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http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/070222/story1.shtml

 

Commissioners have doubts about stadium site

 

By Dan Dolan

 

Only minutes after a Florida Senate Committee approved two bills Tuesday for a special state tax break to help fund construction of a $500 million baseball stadium for the Florida Marlins, Miami-Dade County commissioners got a severe case of jitters over the downtown location under consideration for months.

 

Despite ongoing negotiations between Miami-Dade officials and Major League Baseball executives, commissioners Joe Martinez and Audrey Edmonson said they aren't sure the stadium should be built on 9 acres of government land next to the county's Stephen P. Clark Center on Northwest Third Street.

 

"I want a stadium, and I want to keep the Marlins here. But the question is location," Mr. Martinez said. "It's not going to fit on the proposed site. We're going to lose the county's parking lots, a day-care center, move the new juvenile courthouse and close a bunch of streets. I think this location is a mess and will create massive traffic jams."

 

Ms. Edmonson said she fears stadium traffic would destroy residential areas and hurt efforts to bring redevelopment to the neighborhoods. "I'm concerned we're taking funds for sports and arts centers and putting them over people."

 

Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz said the site might not have enough votes to win commission approval. He said other locations, including the Orange Bowl and the old Miami Arena, are back on the table.

 

"Major League Baseball definitely wants to build a stadium somewhere downtown," said Mr. Diaz, the commission's representative in the negotiations. He said talks are at a critical stage. He expects baseball executives to reveal construction plans within two weeks.

 

A state tax rebate is essential to financing the stadium, Mr. Diaz said. The county would pay for construction with bonds backed by bed-tax revenue. State money could cover any shortfall. The Marlins' rent would help repay the bonds.

 

Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz said the site might not have enough votes to win commission approval. He said other locations, including the Orange Bowl and the old Miami Arena, are back on the table.

 

Round and round and round they go. Where do they stop? Nobody knows!

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I can't believe that at this stage of the game there is still this kind of talk!

 

Commissioner Diaz has always been a Hialeah site supporter (I believe that's his district). But I think he is probably accepting that MLB is insisting on a downtown site.

 

All this debate is very politically motivated, and we should expect this to happen. But I'm soooo tired of it! When asked, the politicians say that all they want is for the Marlins to stay in South Florida. Please!

 

Hopefully, in a few weeks, we should know what the final deal will be when they present the stadium plan to the legislature.

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MLB wants it downtown and the people WILL come, it needs to be close to a Metrorail station

 

It will happen

 

It could very well happen downtown. And people will come. For the first couple years. Then because it has been moved further away from Broward and PBC the joy of being last in attendance figures will be ours once again.

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I know Diaz and believe me he does not favor the Hialeah location. Hialeah is not his district.

 

If you know Diaz personally and he has told you that he does not favor the Hialeah site, then I was wrong, and please accept my apology. However, district 12 does include Hialeah. (see below). So, we're even.

 

Welcome to the District 12 Website

District 12 encompasses an area of western Miami-Dade County between SW 8th Street and NW 202nd Street, west of Hialeah. It includes the City of Doral, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Medley, Sweetwater, and Virginia Gardens, as well as a large part of unincorporated Miami-Dade County.

Voters in District 12 first elected Jos? "Pepe" Diaz to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners in September 2002. Commissioner Diaz was reelected without opposition in September 2006.

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I know Diaz and believe me he does not favor the Hialeah location. Hialeah is not his district.

 

If you know Diaz personally and he has told you that he does not favor the Hialeah site, then I was wrong, and please accept my apology. However, district 12 does include Hialeah. (see below). So, we're even.

 

Welcome to the District 12 Website

District 12 encompasses an area of western Miami-Dade County between SW 8th Street and NW 202nd Street, west of Hialeah. It includes the City of Doral, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Medley, Sweetwater, and Virginia Gardens, as well as a large part of unincorporated Miami-Dade County.

Voters in District 12 first elected Jos? "Pepe" Diaz to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners in September 2002. Commissioner Diaz was reelected without opposition in September 2006.

 

No please accept my apology I was dead wrong. I am thinking of Joe Martinez. So scratch my previous post. There I admit it.

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MLB wants it downtown and the people WILL come, it needs to be close to a Metrorail station

 

It will happen

 

It could very well happen downtown. And people will come. For the first couple years. Then because it has been moved further away from Broward and PBC the joy of being last in attendance figures will be ours once again.

I used to think that way, since I'm from Broward. However, having now lived in the Brickell area near downtown, a downtown location is where it needs to be for long-term success. The area is booming. There is simply no other way to obtain a "walk-up" crowd unless you place the stadium in a heavily populated work area, such as downtown. 81 home games is too much to simply expect people to drive long distance to every game. Broward and PBC fans are necessary for the survival of the Marlins, but they'll still go to games. A more consistent walk-up crowd is needed on an everyday basis. It is more important that appeasing the PBC fanbase. Also, this should help out the west-miami population too, which should not be discounted.

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MLB wants it downtown and the people WILL come, it needs to be close to a Metrorail station

 

It will happen

 

It could very well happen downtown. And people will come. For the first couple years. Then because it has been moved further away from Broward and PBC the joy of being last in attendance figures will be ours once again.

