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http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/sou...-home-headlines

Pompano Park pitched as location for new Marlins baseball stadium

 

 

 

 

By Sarah Talalay and Melissa Hoyos

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

 

October 4, 2006

 

 

 

Pompano Beach, Broward County and Florida Marlins officials have been in discussions for several months about possibly financing a baseball stadium at Pompano Park Harness Track, city officials said Tuesday.

 

The talks have not yet yielded a completed deal, but Pompano Beach Mayor John Rayson and Broward County Mayor Ben Graber said they are excited about the possibility of bringing the Marlins to Broward -- a prospect that has seemed unlikely for years as county commissioners have been unenthusiastic about putting tax dollars toward another sports venue. The county commission raised the county hotel bed tax 2 percent in 1996 to help pay for BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, home of the Florida Panthers hockey team.

 

Both mayors called the discussions "complex" and would not disclose any of the financing details.

 

"There are possibilities," said Rayson, who has toured the track with representatives of the Marlins and the track's owner, Isle of Capri. He said one possibility is relocating a set of older stables at the track to make way for a stadium.

 

"I'm hopeful we can make progress," Rayson said. "I'd love to keep the Marlins in South Florida. I think it's fantastic if they are able to get a stadium built."

 

Graber, who would not discuss the location of the stadium, said he hoped to be able to announce a deal before he leaves office Nov. 7.

 

"We are very close to perhaps putting an offer together that may be presented to the county commission. We're still about two weeks away from finalizing it," Graber said. "It's a complex deal that doesn't depend on one entity greatly. It's a fair deal."

 

The Marlins declined to comment Tuesday.

 

The team is in discussions with Miami-Dade County and the city of Hialeah about financing a ballpark in western Hialeah. Major League Baseball has contracts to purchase land south of Miami Arena and has been in discussions with city of Miami and business leaders about locating a stadium in downtown Miami. No deal has been reached in either location.

 

It's not certain a deal can be reached in Broward, either. Pompano Park is financing and building a $140 million, two-story building to house 1,500 slot machines, restaurants and bars and is in the midst of a $10 million grandstand renovation.

 

Steven Wolf, the track's senior director of racing operations, said he was unaware of any talks with the Marlins and was not sure where a stadium might be located on the track's 223 acres.

 

Pompano Beach Vice Mayor George Brummer, whose district includes the track, also isn't sure and doesn't think the public would support the project, which he says would bring more traffic congestion along Atlantic Boulevard and Powerline Road. "I don't think it's practical," Brummer said.

 

Major League Baseball President Bob DuPuy said he has not been presented with any proposals beyond the Hialeah and Miami plans and that any plan near a gambling venue or that might use gambling revenue for financing would need to be "closely reviewed."

 

Grabersaid he called the Marlins a couple of years ago when the team was in talks to build next to the Orange Bowl in Miami and offered to help if that deal fell through. No further discussion took place until Graber said he received a call from Rayson in May indicating the Marlins might have interest in Pompano Beach.

 

Sarah Talalay can be reached at stalalay@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4173. Melissa Hoyos can be reached at mahoyos@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4233.

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Pompano Beach? Tell me they're kidding.....please!

 

 

Leverage. Just like Hialeah, San Antonio, Portland, Charlotte, Norfolk, Las Vegas and Oklahoma (remember that?).

 

If I were to rank the sites right now:

 

1) Downtown Miami

 

2) Hialeah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Pompano Beach

 

 

Hialeah is only close to downtown Miami because of the land issues.

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Much closer to the fan base - and the customers with $$$

 

 

Much closer to approximately HALF the fan base. Don't kid yourself by thinking that most of the "fan base" comes from Broward. All season ticket holders have some $$$ and more than half are from Miami-Dade.

 

It would be much farther from the largest population center.

