During last week's NFL owners meeting, the Miami Dolphins presented the latest plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium, with team owner Stephen Ross paying for the work, but asking Miami-Dade County to make payments to the team whenever major sporting events are brought to the site. That presentation resulted in the Dolphins receiving approval from the league for financing of the upgrades, according to a report from the Sports Business Journal's Daniel Kaplan.
The league requires a public/private partnership in order for a team to receive financing.
The estimated cost of the renovations is $400 million. Included in the work would be a new canopy over the seating areas, moving 3,600 seats closer to the field, adding high definition lighting, new scoreboards in each corner of the stadium, upgraded seats, and improved amenities and food services.
Miami is hoping the upgrades are enough to put the site back into the rotation of Super Bowl host sites. The NFL has shown a preference lately of awarding new stadiums with the championship game, including MetLife Stadium in New Jersey this past year, as well as upcoming games at the San Francisco 49ers' new Levi's Stadium and the soon-to-be-built home of the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis. If Miami is able to finalize the funding plan, they could make another bid for the Super Bowl next spring, when the league awards the 2019 game.
Currently, the Atlanta Falcons and their new stadium, which broke ground last week, are considered the favorites for that contest.
Sun Life Stadium was considered a finalist for the 2016 and 2017 games last year, losing the 50th game, Super Bowl L, to the 49ers and Super Bowl LI being awarded to the Houston Texans.