Dolphins' stadium upgrade plan approved by county

Davie, FL ( - The Miami Dolphins' plan to upgrade Sun Life Stadium was given approval Tuesday by the Miami-Dade County Commission.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross revealed a plan in March that would use private funds to pay for the stadium upgrades, but in return asked the state for tax breaks.

The creative deal gives the Dolphins what was termed a performance-based marquee event grant. The team will still pay taxes, but will instead receive money from the county for securing top events, such as the Super Bowl and college football playoff games.

"I want to thank the Board of County Commissioners and Mayor (Carlos) Gimenez for approving this unique and creative plan to bring Super Bowls and other marquee events to Miami-Dade County," said Ross in a statement Tuesday. "We have one of the world's most aspirational cities and, as such, deserve a stadium that will provide significant economic impact to Miami-Dade County.

"This will not only secure the future of the Dolphins, but will ensure that Miami has one of the world's best venues to host events of this magnitude going forward."

A Super Bowl at Sun Life Stadium will pay the team $4 million, while the college football national championship game will rake in $3 million.

The $350 million modernization plan will transform the stadium that was built before the 1987 season into a state-of-the-art facility. The Dolphins will likely also be able use NFL funds to help the costs of the upgrades.

Construction is expected to begin in a few weeks and will take place in stages, with a goal to have the renovations completed before the start of the 2016 NFL season.

The Dolphins lost bids to host the Super Bowl in February 2016 and 2017, mainly because of the state of the stadium.

Miami has hosted the Super Bowl 10 times, the last coming after the 2009 season when New Orleans beat Indianapolis.