“We are letting people know that the over 4,000 jobs created by the modernization obviously are dependant on the project moving forward,’’ he said. “It’s absolutely appropriate.”
Along with the potential construction jobs, the Dolphins also said they were filling between 400 and 700 jobs tied to current stadium operations — including ticket takers, parking attendants, and concession workers. The Dolphins plan a series of job fairs in the coming weeks, including in Hialeah, Kendall, Overtown, and Cutler Bay. The team estimated about 1,000 people turned out for the Thursday event, and that 130 people were hired for existing stadium jobs. Rick Beasley, head of South Florida Workforce, said Friday that 590 people registered for the job database at the event.
The Dolphins argue the higher hotel tax will bring back economic rewards beyond the temporary construction jobs, including attracting Super Bowls and major soccer events. The team would pay Miami-Dade up to $120 million in penalties 30 years from now if the stadium fails to host a certain amount of major events and also refund the county about $112 million of the tax money given to the stadium.
Critics see the team asking for a tax hike to benefit an NFL franchise owned by one of the wealthiest men in America, billionaire developer Stephen Ross.
Randolph Smith, 53, had mixed feelings on the debate as he waited in line to fill out an application. He last worked in the clean-up for Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, where he traveled in search of employment. The Miami Gardens resident said he generally opposes giving public dollars to stadiums, but that he will vote yes on the Dolphins’ referendum so that Sun Life can stay competitive with other subsidized stadiums.
“I don’t agree with it,’’ he said. “But if we don’t vote yes, we’ll be dropping behind other cities.”