One of the advantages of writing about sports is that I rarely have to write about the state of national or local politics. It's an area that is largely out of the way, but occasionally, the topic rears its head, most commonly in stadium situations.
When the Florida legislature failed to give citizens of the Miami area the opportunity to vote on a hotel tax to fund improvements to Sun Life Stadium, we could practically hear Miami's chances of hosting a Super Bowl in the near future swirling around the bowl. Without improvements to Sun Life Stadium, the Dolphins won't be playing host to a Super Bowl.
Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins isn't pulling any punches voicing his displeasure about the legislature's failure to act.
"Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy," Ross said in a statement. "The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida. He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade, and that is just wrong."
"He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate," Ross said. "It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come."
Whether or not this will come back to haunt Speaker Weatherford is yet to be seen, but we do know this. There are a lot of people that aren't happy with Florida's legislature, and Stephen Ross is leading that group.