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AP: Source: Huizenga's offer to help build ballpark in jeopardy


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Updated: Dec. 5, 2005, 8:56 PM ET

Source: Huizenga's offer to help build ballpark in jeopardy

Associated Press

Major League Baseball News Wire

 

MIAMI -- Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga has offered land and money to help the Florida Marlins build a ballpark next to Dolphins Stadium, but an agreement appears unlikely, a person close to Huizenga said Monday.

 

The Marlins last month abandoned their bid for a ballpark near downtown Miami and said they would begin looking at other cities as possible sites to relocate the franchise, with the blessing of Major League Baseball.

 

Huizenga made the Marlins a substantial offer a month ago but may soon rescind the proposal, said a person familiar with the discussions and close to the Dolphins owner. The source declined to be identified because negotiations have been private.

 

"Wayne is very close to pulling the plug on the offer," the source said. "At some point you say, `I've had enough,' and that's about where we are. ...

 

"Unless the Marlins or Major League Baseball put something meaningful on the table, I'm leery a deal can be done. Up to now, all the movement has been by everybody but the Marlins."

 

Phone messages left with a Marlins spokesman and with a spokesman for Huizenga weren't returned.

 

Since their inception in 1993, the Marlins have shared the Dolphins' home, owned by Huizenga. The Marlins' lease with the stadium is in effect until 2007, and the team could move after that.

 

Marlins officials have said that for the franchise to survive financially, they need a baseball-only stadium with a retractable roof. Major League Baseball has also said the team must have a new ballpark to continue in South Florida.

 

Las Vegas and Portland, Ore., are considered front-runners for possible relocation.

 

Blaming their inability to swing a stadium deal, the Marlins embarked last month on a payroll purge. In the past two weeks they have reduced their 2006 payroll by about $38 million by trading Josh Beckett, Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo, Paul Lo Duca and Guillermo Mota for prospects.

 

Building a ballpark next to Dolphins Stadium would have several factors in its favor. There's considerable undeveloped land -- owned by Huizenga -- and the area between Miami and Fort Lauderdale is close to three expressways and near the center of the sprawling South Florida megalopolis.

 

Huizenga was the Marlins' founding owner but sold them after they won the 1997 World Series, frustrated by poor attendance and his own unsuccessful bid for a new ballpark. John Henry, who bought the franchise from Huizenga, and current owner Jeffrey Loria have also failed to reach a stadium deal.

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Guest Moneyball

The Marlins don't care. They want a shiny new ballpark downtown some place else. This is what f***ing pisses me off about this organization. They have a bunch of ignorant sluts who get off at killing franchises.

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Since nothing's been divulged, I'm going to refrain from taking a stance, but you have to believe the Marlins asked for Wayne to pay for everything, he in turned wanted a sizeable portion of stadium revenues, and the Marlins said no. This is likely a case of the Marlins wanting their cake, and getting to eat it too...

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I don't trust Huizenga at all but it seems he certainly has something to gain by working something out as it would be in the best interests of his Wayne's World dream so I'd really like to know details of why this is fizzling.

 

I just get the sense that the Marlins aren't going to be able to negotiate with anyone and their minds are already made up. Joe Rose was going on this morning about how he detests David Samson and said everyone feels the same way even if they don't say it publicly. He said he hears it everywhere he goes. What part of that does Loria not get? Or does he just not have a choice in the matter.

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I don't trust Huizenga at all but it seems he certainly has something to gain by working something out as it would be in the best interests of his Wayne's World dream so I'd really like to know details of why this is fizzling.

 

I just get the sense that the Marlins aren't going to be able to negotiate with anyone and their minds are already made up. Joe Rose was going on this morning about how he detests David Samson and said everyone feels the same way even if they don't say it publicly. He said he hears it everywhere he goes. What part of that does Loria not get? Or does he just not have a choice in the matter.

