The decision by Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford not to bring the stadium bill to a vote before the legislative session has severely bruised the egos of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and CEO, Mike Dee. Both men thought they had done enough to attract public financing for the stadium renovations. Both men believed they deserved the public financing.
Among the renovation plans was the installation of a a canopy roof, designed to provide much-needed shade to fans watching the games under the sweltering Miami heat. In the past, public financing has been awarded to the Miami Heat and the Miami Marlins in order to build their respective facilities.
So why did the Dolphins fail to receive any public funds?
Mike Dee certainly believes it is down to political gain. Within the Miami Dolphins inner circle, there is a belief that the young and ambitious politician, Will Weatherford, based his decision on his own political interests. He needs Florida residents to vote for him, and by taking a stand against public funding may just help win over voters.
Dee said of Weatherford: "At the end of the day, this abuse of power, I believe, will follow his career for a long time."
But perhaps more worrying was Dee's assertion that the failed stadium bill could pave the way for the Dolphins to eventually leave southern Florida.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Dee maintained that, "The Dolphins are one of the only franchises in the NFL that don't have a long-term lease with their community. At some point, somebody's going to buy the franchise from (Stephen Ross), and clearly the stadium is the first thing they would need to address."
As a result, Stephen Ross will not be investing any of his personal fortune into the stadium, without the help of public money. All renovations that were designed to significantly improve the aging Sun Life Stadium have been cancelled. Guess we'll have to do without the canopy roof for a little while longer, Dolphins fans.
Do you agree with Will Weatherford that the Miami Dolphins shouldn't receive public funding? Is it really possible that the Dolphins could one day leave the Miami area for good? Let's hear your thoughts.