In its ad against Braman, the Dolphins knock the former Philadelphia Eagles owner for inviting public dollars for that team’s stadium before selling it in 1994. A Twitter account the Dolphins created tout the stadium plan, @miamifirst, also circulated a video created by Philadelphia media naming Braman one of the city’s top “villains” for skimping on player payroll while an owner.
The ad also refutes what the Dolphins say are misstatements by Braman in interviews about the Miami Gardens stadium plan. “You are entitled to your own opinion, Mr. Braman, but not your own facts,” the ad states.
One point cited in the ad is Braman arguing hotel taxes should be spent on the Miami Beach Convention Center, not a stadium. The ad notes Florida law restricts use of the tax in the stadium bill to sports facilities. That is true, but the Dolphins are proposing to change state law to increase that particular tax. The convention center could receive funds from a similar hotel tax that is kept at the same rate in the Dolphins bill.
Braman said Tuesday the ad was a sign of “how desperate” the Dolphins are in pushing for government help. Media reports at the time show Philadelphia granted the previous Eagles owner money to build skyboxes as a way to keep the team from moving. Braman said the city eventually got its money back in the deal through suite revenues. The only time Braman said he requested city help was when he offered to build a new stadium on city land.
“This is part of a very orchestrated effort by the Dolphins to get what they want,’’ Braman said of the advertisement. “They can say whatever they want. [The Dolphins plan] is still welfare for a billionaire.” He urged a referendum on the proposed deal. “All they have to do is let the people vote,’’ he said.