 

 

Well, Huizenga certainly has a lot to lose from the Marlins leaving, but you have to believe the man knows his limits. Given what's on the line for Huizenga's dream, you have to believe that the Marlins asked for everything for free (no up front costs) and Huizenga wanted tangiable profits from the stadium to offset what he'd have to front in start-up costs.

 

Really, I just hope that the two sides realize how this is likely the best (and really only) option that will come along in the forseeable future...

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I don't trust Huizenga at all but it seems he certainly has something to gain by working something out as it would be in the best interests of his Wayne's World dream so I'd really like to know details of why this is fizzling.

 

I just get the sense that the Marlins aren't going to be able to negotiate with anyone and their minds are already made up. Joe Rose was going on this morning about how he detests David Samson and said everyone feels the same way even if they don't say it publicly. He said he hears it everywhere he goes. What part of that does Loria not get? Or does he just not have a choice in the matter.

 

 

Well, Huizenga certainly has a lot to lose from the Marlins leaving, but you have to believe the man knows his limits. Given what's on the line for Huizenga's dream, you have to believe that the Marlins asked for everything for free (no up front costs) and Huizenga wanted tangiable profits from the stadium to offset what he'd have to front in start-up costs.

 

Really, I just hope that the two sides realize how this is likely the best (and really only) option that will come along in the forseeable future...

Yes, I'm inclined to agree.

 

This seems to be a recurring theme:

"Unless the Marlins or Major League Baseball put something meaningful on the table, I'm leery a deal can be done. Up to now, all the movement has been by everybody but the Marlins."

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

It's beginning to become apparent to me that Loria and Co. don't care one iota whether this team stays in South Florida or not. As they say, "where there's a will, there's a way" and as more information comes to light, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is indeed no "will" whatsoever. This group wants everything handed to them, without having to give up anything. If the gap for the original stadium plan was only $30 million as reports suggest, and had this ownership group really wanted to keep this team here, something would have been worked out.

 

Furthermore, accounts (from Miami Dade officials, Huizenga insiders, and elsewhere) of how this F.O. operates indicate one of two things: 1) the people in charge are all thumbs and have no inkling of how to do business or 2) they're intentionally standoffish and really don't care whether this team stays or goes. I'm leaning towards scenario 2.

 

I was faithful that Loria and Co. were genuine in their protestations that they wanted to keep the Marlins in South Florida, but I just don't see anything to validate my continual trust of them.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

So, to recap, we've been able to apply

 

"Where there's a will, there's a way"

 

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"

 

and

 

"You shouldn't cut off your nose to spite your face"

 

To this offseason. Kinda fun.

 

Mmm. Mmm. I love me some cliches. At least Marlins2003 will be happy to sit down with me and feast on a meal of over-used aphorisms.

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So, to recap, we've been able to apply

 

"Where there's a will, there's a way"

 

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"

 

and

 

"You shouldn't cut off your nose to spite your face"

 

To this offseason. Kinda fun.

 

Mmm. Mmm. I love me some cliches. At least Marlins2003 will be happy to sit down with me and feast on a meal of over-used aphorisms.

 

:D

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Since nothing's been divulged, I'm going to refrain from taking a stance, but you have to believe the Marlins asked for Wayne to pay for everything, he in turned wanted a sizeable portion of stadium revenues, and the Marlins said no. This is likely a case of the Marlins wanting their cake, and getting to eat it too...

 

I believe the man who has been so unwilling to renegotiate the lease has not budged from his demands of huge shares of gameday revenue.

 

It's been very telling that the only people we've been hearing about this prospective stadium are those connected to Huizenga.

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The least they could do is communicate with Huizenga's people on this offer.

 

I know Wayne's the devil, but by not responding at all they're ruining any chance, however remote, of working something out there.

 

Give him a counter-offer.

 

Go with Wayne jointly & bring up some more ideas with the local and state governments, I'm sure Wayne has all kinds of palms greased in Tallahassee. Something this group doesn't have.

 

Anything.

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