Dee said that once word leaked this week that the Dolphins were willing to repay the principal to Miami-Dade, state lawmakers immediately reached out to say they wanted the same.
Even with the concessions, many aren’t happy with the idea of using tax dollars to help rebuild the stadium. Critics blast the deal as “corporate welfare,” saying billionaire Dolphins owner Stephen Ross should finance the stadium renovation without public help.
“Why do they need interest-free money, whether it’s locally or from the state?” said state Rep. Michael Bileca, a Miami Republican. “They can pay for it themselves. We have much more critical priorities.”
Auto magnate Norman Braman, a billionaire himself and an outspoken critic of sports stadium deals, has said that even if the Dolphins pay back the public funds in 2043, it’s a poor deal for taxpayers.
He pointed out that the Dolphins would not be paying back the interest associated with the funds, and, accounting for inflation, a payback in 30 years would still leave taxpayers on the hook.
Dee slammed Braman, calling him “irrelevant” and saying the deal was “risk-free” financing.
“All we want to do is bring this to the voters of Miami-Dade County in a thoughtful way, and they’ll make the decision,” he said.