 

From the South Miami area it would more than double the distance. Dolphin Stadium is far enough. And going north on 95 at rush hour.....probably a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive. I would miss at least the first 2-3 innings of night games. Enough reason not to renew my season tickets.

 

But hey, that would be MY problem, right? Let's just sit tight and see what happens.

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Median Household Income 1999 2003*

Broward County $41,691 $42,659

Miami-Dade County $35,966 $36,089

Palm Beach County $45,062 $46,015

Source: Census 2000; ASC 2003

 

Median Family Income 1999 2005

Broward County $50,531 $58,100

Miami-Dade County $40,260 $46,350

Palm Beach County $53,701 $62,100

Florida $45,625 $52,550

U.S. $50,046 $58,000

Source: Census 2000; HUD 2005 Estimates* Most recent year for published data from source.

 

Lower population up north - but higher income

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Median Household Income 1999 2003*

Broward County $41,691 $42,659

Miami-Dade County $35,966 $36,089

Palm Beach County $45,062 $46,015

Source: Census 2000; ASC 2003

 

Median Family Income 1999 2005

Broward County $50,531 $58,100

Miami-Dade County $40,260 $46,350

Palm Beach County $53,701 $62,100

Florida $45,625 $52,550

U.S. $50,046 $58,000

Source: Census 2000; HUD 2005 Estimates* Most recent year for published data from source.

 

Lower population up north - but higher income

 

 

You're looking at the economic figures in the wrong light! Forget about where the higher median incomes are located. Most of the money generated from a season ticket base is not dependent on individuals, but on corporate money going to buy suites and club seats. That's where the true money is. Putting a stadium in that part of Pompano Beach away from the economic driving forces of South Florida (i.e., Downtown Miami, Blue Lagoon, and Airport West) would be economic suicide. Why would a large South Florida law firm with their main office in Downtown Miami buy a suite at a new stadium located in that part of Broward? Why would a large employer like Ryder or Burger King buy a suite at a stadium in Pompano Beach so far away from their corporate offices in Blue Lagoon or Airport West? That is where the true economic engine of "stadium revenue" comes from, not from working schleps like you and me! That's why MLB is gunning for putting the stadium in Downtown Miami. That's where places like Greenburg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Shutts & Bowen are! That's where the larger investment firms are! They are the ones that are approached to buy a suite or a block of club seats. Other large corporations like Norweigean Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Chase, Citibank, Ryder, and others are out in the Doral/Airport West location, those are the companies that would scoop up suites in a Hialeah Stadium, aside from any other corporations that are in Miramar. Pompano does not have that and I think that is the WORST of all the locations to build a stadium.

 

Most of you are not thinking about the long term impacts of this stadium. The majority of people here and in public opinion are simply looking at the selfish aspects of "where is it in relation to where I live!" I don't think of it that way (maybe it's because I'm a developer's attorney and look at what the location will mean in 20 years and beyond). I live in Western Lake Worth/Boynton Beach. I personally believe the best location is in Downtown Miami! I don't care about the drive times, since if they put the stadium downtown, I'd be driving to my parents house in Doral and taking the Metrorail to the games with my dad and my son! Or I'd just meet up with my other attorney friends who work downtown, work down there at a satellite office, and then just walk over to the games -- just like I used to do in Boston when I'd get out of my office at 6:30, walk a block to the "Downtown Crossing 'T' Station" take the Red Line to "Park Station" transfer on to the Green Line to "Kenmore Square" and make it to Fenway in time for the first pitch, then take the "T" back home after the game! That's how baseball is viewed, not in a "football" manner of driving and tailgating.

 

I've rambled long enough. But that's how you have to look at this and how the team is looking at this. Not in terms of "location" but in terms of "corporate economics." That's how teams make money!

