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Stadium Ground Breaking is Being Delayed


PBMarlin
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From the Palm Beach Post this morning:

 

You can keep your hat on, though, for the latest news about the new ballpark that is supposed to ensure the team's future in South Florida.

 

The Marlins are backing off plans to break ground for a new stadium before state legislators meet again next March.

 

"For the timeline to open in 2007, I think you need to start breaking ground sometime in March, sometime late spring," team President David Samson said Saturday. "I think we need to get a whole deal together and show the state we're ready to go."

 

Gone is the rosy outlook of May, when Samson said, "I expect to break ground and I think you'll see cranes moving dirt in December or January."

 

This means everything is on the table again for a political fight. It means the club is in play again in a game of chicken for the last $30 million of a $367 million stadium and parking garage beside the Orange Bowl.

 

It means more threats, subtle or otherwise, for the franchise to go away.

 

Samson's remarks came after city and county officials in Miami drafted a document that sent this message: The Marlins are responsible for the final $30 million if state legislators balk for the second year in a row. Miami-Dade County has pledged $120 million and the city of Miami $28 million, primarily from hotel taxes. Another $32 million would come from parking fees. City and county leaders say they aren't planning to spend more. That should not be a surprise. It's what they said in May.

 

The Marlins say they're willing to pay $157 million, mostly from future stadium revenues, plus any cost overruns on the $325 million stadium portion of the plan. At one point, Samson said "maybe it's just the Marlins" who would cover the $30 million difference while hoping to get it back from state legislators.

 

That's apparently not the team's position now. The Marlins want to see the green before they start the shovels.

 

"We've been negotiating back and forth, and this was the first draft of a written agreement," Samson said. "We'll go back and forth and negotiate and go to a final document. That's a process that takes time."

 

Samson insists the goal still is opening a new stadium in April 2007, though the delayed groundbreaking makes 2008 or later a greater possibility.

 

"We've been working with architects and we're in the process of finding a general contractor," Samson said. "We're in the middle of schematic design. May 1 was the deadline to start all of those things and we started it on May 1. That was a real deadline. We've been working nonstop since May 1 to keep '07, since that's the key component of the deal."

 

Gov. Jeb Bush supported the Marlins' plan last spring, and the Marlins hope with more time to lobby a new set of leaders in the legislature, they can close the deal. They want the state to agree to pay $60 million over 30 years, which would pay off $30 million in construction bonds.

 

"All parties still expect that we would get the state to step up," Samson said. "We need to prepare a plan as to what to do until the state money comes in, but again we're very confident the state money will come in because it's a very reasonable request from the state. We have great support from the leadership. We've been working on it since the gavel went down last session."

 

The Marlins are making the right gambles on the field. Losing pitcher Brad Penny hurts, but they probably would have had to give up Penny or Carl Pavano next year anyway. They needed catching and set-up relief, and they got them.

 

Off the field, the Marlins are moving deadlines again instead of moving ahead with a steam shovel.

 

 

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Guest Moneyball

we can play somewhere else. lets say if the stadium won't be finished until june 2007 and huzienga won't let them have a 20-30 game lease the fish can play at a modified ft. lauderdale stadium or another venue in so flo. that's what i think should happen in that case.

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we can play somewhere else. lets say if the stadium won't be finished until june 2007 and huzienga won't let them have a 20-30 game lease the fish can play at a modified ft. lauderdale stadium or another venue in so flo. that's what i think should happen in that case.

489420[/snapback]

I would guess MLB may let them play games at the visiting ballparks. Seattle and Montreal did that when their domes were shut down due to falling pieces.

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Guest Moneyball

we can play somewhere else. lets say if the stadium won't be finished until june 2007 and huzienga won't let them have a 20-30 game lease the fish can play at a modified ft. lauderdale stadium or another venue in so flo. that's what i think should happen in that case.

489420[/snapback]

I would guess MLB may let them play games at the visiting ballparks. Seattle and Montreal did that when their domes where shut down due to falling pieces.

489426[/snapback]

 

 

 

but that was just a few games. if the stadium will not be ready and you play 20-30 "home" games lets say in philly or atlanta the phillies and braves would have homefield. you would have a "montreal expos effect" adding a couple thousand bleacher seats to ft. lauderdale stadium shouldn't be THAT expensive. Any other venues in which the fish would be able to play a for example 20-30 home games except for ft. stadium?

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we can play somewhere else. lets say if the stadium won't be finished until june 2007 and huzienga won't let them have a 20-30 game lease the fish can play at a modified ft. lauderdale stadium or another venue in so flo. that's what i think should happen in that case.

489420[/snapback]

I would guess MLB may let them play games at the visiting ballparks. Seattle and Montreal did that when their domes where shut down due to falling pieces.

489426[/snapback]

 

 

 

but that was just a few games. if the stadium will not be ready and you play 20-30 "home" games lets say in philly or atlanta the phillies and braves would have homefield. you would have a "montreal expos effect" adding a couple thousand bleacher seats to ft. lauderdale stadium shouldn't be THAT expensive. Any other venues in which the fish would be able to play a for example 20-30 home games except for ft. stadium?

489440[/snapback]

Our best hope is being able to use PPS or hoping the ballpark opens in time.

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No surprise there. I told you guys this over a month ago.

 

The Marlins have just finalized hiring counsel to serve as their land use/governmental/administrative attorneys and they must proceed with the zoning approvals and state approval from the Department of Community Affairs in Tallahassee before any "dirt" can be moved.

 

Plus, the eminent domain proceedings haven't even been started by the City.

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