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Stadium deal and Lowell in limbo


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http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sport...ts/10001653.htm

 

 

Stadium deal and Lowell in limbo

 

BARRY JACKSON

bjackson@herald.com

 

 

The Marlins continue to have trouble completing their stadium deal, leaving Mike Lowell on the cusp of free agency and creating uncertainty about the franchise's long-term future.

 

Unless Lowell is traded in the next week, he will very likely be in position to declare for free agency in the first week of November. With a stadium deal unlikely to be completed by Nov. 1, the 2006 and 2007 seasons of Lowell's contract (worth $18 million combined) would be voided.

 

If he chooses, Lowell could stay with the Marlins next season for $7.5 million. But he's better off opting for free agency, having said he prefers to decide where he will play instead of putting himself in position to be traded.

 

The Marlins could try to persuade Lowell to stay by guaranteeing they won't trade him, but there's no indication the team will do that. The Marlins are opposed to no-trade clauses and appear inclined to shed Lowell's salary.

 

Completing a trade this week to a potential Lowell suitor like the Tigers, Mets or Mariners would at least net the Marlins something in return for Lowell, perhaps a prospect or two.

 

Does Lowell's situation create urgency to complete a stadium deal?

 

''The future of the franchise depends on a stadium,'' Marlins president David Samson said, ``and that is far greater than how it impacts one player.''

 

The Marlins and local government officials are no longer even discussing how to bridge the $30 million funding gap. With the Marlins, city and county not willing to put in the missing piece, the parties will try to get the money from the state legislature in March and deal with it later if the state doesn't deliver.

 

The biggest remaining issue, the county says, is that the Marlins have not provided a $100 million letter of credit from a bank, or other firm revenue sources, to guarantee they would pay for cost overruns beyond the $367 million price tag for the project.

 

The Marlins have told the county that providing a $100 million letter of credit is ''onerous'' and would be tough to achieve, said Miami-Dade tax collector Ian Yorty, who is helping negotiate the deal.

 

The Marlins say they will cover cost overruns, but the county wants written proof they're capable of delivering on that promise. If the Marlins can't provide a letter of credit, the county likely will ask for a lien on the franchise, giving the county the right to sell the Marlins to cover unpaid costs (as a last resort, obviously).

 

Also unresolved, according to the county, is who will pay for additional land acquisition on the east side of the Orange Bowl (valued between $18 million and $20 million).

 

The Marlins earlier had been concerned about the Nov. 2 Miami-Dade County mayoral election, because Jimmy Morales -- unlike opponent Carlos Alvarez -- opposes public financing of stadiums. But Morales said he will not veto the stadium deal if elected as long as the Marlins guarantee overruns and don't ``come back for more money.''

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This article paints a very bright future for the stadium deal.

 

1) The big issue remaining is the guarantee of overruns which can easily be solved by giving the county a letter of credit or a lien on the franchise.

 

2) The land acquisition payments still have to be worked out, but that is not a major issue compared to the credit of overruns.

 

3) Morales has backed off his strong veto saying it will happen as long as the county gets a guarantee and the Marlins don't return to the county for more money.

 

4) They all have agreed to get started and campaign the state for the remaining $30 million.

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This article paints a very bright future for the stadium deal.

 

1) The big issue remaining is the guarantee of overruns which can easily be solved by giving the county a letter of credit or a lien on the franchise.

 

2) The land acquisition payments still have to be worked out, but that is not a major issue compared to the credit of overruns.

 

3) Morales has backed off his strong veto saying it will happen as long as the county gets a guarantee and the Marlins don't return to the county for more money.

 

4) They all have agreed to get started and campaign the state for the remaining $30 million.

600009[/snapback]

 

I was going to write the same thing. Despite the gloomy looking headline, the article is actually pretty positive. The fact that Morales is backing off gives the impression that he knows that there isn't much he'd be able to do to stop the deal even if he is elected. Also, it is encouraging that none of the issues seem to be looked at as deal breakers. I just wish they would hurry up and finish this thing already.

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Frankly, I dont trust Morales as far as I can throw him. He has been saying all along he is totally against the deal, and now that the election is very close and only two weeks away, hes not? He has done things like this before, and I would never trust him.

600020[/snapback]

I don't trust him, but if he wins...what other hope do we have? What are the polls and trends right now anyways?

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Boy, I didnt need to look far. Hers part of an article from two days ago on how Morales cant be trusted:

 

Penelas criticizes Morales for vote

 

BY TERE FIGUERAS, tfigueras@herald.com

 

Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas blasted his would-be successor Jimmy Morales for voting with fellow commissioners to override a veto -- saying Morales had backed out of a promise to support the veto and prevent a shift in power that strips the mayor's office of authority over a key function.

 

"He gave me his word," said Penelas, who had vetoed a plan to move the office of intergovernmental affairs, responsible for conveying the county's policies to Tallahassee and Washington, saying it would undermine the mayor's role and "cripple" the county's response time on legislative issues. "This really puts in question his leadership ability. He aspires to be the mayor and he flips on an issue like this."

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What was left unsaid is Jackson's opinion piece today was that Marlins overriding motivation - the minority owner's lawsuit - which is in arbitration and ruling not expected until November 15.

 

Until it is resolved, and subsequent lawsuit which may follow if the arbitrator rules against Loria, etc. is decided, the orgamiztion will find it impossible to source any third party financing.

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