Proposed Dolphins pay-for-major-events deal would cost public about the same as previous plans

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez revealed the rate schedule for his plan to pay the Miami Dolphins for any major events held at a renovated Sun Life Stadium, which team owner Stephen Ross would turn around and use to pay off stadium renovations. And it goes like this:

Miami-Dade would pay the Dolphins a maximum of $5 million a year based on this bonus schedule:

• $4 million for a Super Bowl or World Cup finals match

• $3 million for a World Cup semi-final or a national college-football championship

• $2 million for a college play-off game

• $750,000 for an “international soccer match or other sporting event which attract significant tourists to Miami-Dade County with at least 55,000 Paid Tickets distributed.” A source close to the talks said the yearly Orange Bowl would not be eligible for a bonus payment.

How much would this subsidy would be worth to Ross is tricky to say without knowing how many events he’d end up hosting. World Cup games in the U.S. come around once in a generation, so it’s almost not worth worrying about that; a Super Bowl every 5-10 years is reasonable to expect, and college football playoff games and soccer matches would be expected even more often.

If the Dolphins managed to max out their $5 million subsidy every year, that would be worth about $77 million (present value) over 30 years; tack on a possible $3 million a year subsidy from the state (I had it at $2 million, but the Miami Herald says $3 million) and you’re at a maximum $123 million in public funds that Ross could get toward an estimated $350-400 million in stadium renovations.

To cover most of the rest, Ross would avail himself of NFL G-4 funds, which mostly come out of money that the team owner would otherwise have to pay to the league. There’s previously been scuttlebutt in Miami that Ross could only get G-4 money if he were getting public funding, but previous events in Philadelphia and Washington seem to indicate that that’s not necessary; if so, then Ross and the NFL may have just tricked Gimenez into coughing up public money by, let’s say, not being entirely truthful.

How bad would $123 million in subsidies (or more likely somewhere around $100 million, since they wouldn’t max out every year) be? It’s pretty close to Ross’s previous plan to ask for $3.8 million a year in property-tax breaks (plus the state subsidy), as well as the previous rejected subsidy deal that was going to be worth about $127 million. The hook for this one is that it would be tied to major sporting events that draw tourists to town — but given what we’ve seen about the failure of such events to do any such thing, plus the high cost to cities of hosting them, that’s not really much of a plus for Miami-Dade.

The upshot here, then, is “Stephen Ross still asking for the same damn $100 million or so in subsidies, only with a different memo field on the checks.” The Miami-Dade County Commission could vote on the plan early next week.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/10/4170175/miami-dade-would-pay-miami-dolphins.html#storylink

14 comments on “Proposed Dolphins pay-for-major-events deal would cost public about the same as previous plans

  1. I understand the tax payers not wanting to hand out more money to billionaires especially after the Marlins Stadium rip off but with the NFL it’s a do or die (or move) thing.

    Like my previous post under the last Miami Dolphin post you have to take a look at a few things…

    a) If you don’t renovate the stadium you won’t get Super Bowls and that equates to $$$ for the city and merchants to the So FL area. Look at San Diego, they did nothing to their stadium and the NFL boycotted them. Now they are arguing with their city and if a new stadium isn’t built then they may just move. That takes away jobs for the small people as well as taxes for the city.

    b) Renovating a stadium is a lot cheaper than building a new one. Look at the OLD Cleveland Browns. Art model was not asking for a new stadium he was asking for upgrades/renovations. The city declined so he moved his team to Baltimore. Now the city of Cleveland was without a team for a bunch of years. That meant no jobs for the small person and no taxes coming into the city and that’s just football, I’m sure the stadium is used for other things that brings in money too.

    So what did the city have to do to get a team back? Build a NEW stadium. Looking back it would have been chapter to renovate the old stadium. They wouldn’t have lost all those tax payers money.

    c) I know a lot use LA as a threat to cities but the NFL really wants a team there so it could be just the Dolphins. Even if they didn’t move out of state, there could be other areas like Palm Beach County (which was mentioned) to try and lure the team. Yes they will still be in the area but the taxes and jobs will be over an hour north.

    d) Stephen Ross is putting a lot of his own money into this project. Also note a city that hosts a Super Bowl they don’t get one red cent from the NFL to host it. They figure all the visitors come to their city will be their pay to the city.

    e) When Joe Robby built this stadium he did it without tax payers money so why after all these years can’t the city/state help out now?

    Trust me I don’t like what the NFL does by getting the city and tax payers by the balls (excuse the expression) but they can and if a city like Miami doesn’t want to work with them, then they may just lose their team. Ad that equates to taxes and money to the merchants.

    I’m just saying. This is nothing new to what’s happening around the country with the NFL. The politicians need to look at the bottom line and what the city can lose if nothing is done.

    I’m just saying because I’m a tax payer like everyone else but if you dot have a team that will hurt the city.

