Billionaires Battle Over Renovations to Miami Stadium

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 21, 2013

ASU staduimEven with a list of luminary part owners such as Jennifer Lopez and Venus and Serena Williams and the billionaire team owner of Stephen Ross, the Miami Dolphins stadium is seeking government help to renovate its stadium. Ross says the improvements will boost the local economy; the locals don’t feel tax dollars should be used for the stadium revamp

“It’s welfare for a multibillionaire,” Norman Braman, a billionaire himself who owns a car dealership. “Ross should write the check himself. According to Forbes, he’s worth $4.4 billion.” Braman is committed to fighting off the proposal, and he’s done it before. In 2009, Braman spent more than $1 million to fend off the Miami Marlins’ initiative to garner $600+ million in public funding for the new baseball stadium that opened last year.

Miami’s Lodging Taxes Could Increase

State Considering Initiative

Dophins owner Ross said he will pay $200 million of the $400 million needed to build a canopy for fans and make other improvements the Sun Life Stadium in northern Miami-Dade County, but he also wants a 1 percent hike lodging taxes and bigger sales-tax rebates to pay the other $200 million. Legislation has already been introduced in the state legislature for the measure, due for consideration starting in March.

The Dolphins aren’t the only NFL team seeking government money for improvements. Other team owners cite the need to remain competitive to win future Super Bowls and college football championship games that keep their communities’ coffers healthy and growing. The argument always comes back job creation.

Impact of Economic Lift Overstated?

Economists contend the economic impact is vastly overstated. “A good rule of thumb is to take whatever the promoters of the Super Bowl are saying and move the decimal point one place to the left,” said Victor Matheson, a professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. “The bump tends to be in the $30 (million) to $100 million range, not $300 million to $500 million.”

“I’m prepared to do what I think is more than what an owner has done in the past,” Ross said. “There’s only a limit of how much capital that you can put into something.”

Getting Legal Help

The law offices of Isaac Benmergui can help you with your legal real estate needs; call 780-800-2510 or email Isaac@benmerguilaw.comfor more information or to set up an appointment today.


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