TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS SF) – The future of holding Super Bowl L (50) in South Florida appeared “dead” Friday when the Florida Legislature adjourned for their current session after failing to take up a state funding bill for the renovation of the 26-year-old Sun Life Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins.
That means the San Francisco 49ers’ competing bid to hold the Super Bowl in the Bay Area at their new Santa Clara stadium appears to be the only viable option now on the table for the NFL in 2016. The state-of-the-art $1 billion Niners stadium now under construction is the centerpiece of the Bay Area’s bid to the NFL.
It is estimated that hosting the Super Bowl would inject $400-500 million into the Bay Area economy, from San Francisco to San Jose.
The lack of action by Florida lawmakers means their stadium renovation plan, which was the focal point of the Miami-area’s pitch to host the Super Bowl, has been halted. Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford apparently balked at the public cost of the renovations and did not bring the measure up for a full vote, despite lobbying attempts from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other stadium supporters.
“There won’t be a renovation. Simple as that. Simple as that,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross responded when asked what would happen if the Legislature failed to act. The renovated Sun Life Stadium was the focal point of the Miami-area’s pitch to host the Super Bowl.
“There won’t be Super Bowls and I doubt if there will be marquee events coming here,” he added.
South Florida’s stadium bill had sought to secure roughly $3 million in sales tax refunds from the state for 30 years. It also would have allowed residents in Miami-Dade County to vote on allowing an increase in the tourism tax to also help pay for the renovations.
The Dolphins had vowed to pay back all of the money they would be given by the county and the state in the deal, which was previously approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission before going to state lawmakers.
The Sun Life Stadium plan was to cost roughly $350 million with some of the money coming from the state, some from the county, and the rest from the Dolphins. The plan included a canvas roof, HD screens, new seating, and updated lighting.
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