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http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/sou...-home-headlines

 

 

Ballpark cost plan pitched to Marlins

 

By Sarah Talalay

Staff Writer

Posted July 31 2004

 

Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami presented the Marlins on Friday with a ballpark financing proposal that holds the team responsible for an extra $30 million if it cannot secure state funding next spring.

 

The Marlins would also be responsible for construction cost overruns on the $367 million retractable roof stadium and parking garage.

 

The draft document, which county and city officials say they hope can be finalized by the end of August, spells out a series of guarantees the team must make, including a performance bond, letters of credit and a lien against the franchise. The team must also pledge revenue from television, broadcast and naming rights, advertising and club seats to guarantee its annual rent payments for the first 30 years of a 40-year lease.

 

In May, the county, city and team agreed in principle to finance a 38,000-seat ballpark and parking garage adjacent to the Orange Bowl and officials promised a full ballpark construction budget by fall.

 

Marlins President David Samson said he had not had time to fully review the proposal, but expects further negotiation.

 

"In order for a deal like this to happen, it will require much work on the part of the team, the city and the county," Samson said. "It's not signed, and before it's signed there will have to be changes. It's a first draft and I would assume all the parties understand that."

 

Miami-Dade County Tax Collector Ian Yorty said the draft proposal merely formalizes what the three parties agreed to in principle.

 

"What the city and the county tried to do is try to harness some of the real business issues that have to be addressed, understanding the team is going to have their input into it," said Yorty, who is helping County Manager George Burgess negotiate the ballpark plan.

 

The latest push for a stadium became public shortly after the Marlins won the 2003 World Series. The team says it cannot continue to operate in Pro Player Stadium, a football venue, where it pays rent but keeps only percentages of parking, concession and signage revenue, but nothing from suites. While many of its fans hail from Broward and Palm Beach counties, the team found Miami and Miami-Dade officials willing to negotiate a ballpark deal.

 

The city and county approved the plan with the understanding they would get to consider a detailed construction budget and plan this fall. The team hopes to break ground by year's end and open in April 2007. If the team moves into the stadium, it will be renamed the Miami Marlins.

 

The financial commitments from the three parties have not changed: the team will pay $20 million up front; $127 million in rent payments and $10 million from a ticket surcharge. The county contributes $120 million in hotel bed and sports facilities taxes, including a portion from the sale of Miami Arena, which is to be auctioned Aug. 10. The city contributes $28 million in tourist taxes, along with land next to the Orange Bowl, and helps finance a $32 million, 2,500-space parking garage expected to pay for itself through parking fees.

 

The team said it is hoping the state will approve a $60 million state sales tax rebate to generate the additional $30 million in present-day value for the construction, and has already begun meeting with state legislators seeking their support.

 

The document says the Marlins must cover the $30 million if the rebate isn't approved; and that the city will cap at $8 million its contribution to purchasing any property needed for a stadium, with the team needing to cover any additional.

 

The plan had called for placing the stadium southwest of the Orange Bowl, but the team is also looking at a location on the football stadium's east side. Officials said the location is still to be negotiated. Both locations require some property be purchased.

 

The team has hired HOK Sport, a Kansas City architecture firm that has designed many ballparks, including Camden Yards in Baltimore and Jacobs Field in Cleveland.

 

The county will own the stadium; the Marlins will operate it and keep revenue it earns after making debt payments. The team and the city will split parking revenue from nongame events. The team also will cover all maintenance and operation costs, the proposal states.

 

Miami City Manager Joe Arriola said as far as he's concerned the guarantees are not negotiable.

 

"Not from my side," he said.

 

County officials said they are prepared to negotiate, but cannot contribute more.

 

"The county was one of the first to put forth a pledge to make this happen. We then came back to the table and put a larger pledge down," Yorty said. "The county has shown its commitment to try to make this project happen. At the same time we certainly have limits. As far as financially, we have hit that point of our limit."

 

Yorty said given the state of other publicly financed buildings in Miami, the county is firming up its position on cost overruns. The county commission granted $67 million in additional funding this week to the under construction Performing Arts Center of Greater Miami, which is 200 days behind schedule and $89 million over budget.

 

The $325 million price tag for the stadium appears optimistic given that other recent stadiums have cost millions more, but team officials have promised to and the document requires they cover overruns. If the ballpark costs less than $325 million, the first $5 million would be put toward maintenance costs.

