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http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/conten...adium_0128.html

 

 

Contracts, stadium are separate issues

 

By Charles Elmore

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Friday, January 28, 2005

 

MIAMI GARDENS ? Carlos Delgado is already helping the sale of tickets, the Florida Marlins say. Selling legislators on the idea the team is so strapped for cash it needs a $60 million stadium subsidy from the state is another story.

 

"I certainly think the timing of this announcement is unfortunate from a public relations perspective," Florida Senate President Tom Lee said Thursday.

 

On average, Delgado will receive $13 million annually through four years, the biggest free-agent deal in team history. His signing, announced Thursday, comes as the Marlins are telling state legislators that the team cannot survive economically without $2 million a year in state help for a stadium over 30 years. Without it, the Marlins say they might be forced to move to Las Vegas or another city.

 

"Politically, do I think it is more difficult to face the public and explain why we should provide a $60 million subsidy to a team paying that kind of salary to one player? Yes," Lee said. "In all fairness to the team, they have to make those business decisions. The market is what it is. These players bring fans to the stadium. But there are members who have labeled this corporate welfare. It's a very controversial subject."

 

The signing stirs more political debate about how much taxpayers should subsidize privately-owned sports teams whose players receive multimillion-dollar salaries, particularly when legislators face hard decisions on where to find money for education and other needs. Through the life of his contract, Delgado is entitled to receive an average of $80,000 per game, or twice the typical yearly salary of a school teacher.

 

The Marlins say the signing shows the team's commitment to winning, and executives note that Delgado's salary in his first season is a relatively modest $4 million. The salary expands after the Marlins lose responsibility for paying former players Mike Hampton and Pudge Rodriguez, which next season will account for more than $10 million of the team's estimated $64.7 million payroll, including Delgado.

 

"We have a very responsible payroll," team owner Jeffrey Loria said. "The thing we're trying to do is something people don't recognize hasn't been done here before. There were previous administrations that just didn't care enough about winning on a continuing basis. We're trying to build a winning tradition here, and that's what I'm doing."

 

The contract honors the team's pledge to field the best team possible before asking for stadium help, Marlins President David Samson said.

 

"Let's not confuse the baseball issue with the stadium issue," Samson said. "Three years ago we said we are going to show our commitment on the field before we even talk about the stadium. That is continuing. The team's contribution to this facility is the fourth highest contribution of any team in the country."

 

The Marlins have pledged $192 million from future stadium revenues to pay for a $420 million stadium and parking garage beside the Orange Bowl, with the rest coming from taxpayers.

 

One of the questions raised in stadium talks is whether the Marlins would spend enough money on players, Samson said.

 

"The irony is, there were talks about putting a minimum payroll in the deal," Samson said. "Our payroll is not even the industry average."

 

Season-ticket sales jumped more than five times the daily average after Delgado's signing was announced, Samson said. He declined to provide specific numbers, but said sales are on pace to exceed last year's season ticket total of 10,000.

 

Samson said he is confident the team will reach a deal with county and city leaders in Miami in coming days to pay for all but $30 million of the stadium construction bill. The $60 million from the state would pay off the bonds for that remaining amount, and the Marlins are portraying state help as a critical, make-or-break component of the deal.

 

Delgado's contract is not tied in any way to a stadium, as Mike Lowell's was before he and the team agreed on new terms, Samson said.

 

"We are all aware of the fact that for quite some time the Marlins have been trying to have their own stadium in Miami," Delgado said. "That would make it definitely more attractive, but I always say you deal with what is front of you. We're trying to win games here."

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the marlins one costs more. And after making an arena for the heat, panthers, d-rays, and now the magic and marlins in a 10 year span, makes these guys skeptical

670744[/snapback]

but come on man they deserve it..don't u think???

670746[/snapback]

 

of course they deserve it. Baseball is my fav sport. I would sacrifice the heat panthers and dolphins to keep the marlins here, and I love those 3 teams too so thats saying a lot

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Politically, do I think it is more difficult to face the public and explain why we should provide a $60 million subsidy to a team paying that kind of salary to one player? Yes," Lee said. "In all fairness to the team, they have to make those business decisions. The market is what it is. These players bring fans to the stadium. But there are members who have labeled this corporate welfare. It's a very controversial subject."

 

 

The tax rebate has always been earmarked for sports stadiums. The Marlins arent doing anything wrong by asking for that rebate because thats what the rebate is there for. Money cant be taken away from other things when it isnt in the general fund but in a specific fund. This is no different than a tax rebates to encourage business growth. Its like the state saying "hey, lets create a fund to help build amusement parks, and put tax money in that fund." Then when someone wants to build an amusement park, they get mad at them for taking money meant for amusement parks! I dont understand how these politicians cant grasp this simple concept. The money isnt coming from the people. Its letting the team keep its own money!

 

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people like Lee are. No wonder this state is in bad shape on numerous fronts.

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Politically, do I think it is more difficult to face the public and explain why we should provide a $60 million subsidy to a team paying that kind of salary to one player? Yes," Lee said. "In all fairness to the team, they have to make those business decisions. The market is what it is. These players bring fans to the stadium. But there are members who have labeled this corporate welfare. It's a very controversial subject."

