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Dolphins strike stadium renovation deal with Miami-Dade mayor

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross watches warmups at Dolphins Stadium in Florida.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross watches warm-ups at Dolphins Stadium in Florida. Ross recently voiced his opinion that expanding the season would not lead to more player injuries.

Al Messerschmidt

Before the Dolphins can put to vote their effort to finagle public money to renovate Sun Life Stadium, a deal must be struck between the Dolphins and Miami-Dade County.

On Monday night, that finally happened.

The Dolphins have announced the forging of an “unprecedented” agreement with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. It was one of the major hurdles that needed to be cleared before a tentative May 14 special election regarding a one-percent increase in local hotex taxes.

“We are proud to join Mayor Gimenez in agreeing to an unprecedented public-private partnership that will modernize Sun Life Stadium and protect property tax payers, while helping secure the future for Super Bowls, college championships and international soccer in Miami-Dade,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement released by the team. “The future is also brighter for the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Orange Bowl.

“We look forward to working with the County Commission to ensure that the voters of Miami-Dade have the final say on creating more than 4,000 jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the local economy. When the people of Miami-Dade go to the polls, we are confident they will support this partnership, where the Dolphins will pay approximately 70 percent costs, will repay approximately $167 million to the state and county, will pay for 100 percent of any cost overruns during construction, and will be committed to staying in Miami-Dade for the next 30 years.

“I want to thank Mayor Gimenez and his team for their hard work and commitment to bringing jobs and opportunity to the people of Miami-Dade. This is truly an unprecedented agreement, and the Mayor deserves tremendous credit for making it happen. I love this community and nothing would make me prouder than watching the Miami Dolphins play a Super Bowl in a modernized Sun Life Stadium. That’s more than a dream for me -- it’s a goal I will work toward every day. I know that together we can make it happen.”

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high. But in light of the reality that no team has ever played a Super Bowl in its home stadium, Ross should gladly settle for either/or -- or both at different times.