 

The proposal also implores the team to oppose any plans Major League Baseball might have to disband the franchise, to sign a nonrelocation commitment, and to be barred from devaluing the franchise. It also says if the team is sold the city and county would be entitled to a percentage of the increased value of the team.

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Do you think the city will get more than 25 million for the Miami Arena? If they do, will the additional $$$ be contributed to the stadium plan?

 

:mischief2

487110[/snapback]

That still needs to be negotiated. That is what this offer sheet is starting to do.

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and to be barred from devaluing the franchise.

 

 

So does that mean that there won't be any Huizenga sized fire sales if this stadium gets done?? :mischief2

487962[/snapback]

Yes, the public is investing in this team basically. The Marlins will see a Green Bay Packers style stadium deal.

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The plan had called for placing the stadium southwest of the Orange Bowl, but the team is also looking at a location on the football stadium's east side. Officials said the location is still to be negotiated. Both locations require some property be purchased.

 

This is very interesting as I haven't seen any discussion of the stadum being anywhere but on the SW corner of the OB property. There is no vacant land on the east side of the stadium, so what would be the advantage of putting it there as more land purchase would be required.

 

One would have to go all the way to the east side of I-95, just west of the Miami arena to find vacant land east of the stadium.

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Guest Moneyball

The plan had called for placing the stadium southwest of the Orange Bowl, but the team is also looking at a location on the football stadium's east side. Officials said the location is still to be negotiated. Both locations require some property be purchased.

 

This is very interesting as I haven't seen any discussion of the stadum being anywhere but on the SW corner of the OB property. There is no vacant land on the east side of the stadium, so what would be the advantage of putting it there as more land purchase would be required.

 

One would have to go all the way to the east side of I-95, just west of the Miami arena to find vacant land east of the stadium.

502820[/snapback]

 

where's cape when you need him? it could be because of a better view of downtown.

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The plan had called for placing the stadium southwest of the Orange Bowl, but the team is also looking at a location on the football stadium's east side. Officials said the location is still to be negotiated. Both locations require some property be purchased.

 

This is very interesting as I haven't seen any discussion of the stadum being anywhere but on the SW corner of the OB property. There is no vacant land on the east side of the stadium, so what would be the advantage of putting it there as more land purchase would be required.

 

One would have to go all the way to the east side of I-95, just west of the Miami arena to find vacant land east of the stadium.

502820[/snapback]

 

where's cape when you need him? it could be because of a better view of downtown.

502823[/snapback]

getting an edumacation...thats where.

 

The east side seems off limits due to 2 factors.

 

1) It would block the view of downtown from the Orange Bowl.

2) It would be hard to renovate the OB without that open end to allow construction equipment in. How would cranes and bulldozers get in?

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I am glad things are moving along, however, I wish they could've put it somewhere nicer than in that neighborhood where the Orange Bowl is.

 

:thumbup

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Guest Moneyball

The plan had called for placing the stadium southwest of the Orange Bowl, but the team is also looking at a location on the football stadium's east side. Officials said the location is still to be negotiated. Both locations require some property be purchased.

 

This is very interesting as I haven't seen any discussion of the stadum being anywhere but on the SW corner of the OB property. There is no vacant land on the east side of the stadium, so what would be the advantage of putting it there as more land purchase would be required.

 

One would have to go all the way to the east side of I-95, just west of the Miami arena to find vacant land east of the stadium.

502820[/snapback]

 

where's cape when you need him? it could be because of a better view of downtown.

502823[/snapback]

getting an edumacation...thats where.

 

The east side seems off limits due to 2 factors.

 

1) It would block the view of downtown from the Orange Bowl.

2) It would be hard to renovate the OB without that open end to allow construction equipment in. How would cranes and bulldozers get in?

503419[/snapback]

 

Where would the Canes play while the renovations are done? or will it be done in time?

 

I'm just glad they decided not to abandon such a historic park, like they did to Miami Stadium.

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This comment about getting some of the profit if the team is sold is the most fascinating comment. I do not think the team would ever agree to that. Having said that, this issue is the biggest problem with public financing of stadiums. The public pays a big portion of the bill and the owner sells the team on the additional cash flow. Then the new owner comes in and can't afford a high payroll. The indians are a perfect example of this with Jacobs field. It is a great idea, i hope they can pull it off.

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