It is always about money.
The Super Bowl, the pinnacle of American sports league’s championships, is headed to South Florida and taxpayers will be getting a tab soon enough. It is estimated that local taxpayers will cough up about $14 million for the game. Here is how that works. Miami-Dade County taxpayers are giving Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross four million dollars for snagging the 2020 Super Bowl. Then there is a $10 million cost for the game expenses including police protection and other services. The NFL is upgrading two public parks which will cost about $3 million. The NFL’s contribution to the project $850,000. There are other perks that go to NFL owners. The NFL and elected officials claim the game produces a massive economic infusion for a local area. But no one has done a real study to back up the claim.
The stadium is owned by New York real estate baron Stephen Ross who has in his portfolio the Miami NFL franchise. Ross’s stadium needed an upgrade to host a Super Bowl. While he used some personal money for a stadium renovation, Ross is getting plenty of subsidies. The 2014 deal Ross cut with Miami-Dade County for the renovations may net him as much as a quarter of a billion dollars in public subsidies or 71 percent of his $350 million bill to fix up the stadium. Ross also gets public money for various events. Miami-Dade County tourist development money is used to pay the Dolphins owner $4 million for each Super Bowl he hosts and $3 million for a college football championship game. A college playoff game would net $2 million. Events with 55,000 tickets sold would be worth $750,000. Ross also gets a check annually from the state of Florida for two million dollars because the team exists. Ross has gotten a few big-time events. The stadium bills have been paid with other people’s money.