Would Miami-Dade take on any debt of its own?
What would Miami-Dade get in return?
The stadium would host a specified number of events over 30 years, or pay up to $120 million in penalties. Supporters say the events, such as Super Bowls, provide temporary employment to local workers, bring in tourists and promote the county. One of the Super Bowls would have to be awarded when National Football League owners meet May 21-22. They are scheduled to award the 50th and 51st Super Bowls.
What if NFL owners don’t award Sun Life a Super Bowl when they meet in May?
The whole deal is off.
How many events would the stadium have to host?
Sun Life would have to host at least four Super Bowls, four college football championships and 20 international soccer matches, or their respective equivalents, over 30 years.
How would the penalty system work?
The agreement sets up a point bank, assigning a certain number of points to each type of event, depending on how many visitors and public attention it is expected to attract. For each event the stadium hosts, its corresponding number of points — each worth $1 million — would be credited toward the $120 million total. For example, each Super Bowl or World Cup soccer final would be worth 15 points, or $15 million.
The Dolphins would track the events every year, and pay any penalties as a lump sum at the end of 30 years.
What happens if the Dolphins can’t pay some or all of the refund or penalties?
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would be on the hook. Ross, a billionaire real-estate developer, is personally guaranteeing the payments.
What if Ross sells the team?
If he sells it in the next five years, Ross would have to pay the county a $20 million penalty. Before closing any sale, the new owner would be subject to county approval and to taking on the same personal guarantee as Ross. The county’s approval would be “presumed” if he or she has a net worth of at least $1 billion and has been approved by the NFL.
OK, so the Dolphins would get $289 million from the county. But they could also get $90 million from the state. Would they pay the $90 million back?
The Dolphins have said they would pay $47 million back after 30 years — again, based on how much they expect to be able to borrow now from private lenders, using the state’s 30-year payments as collateral. But state lawmakers have yet to approve any legislation.
What happens if the Legislature doesn’t give the Dolphins the $3 million annual sales-tax rebate?
The Dolphins would be able to take the entire deal off the table if they decide that they wouldn’t have enough money for the renovation.
But $289 million plus $90 million is $379 million. Isn’t that more than what the Dolphins would need for a $350 million renovation?
This is where things get tricky. The $379 million is what the Dolphins will have received at the end of 30 years. But the immediate revenue stream from county and state tax dollars would only enable them to borrow about $167 million in today’s dollars.
If the renovation costs at least $350 million up front, does that mean the Dolphins would be paying the remaining $183 million themselves?
Probably not. The NFL could contribute $150 million, according to a county-hired financial consultant. That would lower the direct costs to the team to about $33 million. The Dolphins have disagreed with that calculation, saying it’s too early to determine how much money the league might contribute.