Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross is urging voters to help pass a tentative public referendum scheduled for the middle of next month to help fund upgrades of the 25-year-old Sun Life Stadium in South Florida.
"This is a win-win situation for them and Dade County," Ross said in a question-and-answer session with The Miami Herald. "This brings new dollars into Dade County and makes it such that we can bring these marquee games and events there. And I'm putting my money where my mouth is."
Ross said he's put in new concession stands and upgraded much of the facility, but to lock in marquee events like BCS Bowls and Super Bowls, Sun Life will require more than a face lift.
"Right now the cost is $350 (million) to $400 million to modernize it and have it be tantamount to a new stadium. You wait 10 years, you're talking having to spend a billion dollars. You pass the point of no-return. So that's why it's important now rather than later," Ross said. "(Events) do want to be in Miami. But you don't want to give them an excuse not to come to Miami. Right now, there's an excuse for them not to come to Miami. Why? Because of the facility.
"Because I really believe that the National Football League wants to be here and bring Super Bowls. Super Bowls are played in January and February. This is the warmest place in the country. This is where people want to party. This is where they want to bring their sponsors. They've had the most successful Super Bowls here," Ross said. "But you saw what happened when other cities built facilities and we continued to be in the Orange Bowl. There was a 10-year hiatus of Super Bowls ... When they built Joe Robbie, the Super Bowl came back, so you can say we had 10 Super Bowls in 37 years. I'm betting on that, and I'm betting on the fact that this is the legacy I want to give the community."