The employment packets at this Miami Gardens job fair had a little something extra: a pledge card to sign supporting a tax-funded renovation of Sun Life Stadium. On Thursday, the Miami Dolphins opened up the stadium to hundreds of job seekers interested in working on a $350 million renovation project, which the team says it will only undertake with an infusion of tax dollars. Along with a chance to sign up to be considered for a renovation job, applicants were handed packets that included campaign literature for the tax plan, which must win approval by state lawmakers this week and then Miami-Dade voters in a May 14 referendum. While team lobbyists are pushing to get the legislation through the House before the legislative session ends this weekend, the Dolphins’ political squad is building support for an election in which early voting is already underway. The Dolphins want to raise hotel taxes to 7 percent from 6 percent on most hotels outside Miami Beach and had hoped to create a new state renovation subsidy for stadiums that would give the team $3 million a year from Florida. Both revenue streams first must pass the state Legislature and then be approved by Miami-Dade voters. At the heart of the campaign is the argument that a modernized stadium will be a boost to the county’s battered economy, particularly with the addition of hundreds if not thousands of construction jobs. Gene Eugene, 27, was the first in line for the event Thursday morning, arriving around 8 a.m. for a fair scheduled to start two hours later. Security wouldn’t let him walk past the stadium’s gate, so he stood on a grassy median as more applicants gathered behind him.
Miami Dolphins invite applicants to apply for stadium jobs and also to support taxes for it
Miami Herald | May 3