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Median Household Income 1999 2003*

Broward County $41,691 $42,659

Miami-Dade County $35,966 $36,089

Palm Beach County $45,062 $46,015

Source: Census 2000; ASC 2003

 

Median Family Income 1999 2005

Broward County $50,531 $58,100

Miami-Dade County $40,260 $46,350

Palm Beach County $53,701 $62,100

Florida $45,625 $52,550

U.S. $50,046 $58,000

Source: Census 2000; HUD 2005 Estimates* Most recent year for published data from source.

 

Lower population up north - but higher income

 

 

 

The city of Miami is one of the most densely populated cities in the country. In a 55.27 mi?, of which 35.67 sq. miles are land there are 376,815 people. That's 10,160.9 people a square mile! This isn't including all the smaller affluent cities surrounding the area like Miami Beach (pop. 89,312) and Coral Gables (pop. 42,539).

 

The median household income in Miami Beach and Coral Gables are $334,400 and $66,839, respectively.

 

The downtown area is booming with high rises and the density numbers should continue to grow.

 

On top of that, all the other smaller municipalities west.

 

By putting a ballpark in the most densely populated city in the South Fla MSA, you put an enormous amount of [rich] people in a small area just a few minutes from a ballpark. Don't forget the major corporations that make up a big part of the season ticket holder and luxury suite base.

 

The Henry ownership group publically recognized this, and chose Biccentenial Park over Miramar, 3 miles north of the Hialeah site.

 

EDIT: SoFlaFish pretty much summed it up perfectly.

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I think we need to take this one seriously, considering the source, and more importantly the Isle of Capri people involved. They definitely have the money, and they have the land, and from what Graber is saying they are just weeks away from a deal. This Isle of Capri is a big player in gambling/entertainment much like the Indians. These people own and operate 13 other casinos around the country. They bought Pompano Park back in 1994, and have just been sitting on it, losing money, waiting for gambling to be legalized. But while MLB would not allow a stadium on an Indian reservation, they just may allow it next to the new RACINO being built right now at Pompano Park. It's unveiling is coincidently TODAY. An interesting coincidence that it's the same day when this story breaks. At 11:50 they are having a public unveiling of what the nearly completed RACINO will look like. It sounds like a Hard Rock without the hotel. That story is below.

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The proximity to the Central and Northern fan base is excellent. It is 35 minutes up the turnpike from Joe Robbie for the Southern fan base. There is a traffic problem. Access is fine up to the exit off the turnpike or I-95, but beyond that there would be big traffic on Atlantic Blvd. and on Powerline Road.

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It certainly wouldn't be my first choice of locations from amongst Hialeah, Miami, Pompano.......but it fits the bill for what I mainly want. A stadium anywhere in South Florida. And if Loria doesn't have to put in a nickel of his own money, I'm sure it fits his criteria.

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.Pompano Park to unveil plans today for $140 million casino

 

By Jon Burstein

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted October 4 2006

 

 

Enter the front door and take in 1,500 slot machines, 30 poker tables, four restaurants and two bars in a 157,000-square-foot space filled with more than 200 liquid crystal televisions.

 

That vision is what had Pompano Park's general manager smiling Tuesday as he stood in the middle of the racetrack's future casino -- right now a steel skeleton abuzz with construction workers and heavy machinery.

 

 

 

LocalLinks

 

"I would be proud to pick this building up and put it on the Las Vegas strip," said Douglas Shipley, the park's general manager.

 

Pompano Park today will unveil drawings of what the $140 million racetrack casino -- commonly called a "racino" -- will look like when its doors open sometime in early 2007. The renderings will be available for viewing after an 11:50 a.m. ceremony celebrating the building's steelwork being completed.

 

Pompano Park applied late Monday for a license to operate slots, the last of Broward County's four pari-mutuels to submit such paperwork, said Meg Shannon, spokeswoman for the state Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. Mardi Gras Racetrack & Gaming Center in Hallandale Beach received its license last week, while Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach and Dania Jai-Alai are awaiting approval.

