Gimenezs other condition was having the Dolphins foot the bill for the $4.8 million cost of the special election. A state opinion appeared to prohibit that possibility. The mayor asked for a new one, and the team eventually said it would be willing to fork over the money. But Gimenez cautioned the Dolphins that if the opinion didnt favor the team or if it didnt come back in time there would be no referendum before NFL owners May 21-22 meeting awarding the Super Bowls. There were murmurs of a June election.
The Dolphins held their breath until April 5. The state ruled they could pay.
Throughout the negotiations, the two sides had discussed how much county money would be involved in the deal, and what guarantees Miami-Dade would receive for the funding. The Dolphins provided team and stadium financial information to the county. A 30-year non-relocation agreement requiring the Dolphins to stay at Sun Life came about relatively easily.
Both sides also agreed on a point system crediting the Dolphins for hosting events at the stadium, and penalizing them if they didnt meet certain goals. Ross, who last week announced that Sun Life would host games for a new international club soccer tournament this summer, had wanted more points for soccer matches over which he could exert more influence than, say, college football championships. The county pushed back, saying it would award the most points to events proven to attract out-of-town visitors who would spend money locally.
ISSUE OF PAYOUT
The last issue came down to the countys payout.
An undated, draft term sheet obtained by The Miami Herald in late March showed the Dolphins receiving three-quarters of the money collected by the hike in the hotel tax over 30 years. But both the percentage and number of years were a subject of debate until the very end.
The Dolphins wanted 75 percent of the roughly $10 million the higher hotel tax would be expected to raise in the first year of the deal $7.5 million. They also wanted the payments to last for 30 years so they could secure a better loan from the private sector, using the county dollars as collateral.
Gimenez began the negotiations with a lower percentage, at one point suggesting giving the Dolphins $6 million or $6.5 million on year one, and wanted the payments to stop sooner or the Dolphins to refund some of the money earlier.
Financial advisors for the county ran hotel-tax projections. Financial advisors for the Dolphins ran loan projections. Back and forth they went. Dealmakers, meeting since about 11 a.m. Sunday, April 7, at Sun Life, moved to County Hall, where they spent the night and worked nonstop through Monday night.
The compromise: The Dolphins would receive either 75 percent of the money raised every year, or $7.5 million a year, growing at 3 percent every year, whichever is lower. That deal would last 26 years, with the countys projected expected to total $289 million.
The team would have to refund at least $112 million at the end of 30 years.
The final, major point of contention had been resolved. A Dolphins staffer snapped a cell phone picture of Dee shaking Gimenezs hand. It was posted to Dees Twitter account at 9:44 p.m.
An unprecedented agreement for our community, the post said. Details coming soon.