News: Miami Commissioners Snub Renovation of Sun Life Stadium

Miami Beach commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to support a yet-to-be-filed state bill that would create a funding mechanism for a proposed renovation of the city’s aging Miami Beach Convention Center, but not for Sun Life Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins. The vote reinforces the city’s position that the two renovation projects should not be linked, and that the football team should not get public money to revamp its stadium, the Sun Sentinel reported. The bill would enable a 1-cent increase of the county’s convention development tax, which would have to be approved by county commissioners. Stu Blumberg, a key supporter of the convention center, has called the proposal a better option than one backed by Rep. Erik Fresen, which would allow Dade and Broward commissioners to increase a sports tax that, like the convention development tax, is paid by tourists. The convention center and sports franchises like the Miami Dolphins, who want to renovate Sun Life Stadium, would share revenue raised by Fresen’s proposal. Commissioners have twice voted to oppose public money for the stadium, though Mayor Matti Herrrera Bower said Wednesday that Fresen’s bill could be “an ace in the hole” to ensure funding for the convention center should Blumberg’s proposal fail. [Sun Sentinel]

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