 

Mardi Gras is expected to have slots running by November, two years after Florida voters allowed Broward to decide whether to have the machines. The pari-mutuels have said they hope the machines will make them more competitive with the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino west of Hollywood, which has a 135,000-square-foot casino, a 500-room hotel and a 300,000-square-foot shopping and entertainment district.

 

Shipley said he envisions Pompano Park becoming the flagship for its Biloxi, Miss.-based parent company, Isle of Capri Casinos, which owns and operates 13 casinos. The company bought Pompano Park -- its only racetrack -- in 1994, anticipating that casino-style gambling would be legalized in Broward .

 

"We're not going to be a typical slot house," Shipley said. "We're going for an entire entertainment experience."

 

The two-story racino will feature state-of-the-art technology, Shipley said. Patrons who use valet parking will get a card when they head inside. When they decide to leave, they'll be able to swipe the cards in kiosks throughout the building. By the time they reach the front door, their cars will be awaiting them.

 

In addition, Pompano Park officials hope to have each slot machine outfitted with a mini-television so one day patrons will be able to watch the races as they play. The slots will cost anywhere from a few pennies a play to as much as $100.

 

The restaurants will be a high-end steakhouse, an Italian restaurant, a buffet and a New York-style deli. The sports bar, on the second floor, will overlook the track, and patrons will be able to bet from their booths.

 

Jon Burstein can be reached at jburstein@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4491.

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I'd certainly prefer downtown Miami, but this location isn't that bad. It doesn't have the stigma of being in Hialeah, it's close to the beach, it's near downtown Ft. Lauderdale and it's very close to Palm Beach County. It's a longer drive for me than Dolphin Stadium but distance has never been as important to me as what the area of the stadium is like. Dolphin Stadium area is as uninhabited as the everglades. Hialeah, let's be honest, it's Hialeah and nobody wants to go there. Pompano Beach is up-and-coming, and would probably attract some Ft. Lauderdale corporations. And increasing the Palm Beach County ticket base would be guaranteed in this location. Hialeah is an awful location that is worse for all three counties than even the terribly located Dolphin Stadium. At least Pompano improves access for both PBC and Broward.

 

That said, I would hold out for downtown Miami as long as possible before agreeing to Pompano Beach, but they should not be shut out in my opinion.

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just like I used to do in Boston when I'd get out of my office at 6:30, walk a block to the "Downtown Crossing 'T' Station" take the Red Line to "Park Station" transfer on to the Green Line to "Kenmore Square" and make it to Fenway in time for the first pitch, then take the "T" back home after the game! That's how baseball is viewed, not in a "football" manner of driving and tailgating.

 

Yeah but nobody drives in Boston and the parking around Fenway is $25 anyway so taking the T to the game makes perfect sense to people there. The same sentiment does not apply to 95% of the people who live in South Florida.

 

To me, the main location concern is to make it easily accessible from the major highways (95, Turnpike). Beyond that, I think having a roof on the new stadium will be a much bigger factor in attendance, because then people making a last-minute decision on the game won't have to worry about the possibility of rain delays or cancellations.

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Much closer to the fan base - and the customers with $$$

 

 

EXACTLY.

 

I'm sorry, but Miami had its shot. Anything near Palm Beach County IMO will fair better for the Marlins financially. The fan base is just as good up in Broward and Palm Beach. The difference? Look at the average household income in Palm Beach compared to Miami-Dade. They will spend the money... Not to mention all the retiree's near the Boca area with nothing to do every day.

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Much closer to the fan base - and the customers with $$$

 

 

EXACTLY.

 

I'm sorry, but Miami had its shot. Anything near Palm Beach County IMO will fair better for the Marlins financially. The fan base is just as good up in Broward and Palm Beach. The difference? Look at the average household income in Palm Beach compared to Miami-Dade. They will spend the money... Not to mention all the retiree's near the Boca area with nothing to do every day.

 

That sounds good lets get this thing done. We really need to move on, so that we can try to sign some players.

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