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Marlins Make Fresh Bid For (Less) State Money

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Marlins Make Fresh Bid For (Less) State Money

Team Says Deal Reached With City, County

NBC 6 News Team


POSTED: 7:45 pm EDT April 28, 2004

UPDATED: 7:55 pm EDT April 28, 2004


MIAMI -- The owner of the Florida Marlins will go back to Tallahassee to again ask state legislators for money to help build a new stadium for the team.


But this time, the request will be cut in half, from the $60 million lawmakers rejected last week, to $30 million.


The change comes after Miami officials said they hope to have the rest of the funding ready to go.


The World Series titleholders' latest funding request comes at an awkward time, the legislature this week agreed to a compromise budget slashing funds for 13 districts, including Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The budget cuts are expected to impact schools and other services.


The legislature rejected the idea of plugging the funding gap for the Marlins' proposed $325 million retractable-roof stadium, which the team wants to build in Miami, but now Marlins officials say they are cautiously optimistic that the state will step in to help pay for a new home for the team.


NBC 6 learned on Wednesday that a major part of the funding plan has been worked out between the team, the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.


In a late-night meeting on Monday, Marlins owner Jeffery Luria, team president David Samson, County Manager George Burgess and Miami City Manager Joe Arriola reportedly agreed that each would kick in more money to cover a $100 million-plus shortfall in the proposed funding for the stadium.


The county has already pledged more than $73 million in hotel tax money, while the team initially promised to contribute $137 million.


The deal will reportedly be announced as soon as city and county commissioners are notified. But there are still some very big questions, including whether the Miami Arena will be sold to help foot the bill.


All of the parties involved in the negotiations claim enough money will be available for a new Marlins stadium.


"I'm not ready to divulge all the funding, but the funding is in place," Arriola told NBC 6's Ike Seamans.


Arriola said the Marlins will pay more than the original $137 million.


"The Marlins contribution has changed," Arriola said, noting that it has increased, though, "not as much as I'd like it to be."


"The county and the city have come up" too, Arriola said, adding, "this has a lot of 'ifs.' One of the big 'ifs' is we have to sell the arena."


The sale of the Miami Arena is considered essential to completing the deal. The sale would raise at least $25 million while saving the county millions of dollars in interest and other expenses to build a baseball park near the Orange Bowl, the team's preferred location.


However, state funds would still be needed, and so far, the legislature has said "no."


"How short are you on the funding?" Seamans asked Arriola.


"The state piece," Arriola said, saying the team would need $30 million in state funds.


"We need help from the state now," Arriola said.


However, some have speculated that the inexperience and miscues by the Marlins owners might already have made it impossible to get state help this year.


"I have not seen concise plans (regarding) where the stadium is, (or) the ultimate cost," Gov. Jeb Bush said on Wednesday. "I generally support them, but I understand the reluctance (of the state legislature) without having all the specifics in place before one comes up and seeks that kind of money."


"It's the bottom of the ninth. One out, it's tough," Arriola conceded.


Marlins president David Samson was reportedly in Tallahassee Wednesday trying to convince the legislature to give him the $30 million. But with just 48 hours left in the legislative session and the budget closed, the team may have to wait until next year to reach a deal.


Even some of the team's strongest supporters have told Seamans they believe the stadium deal is still a very long shot.


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ha ha...jeffrey luria.....sorry just had to...come on lurry!


I just hope something happens soon for all of our sake... :(





Even some of the team's strongest supporters have told Seamans they believe the stadium deal is still a very long shot.


Seamans? hahaha

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The way the rebate works is that the base state sales tax is rebated (or ignored) on the first $33 million of taxable sales. There's no lump sum, you don't get $30 or 60 million upfront.


In the case of PPS, Huizenga tied the rebate to the stadium and not to the team so even if they leave, the state is legally bound to continue to pay him.


He could renege it but that wouldn't be our beloved WH. The PPS guys are getting exactly what they wanted, the Marlins out and $2 million a year for doing nothing.

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