A Panhandle Republican has an outsized role to play in deciding whether the Miami Dolphins’ quest for a taxpayer-supported stadium renovation is successful—and he’s getting an earful from both sides of the debate.
Rep. Jimmy Patronis, a Panama City Republican who chairs the Economic Affairs Committee, said the team’s bill was more likely to get a hearing after the Dolphins have agreed to “concessions,” but acknowledged that opponents of the bill have his ear as well.
“I don’t know yet,” he said about whether he’d bring the Dolphins bill up for a vote soon. “I have had [many] meetings about the Dolphins bill with the stakeholders—both opponents and the proponents—and it seems like the negotiations on behalf of putting forward a package that there’s a consensus on everyday gets better and better.”
The Dolphins are backing HB 165, hoping get as much as $200 million in taxpayer aid for the renovation of Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. The team said a stadium upgrade would help lure a Super Bowl to South Florida—and recently agreed to make some of the taxpayer support contingent on doing just that.
“I am enthusiastically a big fan of Super Bowls being in the state of Florida and understanding if this is what it takes to get one, then great,” said Patronis. “But can the state afford it?”