 

 

The tax rebate has always been earmarked for sports stadiums. The Marlins arent doing anything wrong by asking for that rebate because thats what the rebate is there for. Money cant be taken away from other things when it isnt in the general fund but in a specific fund. This is no different than a tax rebates to encourage business growth. Its like the state saying "hey, lets create a fund to help build amusement parks, and put tax money in that fund." Then when someone wants to build an amusement park, they get mad at them for taking money meant for amusement parks! I dont understand how these politicians cant grasp this simple concept. The money isnt coming from the people. Its letting the team keep its own money!

 

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people like Lee are. No wonder this state is in bad shape on numerous fronts.

670765[/snapback]

i agree :notworthy

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Politically, do I think it is more difficult to face the public and explain why we should provide a $60 million subsidy to a team paying that kind of salary to one player? Yes," Lee said. "In all fairness to the team, they have to make those business decisions. The market is what it is. These players bring fans to the stadium. But there are members who have labeled this corporate welfare. It's a very controversial subject."

 

 

The tax rebate has always been earmarked for sports stadiums. The Marlins arent doing anything wrong by asking for that rebate because thats what the rebate is there for. Money cant be taken away from other things when it isnt in the general fund but in a specific fund. This is no different than a tax rebates to encourage business growth. Its like the state saying "hey, lets create a fund to help build amusement parks, and put tax money in that fund." Then when someone wants to build an amusement park, they get mad at them for taking money meant for amusement parks! I dont understand how these politicians cant grasp this simple concept. The money isnt coming from the people. Its letting the team keep its own money!

 

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people like Lee are. No wonder this state is in bad shape on numerous fronts.

670765[/snapback]

 

letting people keep their own money? What a concept ;)

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I dont understand how this is so hard for politicians to understand. Delgado is being paid 4 mil this season, then next year when the pudge and hampton money come off the books his larger salary takes its place, so in reality over the next for years there is only about a 4-5 million increase in the payroll. and thats not even taking into account what the team does between now and the beginning of the season. politicians like to wave the bloody shirt as often as they can, but this time its unfounded and baseless.

 

And they are acting like Loria just found 52 mil lying behind one of his paintings, its a contract WORTH 52 million he isnt handing delgado suitcases filled with cash.

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I dont understand how this is so hard for politicians to understand. Delgado is being paid 4 mil this season, then next year when the pudge and hampton money come off the books his larger salary takes its place, so in reality over the next for years there is only about a 4-5 million increase in the payroll. and thats not even taking into account what the team does between now and the beginning of the season. politicians like to wave the bloody shirt as often as they can, but this time its unfounded and baseless.

 

And they are acting like Loria just found 52 mil lying behind one of his paintings, its a contract WORTH 52 million he isnt handing delgado suitcases filled with cash.

671104[/snapback]

 

Exactly. I am glad someone around here is paying attention! I was just going to post this (again).

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I dont understand how this is so hard for politicians to understand. Delgado is being paid 4 mil this season, then next year when the pudge and hampton money come off the books his larger salary takes its place, so in reality over the next for years there is only about a 4-5 million increase in the payroll. and thats not even taking into account what the team does between now and the beginning of the season. politicians like to wave the bloody shirt as often as they can, but this time its unfounded and baseless.

 

And they are acting like Loria just found 52 mil lying behind one of his paintings, its a contract WORTH 52 million he isnt handing delgado suitcases filled with cash.

671104[/snapback]

For God's sake dude..stop using logic. Youre hurting the lawmaker's head.

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A related story:

 

Marlins' Park Can Wait; Winning Is First

By STEVEN WINE

AP Sports Writer

 

MIAMI ? The Florida Marlins gave new first baseman Carlos Delgado a contract worth $52 million over four years, nearly as much money as they want from the Florida Legislature to close a deal for a new ballpark.

 

So why didn't the Marlins pass on Delgado and put the money toward a stadium?

 

"We separate those two things," team president David Samson said Thursday. "You need a competitive team in a new stadium and building up to a new stadium. That's what fans deserve."

 

The Marlins gave Delgado the most lucrative per-season contract in franchise history, even though the team says it lost more than $20 million in 2004. Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos said the deal reflected the sport's "fiscal insanity."

 

Florida owner Jeffrey Loria viewed Delgado's contract differently.

 

"It shows my desire to win," Loria said. "Everybody knows how I hate to lose."

 

The former owner of the Montreal Expos, Loria had a reputation for frugality when he bought the Marlins in 2002. But they won the World Series in 2003, when the payroll was $56 million, and it's projected to top $60 million for the first time this season.

 

"Everybody is saying, `Where did he get the money?'" said pitcher Al Leiter, who agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract with Florida in December. "He got the money from his bank account. He's taking it from his wallet in the hopes he can maintain a good team, a playoff team, maybe another World Series down here, and have the support grow ... to get a stadium."

 

The Marlins face a tough fight in their pursuit of $60 million from the Legislature, which has rejected the team's past pleas for state money to help build the ballpark. Senate President Tom Lee was angry that the Marlins talked with Las Vegas officials in December about a possible move there, saying last week, "I don't negotiate with terrorists."

 

Delgado's introductory news conference took place at Dolphins Stadium, the Marlins' home since their first game in 1993. Delgado said he's aware the team seeks a new ballpark.

 

"You have to deal with what's in front of you at the moment," he said. "For the time being, we're going to play baseball here and try to win as many games as we can."

 

 

___

 

January 27, 2005 - 7:34 p.m. EST

 

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press

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