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Wolff to throw wrench in Marlins plans?


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Baseball: Wolff ponders setting deadline for Marlins

 

Web Posted: 04/05/2006 12:00 AM CDT

 

Tom Orsborn

Express-News Staff Writer

 

County Judge Nelson Wolff said Tuesday he is considering giving Major League Baseball a deadline for announcing whether it plans to allow the Florida Marlins to enter into serious relocation negotiations with Bexar County.

 

The county wants to accelerate talks because it faces an Aug.15 deadline to put an item on the Nov. 7 ballot asking voters to extend the tourism taxes paying for the AT&T Center.

 

"If the objective is to go with a November vote, you have to get some decisions made," Wolff said. "We don't need to drag this on forever. I might tell (the Marlins), 'You just need to punt if we don't get it done by so and so a date.' I have to think of timing and things like that."

 

The Marlins are waiting for MLB to say whether San Antonio, which already has one major-league franchise in the NBA's Spurs, is a viable baseball market.

 

One question that must be answered, the Marlins say, is whether the team could gain a lucrative local television deal in San Antonio, the nation's No. 37 media market.

 

Wolff said the Marlins are exploring ways to increase the revenue they would receive through broadcasting rights.

 

"They are stretching every way to make this work," Wolff said. "We just don't know yet if they can make it work."

 

Wolff said the Marlins are even studying the prospects of gaining television revenue from northern Mexico.

 

Former mayor Henry Cisneros is prepared to assist Marlins president David Samson in that effort, Wolff said.

 

"He and David were going to talk about the Mexico market," Wolff said. "Henry's got a pretty good grasp of that with his connections with (Univision)."

 

Cisneros stepped down in 2000 as president and chief operating officer of Los Angeles-based Univision Communications Inc., ending a 31/2-year stint with the nation's largest Spanish-language television network.

 

Wolff, who heads San Antonio's recruitment of the Marlins, spent the past two days in Houston meeting with Samson and Marlins president Jeffrey Loria. On Monday, Loria and Samson entertained Wolff, Mayor Phil Hardberger and District Attorney Susan Reed at the team's season opener in Houston.

 

Lyle Larson, County Commissioner Precinct 3, also attended the game as Loria's guest. Larson said he thinks there is a 30percent chance San Antonio will land the Marlins.

 

"Major League Baseball and the TV situation represent significant hurdles for the Marlins," Larson said.

 

Larson also speculated that Astros owner Drayton McLane would oppose the Marlins moving to San Antonio, which has long supported the Astros.

 

"I think Nelson needs to meet with McLane to discuss this with him," Larson said.

 

The Astros have declined to comment about the Marlins' flirtations with San Antonio. Tom Hicks, the owner of the state's other baseball team, the Texas Rangers, told the Dallas Morning News on Monday he would welcome the addition of a third team.

 

"It's pretty unbelievable that Texas is the second-largest state in terms of population and that we have only two baseball teams," Hicks said. "California has five. I think eventually we will have another team. Whether this is the time or not, I'm not sure. If the voters in San Antonio support it, we certainly would, too."

 

The Marlins also have talked to officials from Portland, Ore., and Norfolk, Va., about relocation. Charlotte is also on the Marlins' list, but that city's mayor told The Charlotte Observer he doesn't believe it could support a third major-league team.

 

"We're not ready," McCrory said. "If (the Marlins) see the same numbers we have, you question why they're interested. I want to make sure we're not being played."

 

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/stories...te.4266898.html

 

So if Loria and Samson are really using SA for leverage, and Wolff sets this deadline, it really puts pressure on the Marlins to compromise with S. FL and undermines the Marlins leverage... Interesting...

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It can also go on the May 2007 ballot.

 

 

Or nov 2007, or may 2008, though that might be pushing the timing a bit.

 

Personally, I think it's a little overzealous of Wolff to be so insistant on getting the issue on this nov ballot. Especially since part of the funding that would be on the ballot would be for repairs/upgrades to the AT&T center and surrounding area which would really be useable until after the Spurs season ended the following June. The May 2007 ballot seems the better choice to me, but there's far less turnout in May than there is in Nov, and given the level of support, low turnout could only hurt the issue.

 

Then again, in Nov turnout is only like 12% anyway. In May its usually 3% or so...

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I don't think it's the right move. Personally I think the longer it drags out the better. A slow resolution would give the appearance of it being a tougher choice and leave a good impression of the city on other teams.

 

Of course, I don't think there's any chance of the Marlins leaving S. FL, so it's all about the impression we make on other teams :)

 

Besides, we as a city no how to be leverage better than that! We've been the leverage in something like 4 or 5 NFL stadium deals! :p

 

Then again, it's probably a good idea to try and shed our "Leverage City" title...

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it might be a bit overzelous, but i think it's the right move to determine whether the marlins "are serious." i know if i were in his shoes i wouldn't want to be taken for a ride. no matter what rferry says.

 

Neither do I, but I don't see Wolff sticking with this deadline.

Though it does suggest that he wasn't entirely happy with the Marlins' enthusiasm for his plans.

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it might be a bit overzelous, but i think it's the right move to determine whether the marlins "are serious." i know if i were in his shoes i wouldn't want to be taken for a ride. no matter what rferry says.

 

Neither do I, but I don't see Wolff sticking with this deadline.

Though it does suggest that he wasn't entirely happy with the Marlins' enthusiasm for his plans.

 

totally agree

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it might be a bit overzelous, but i think it's the right move to determine whether the marlins "are serious." i know if i were in his shoes i wouldn't want to be taken for a ride. no matter what rferry says.

 

Neither do I, but I don't see Wolff sticking with this deadline.

Though it does suggest that he wasn't entirely happy with the Marlins' enthusiasm for his plans.

 

That was my first impression when I read the piece...that Wolff was concerned by the comments Samson/Loria made during their discussions.

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It can also go on the May 2007 ballot.

 

 

Or nov 2007, or may 2008, though that might be pushing the timing a bit.

 

Personally, I think it's a little overzealous of Wolff to be so insistant on getting the issue on this nov ballot. Especially since part of the funding that would be on the ballot would be for repairs/upgrades to the AT&T center and surrounding area which would really be useable until after the Spurs season ended the following June. The May 2007 ballot seems the better choice to me, but there's far less turnout in May than there is in Nov, and given the level of support, low turnout could only hurt the issue.

 

Then again, in Nov turnout is only like 12% anyway. In May its usually 3% or so...

 

Turnout this Novemeber should be a lot higher, given the four headed governor's race.

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