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Will Marlins be looking to move?


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http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/11357233.htm

 

FLORIDA SPORTS BUZZ

 

 

Will Marlins be looking to move?

 

BARRY JACKSON

 

[email protected]

 

 

As the bid for state money for a new stadium sits on life support, the once-remote possibility of the Marlins leaving town no longer can be discounted after several setbacks last week.

 

Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess disclosed Friday the county's and city's deal with the Marlins will be nullified if state money isn't awarded by the end of the legislative session May 6. Burgess said there is no Plan B to save the $420 million ballpark deal.

 

''If the state says no, the deal doesn't happen and we move on,'' Burgess said.

 

The Marlins (contributing $192 million) and the city and county have said they won't contribute anything more.

 

Would the Marlins, who have a lease through 2006, really leave town over $30 million? The belief here is that ownership will begin considering other suitors -- such as Las Vegas; Norfolk, Va.; and Portland, Ore. -- in May if the state rejects the Marlins' bid for $60 million (which the team would use to borrow $30 million). There are strong indications MLB won't stand in the Marlins' way.

 

The team isn't commenting on several setbacks last week. Among them: Gov. Jeb Bush failed to give support to the Marlins' efforts; an economist told a Senate subcommittee that financing stadiums with public money produces no economic benefits; and Wayne Huizenga told State Sen. President Tom Lee he won't bounce the Marlins from Dolphins Stadium after 2010 (even though the Marlins have a letter saying he would).

 

Rumors flew in Tallahassee last week that Huizenga might offer the Marlins a more favorable long-term lease, but there's no indication of that, and it's highly doubtful the Marlins would accept it, anyway. A close associate said Huizenga now is more receptive to keeping the Marlins because filling 81 annual dates would generate business for proposed on-site retail shops and restaurants.

 

Although the odds are against the state helping the Marlins, it's not dead yet. ''We have some work before us in the Senate,'' Burgess said. ''It seems like there is solid support in the House.'' A Senate committee might consider it Wednesday. The Marlins' best hope is convincing Lee it's a good idea.

 

? No Marlins player could escape his contract early if the team relocates. Carlos Delgado asked about stadium efforts during negotiations, but the Marlins told him a new ballpark was ''very likely,'' agent David Sloane said

 

 

 

 

I still have a hard time believing that 30 million kills this deal.

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I wouldn't mind that :p Norfolk was a favorable situation because of Virginia's commitment to bringing in a pro franchise and the attraction of the Virginia, DC and North Carolina television markets. With the latter all but gone with the Nationals in DC and the new Mid Atlantic Sports Network, I think it's more likely Raleigh-Durham or Charlotte gets a franchise out of the east coast cities. Although Buffalo/Rochester might be more attractive.

 

Portland, Las Vegas, Nashville/Memphis and San Antonio have more things going for them.

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The state looks all but dead. NASCAR and the other teams screwed the Marlins over. Those people didnt have a shot anyway but they sunk the Marlins. God I hate Tom Lee.

 

 

If this falls through, I dont think the city or county throw anything more in. It would take more voting on that and I dont think that happens. It would have to come from the Marlins.

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