The Dolphins’ ongoing quest to upgrade their aging stadium has impacted — albeit indirectly — the agenda at league meetings for some time now.
The Dolphins and South Florida have been passed over for Super Bowls in each of the past two years, with Sun Life Stadium’s antiquated condition the main reason why.
And yet, with the team making what it calls its best offer to Miami-Dade County to date — pledging to pay for the $350 million repairs itself in return for tax relief — there has been a noticeably muted response.
The plan isn’t on the agenda for the NFL Annual Meeting, which officially begins here Monday morning. And although there’s a chance it could be discussed in the next three days, early impressions are it’s not a high priority.
“That’s up to [owner] Steve [Ross], and that will be approved or not approved by the NFL,” Jets owner Woody Johnson said Sunday, when asked about the Dolphins’ latest proposal. “I assume if you want to pay for it yourself, it will be approved.”
If the 30 other teams share Johnson’s attitude, it surely will be.
The only reason that it’s a question: the organization’s latest proposal runs counter to the league’s unstated goal to have a publicly funded aspect to stadium development.
The Dolphins are one of very few teams to own their own building outright — which they hope to change in the coming months.
If their modernization plan is approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission, the Dolphins would hand over Sun Life Stadium to the county, saving them roughly $4 million a year in property taxes.
“Building a stadium and improving a stadium is very difficult,” said Johnson, whose Jets play in Met Life Stadium, which opened in 2010. “A lot of issues come to light, having just done one. Anybody who can get it done, more power to them.”
Ross arrived in Orlando late Sunday afternoon. He is scheduled to speak with reporters this week.
As for the items actually on the agenda this week, the league will consider a series of rules changes.
They include:• Banning blocks in which offensive players roll up the side of a defender’s legs.
• Moving the line of scrimmage to the 25-yard line for extra points.
• Extending the uprights another 5 yards above the crossbar.
• Moving kickoffs to the 40-yard line.
• Expanding instant replay.
• Eliminating overtime in preseason.
• Permitting trades to take place before the start of the league year.