OpEd: Dolphin’s Want Taxpayer Funded Billionaire Welfare


 The Dolphin football organization is pursuing a deal with Florida state lawmakers that would provide the franchise with over $200 million in taxpayer funding to renovate Miami’s Sun Life stadium.

The Dolphin’s contend that the stadium renovations are needed if the organization wants to compete with football franchises that have already made improvements to their own facilities – and to have a shot at being awarded the 2016 Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl committee will meet on May 22, 2013 to announce where the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowls will be held. The two choices for the 2016 game are Miami or San Francisco. If Miami is not awarded the 2016 Super Bowl then they will be a contender for the 2017 game location, against Houston.

Contrary to the statements made by the Dolphin organization, there is little threat of Miami loosing out on both of the upcoming Super Bowls. Miami will be awarded one of the two games, due to the tropical climate and colorful atmosphere of South Florida, not due to the condition of the stadium. The Sun Life stadium is apparently good enough for the Super Bowl committee, in its current condition, since it has already been chosen for the 2016/2017 games – without any improvements having to be made to the arena.

To pay for the Sun Life arena upgrades, the Dolphins are asking for a county-wide hotel tax increase from 6% to a new rate of 7%, which would give Miami the highest hotel tax rate in the United States. The increase would require a change in state law. The Dolphin’s have been petitioning lawmakers since 2010 to approve the taxpayer funding for the stadium upgrades but their requests have been previously rejected.

Miami-Dade voters will have a chance to vote on the issue in an upcoming referendum, but it will cost taxpayers approximately $5 million to hold the special election since the Dolphins are so eager to fund their project, immediately.

Alternatively, the Dolphins could wait until the next regularly scheduled election in 2014, which would bear no additional cost to Florida residents.

It would be foolish and financial irresponsible for the legislature to rush through a $200 million taxpayer funded subsidy – to a sporting franchise, especially after Miami-Dade County has so recently been embroiled in a federal investigation into the massive fraud that occurred during the Florida Marlins stadium subsidy.

ABC News corespondent Michael Putney referred to the plan as “welfare” and dedicated his Sunday political show to decrying the disastrous Dolphins deal.

The Sun Life stadium should be renamed – Miami Taxpayer Stadium.  –  TeaParty Miami


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