would keep the stadium viable for years to come, there were other mitigating factors. Not only is Miami still reeling from its funding of the Marlins’ new ballpark, which has failed to attract significant attendance increases, but the Dolphins are still in debt $230 million from the last round of upgrades to Sun Life Stadium.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Sun Life Stadium