  2. “Look at San Diego”

    Yes, look at San Diego. They didn’t get a Super Bowl and the city has gone bankrupt and nobody there has a job. Particularly hard hit were the small people.

    Your presupposition seems to be that if an NFL team leaves your city that’s disastrous. You might want to establish that’s actually a really bad thing before telling people to look at what has happened in other cities.

  3. I know there are a LOT other problems especially the way the economy has been the last 6 years but it wouldn’t hurt to have the Super Bowl come to your city every now and again for a 3 week span (maybe 4 with all the pre and post setting up). All the people who flock to the city for the Super Bowl that are just working (reporters, sport show people, etc) need to eat and sleep and fly in and need transportation. That’s all money being spent and taxes being paid.

    I’m just saying don decide to shit the barn doors AFTER the animals have left. It will cost more to bring them back.

  4. Actually it WOULD hurt to have the Super Bowl show up in your home town.

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there have been tons of articles both here and around the country on how much it REALLY costs to host the super bowl.I can’t think of any city that actually turns a profit, given all of the additional costs for police, fire, traffic and transit upgrades, etc that are needed to have the NFL deign to bestow it’s magnificence on your community.

    Just Google “NFL demands for Super Bowl”. Then tell us how that helps anyone but the NON PROFIT NFL make money.

  5. You don’t actually have to Google anything, since I included a link to the NFL’s demands in this very item, under “high cost to cities of hosting them.”

  6. No matter how you look at it the NFL wouldn’t do anything if they didn’t profit from it. No company or person would either. Makes sense.

    But when you get thousands of people coming into the area (i.e, Miami & Ft Lauderdale area) flying in, renting cars, filling up the car with gas, staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, going out to shows and clubs and buying gifts, etc will help. Some come for 1 week and some for longer. Everything is taxed and as much as the NFL will make money so will the host city.

    No matter what the NFL does they will profile from it.

    If you lose a team you lose jobs. I know they are not high paying jobs but it helps some people.

  7. “But when you get thousands of people coming into the area (i.e, Miami & Ft Lauderdale area) flying in, renting cars, filling up the car with gas, staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, going out to shows and clubs and buying gifts, etc will help. Some come for 1 week and some for longer. Everything is taxed and as much as the NFL will make money so will the host city.”

    No, they won’t. For starters, not everything is taxed — one of the NFL’s demands is that any league staffers don’t have to pay local sales taxes, because the league is organized as a nonprofit.

    Secondly, most visitors come for less than a week, but are forced to book hotels for an entire week. Meanwhile, everyone not interested in the Super Bowl steers clear of your town because they don’t want the hassle. Which means the hotels make out fine, but the restaurants, etc., have fewer tourists spending there than in a typical February in Florida.

    In short, Super Bowl tourists largely displace more worthwhile tourists, especially in a warm-weather city. Philip Porter of the University of South Florida has studied this extensively, and found that there’s no measurable tax bump from major sports events in these cases.

  8. I told Stephen not to hire anonymous, comments section bums to handle his propaganda. Cripes, hire some professionals and buy a few politicians in the meantime, Stephen. This funding-plan-of-the-week slash temper tantrum amateur act of yours is making the rest of us NFL billionaires look bad. No beluga caviar for you at the next owner’s shindig!

  9. “That takes away jobs for the small people as well as taxes for the city”
    You do realize those are only part time jobs & those small people have to get other ones as well.
    The whole point of this website is to bust myths & reveal truths about the business side of sports leagues & the unfortunate public subsidies. It’s sad to see people thinking a sports team or event is the most wonderful thing for a city. I’ve learned numerous things from this site – horrendous things that make me sick to to my stomach & make it difficult to keep coming back here. It’s awful how corrupt so many local governments are & there is basically nothing the public can do to stop it.
    I say this over & over: I’m a taxpayer first & a sports fan second. Not on my dime. Let the leagues & owners fund their own stadiums. They can easily afford it. Don’t fall for the team moving empty threats. Even if they leave, it won’t be the worst thing ever.
    “but they can and if a city like Miami doesn’t want to work with them, then they may just lose their team. Ad that equates to taxes and money to the merchants.”
    Magically the locals would now have more disposable income to spend around town & other businesses in town would benefit from it.

  10. “I’ve learned numerous things from this site – horrendous things that make me sick to my stomach & make it difficult to keep coming back here.”

    Now there’s a blurb quote.

  11. I read every article & comment on here, Neil. I even have your book but got it as an used Xmas gift from Amazon (regifting!). I admire your dedication to your work on this site & your efforts on exposing the craptacular sports subsidies that traditional media won’t cover. It feels like a battle of futility. I appreciate that it’s here to read that maybe someone, will just get it – until some crooked a-hole funded by a sports team runs for office. Can’t stand special interest lobbyists.
    Feels like the rich controls everything & I don’t like it one bit.

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