Voter approval might no longer be the biggest obstacle between the Miami Dolphins and their plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium.
ESPN on Monday posted an Associated Press article stating that the stadium upgrade could be contingent on whether the facility is selected to host Super Bowl 50. League owners on May 22 will choose the host city for the game, with Miami and Santa Clara, Calif. (site of the 49ers' new stadium) as the two finalists
According to the article, the Dolphins on Monday announced that they've "reversed their position" and will allow the stadium renovation deal to be placed on a referendum. The estimated cost of the renovation project is $400 million, with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pledging to pay 51 percent of the total. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez believes Ross' portion of the bill will ultimately exceed that percentage.
The Dolphins now hope that the referendum will see a vote prior to the league owners' vote in late May.
"This is about Super Bowl 50, the biggest event, frankly, in NFL history," Dolphins Chief Executive Officer Mike Dee said in the article.
The article states that the Dolphins had previously resisted a referendum, claiming there "wasn't time to hold a vote before the site for Super Bowl 50 was decided." However, local legislators have shown only "tepid support," for the stadium renovation deal, and the team now believes referendum approval would boost the likelihood of a successful vote in Tallahassee.
The stadium renovation plan will also require approval by Florida Legislature.
"Our harshest critics have said the voters need to weigh in," Dee said in the article. "We support that."