Image: Dolphins Cancel Stadium Upgrades as Super Bowl Dreams Fade

Dolphins Cancel Stadium Upgrades as Super Bowl Dreams Fade

Monday, 06 May 2013 10:41 AM

By Michael Mullins

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The Miami Dolphins have cancelled plans to renovate and improve their stadium after learning that they would not be receiving public funding to enhance the aging Sun Life Stadium.

The decision likely rules out any chance the 47-year-old franchise has of hosting Super Bowl 50, which will happen the first Sunday of February in 2016.

The San Francisco 49ers' Candlestick Park is now considered to be the likely destination for Super Bowl 50 according to several NFL analysts.

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The decision not to upgrade the stadium came after the Florida House killed a bill last week that would have allowed the Dolphins, as well as other professional sports teams in Florida, to compete for $13 million in state funding each year.

The bill would have also given the Dolphins access to local taxes to help pay for Sun Life Stadium renovations. If passed, the bill would have put the power in the hands of Miami-Dade voters, who were scheduled to vote on a referendum approving the state incentives for local sports teams on May 14.

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford refused to allow the bill to come up for a vote before the legislative session concluded Friday, Florida's Local 10 News reported.

Following the bill's demise, Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross issued a statement in which he specifically blamed Republican Weatherford for the outcome of the bill.

"Tonight, Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy," Ross said. "The Speaker single-handedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida."

Ross attributed Weatherford's decision to not allow the bill to be voted on as purely political.

"He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami-Dade and that is just wrong," added Ross.

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Ross, who is worth several billion and had reportedly helped to raise millions for Mitt Romney's unsuccessful 2012 presidential, left Weatherford with an ominous warning.

"I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come," said Ross.

Weatherford was asked by the Miami Herald for a reaction to the possible blow back if the Dolphin's owner and his supporters were to use their money against him in upcoming political campaigns.

"Good for them," Weatherford told the Herald.

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