I used to think that way, since I'm from Broward. However, having now lived in the Brickell area near downtown, a downtown location is where it needs to be for long-term success. The area is booming. There is simply no other way to obtain a "walk-up" crowd unless you place the stadium in a heavily populated work area, such as downtown. 81 home games is too much to simply expect people to drive long distance to every game. Broward and PBC fans are necessary for the survival of the Marlins, but they'll still go to games. A more consistent walk-up crowd is needed on an everyday basis. It is more important that appeasing the PBC fanbase. Also, this should help out the west-miami population too, which should not be discounted.

 

This just seems to be too logical to dismiss. MLB recognizes this. The population base in downtown will add, IMO, to those weeknight games that so many cannot get to on time or even feel like going to after driving home. There will be a change in the fan base, but you just need to get bodies in there during the week. How can it not help, what is around dolphin stadium versus tens of thousands of people working in downtown, and as you say, the growth of the residential community. Oh, I do not work in downtown, so it will add a half hour to my drive to the game but that will be offset by the lack of rain delays.

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MLB wants it downtown and the people WILL come, it needs to be close to a Metrorail station

 

It will happen

 

It could very well happen downtown. And people will come. For the first couple years. Then because it has been moved further away from Broward and PBC the joy of being last in attendance figures will be ours once again.

I used to think that way, since I'm from Broward. However, having now lived in the Brickell area near downtown, a downtown location is where it needs to be for long-term success. The area is booming. There is simply no other way to obtain a "walk-up" crowd unless you place the stadium in a heavily populated work area, such as downtown. 81 home games is too much to simply expect people to drive long distance to every game. Broward and PBC fans are necessary for the survival of the Marlins, but they'll still go to games. A more consistent walk-up crowd is needed on an everyday basis. It is more important that appeasing the PBC fanbase. Also, this should help out the west-miami population too, which should not be discounted.

 

This just seems to be too logical to dismiss. MLB recognizes this. The population base in downtown will add, IMO, to those weeknight games that so many cannot get to on time or even feel like going to after driving home. There will be a change in the fan base, but you just need to get bodies in there during the week. How can it not help, what is around dolphin stadium versus tens of thousands of people working in downtown, and as you say, the growth of the residential community. Oh, I do not work in downtown, so it will add a half hour to my drive to the game but that will be offset by the lack of rain delays.

 

I have come to accept the possibility it may be downtown IF they can find a place where it will fit. But moving it further away from the two counties that are faster growing and have the most disposable household income (as per other threads in this section) is not a good recipe for the future. Broward fans may still come, but it pretty much washes away PBC season ticket holders unless they are retired. I know we will be unable to renew our season tickets and be very lucky to get to 5-10 games a year.

But we will see.

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MLB wants it downtown and the people WILL come, it needs to be close to a Metrorail station

 

It will happen

 

It could very well happen downtown. And people will come. For the first couple years. Then because it has been moved further away from Broward and PBC the joy of being last in attendance figures will be ours once again.

I used to think that way, since I'm from Broward. However, having now lived in the Brickell area near downtown, a downtown location is where it needs to be for long-term success. The area is booming. There is simply no other way to obtain a "walk-up" crowd unless you place the stadium in a heavily populated work area, such as downtown. 81 home games is too much to simply expect people to drive long distance to every game. Broward and PBC fans are necessary for the survival of the Marlins, but they'll still go to games. A more consistent walk-up crowd is needed on an everyday basis. It is more important that appeasing the PBC fanbase. Also, this should help out the west-miami population too, which should not be discounted.

 

This just seems to be too logical to dismiss. MLB recognizes this. The population base in downtown will add, IMO, to those weeknight games that so many cannot get to on time or even feel like going to after driving home. There will be a change in the fan base, but you just need to get bodies in there during the week. How can it not help, what is around dolphin stadium versus tens of thousands of people working in downtown, and as you say, the growth of the residential community. Oh, I do not work in downtown, so it will add a half hour to my drive to the game but that will be offset by the lack of rain delays.

 

I have come to accept the possibility it may be downtown IF they can find a place where it will fit. But moving it further away from the two counties that are faster growing and have the most disposable household income (as per other threads in this section) is not a good recipe for the future. Broward fans may still come, but it pretty much washes away PBC season ticket holders unless they are retired. I know we will be unable to renew our season tickets and be very lucky to get to 5-10 games a year.

But we will see.

 

You can spend the night at my house. But I know that the drive, especially on a weeknight, is quite long from PBC.

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MLB wants it downtown and the people WILL come, it needs to be close to a Metrorail station

 

It will happen

 

It could very well happen downtown. And people will come. For the first couple years. Then because it has been moved further away from Broward and PBC the joy of being last in attendance figures will be ours once again.

I used to think that way, since I'm from Broward. However, having now lived in the Brickell area near downtown, a downtown location is where it needs to be for long-term success. The area is booming. There is simply no other way to obtain a "walk-up" crowd unless you place the stadium in a heavily populated work area, such as downtown. 81 home games is too much to simply expect people to drive long distance to every game. Broward and PBC fans are necessary for the survival of the Marlins, but they'll still go to games. A more consistent walk-up crowd is needed on an everyday basis. It is more important that appeasing the PBC fanbase. Also, this should help out the west-miami population too, which should not be discounted.

 

This just seems to be too logical to dismiss. MLB recognizes this. The population base in downtown will add, IMO, to those weeknight games that so many cannot get to on time or even feel like going to after driving home. There will be a change in the fan base, but you just need to get bodies in there during the week. How can it not help, what is around dolphin stadium versus tens of thousands of people working in downtown, and as you say, the growth of the residential community. Oh, I do not work in downtown, so it will add a half hour to my drive to the game but that will be offset by the lack of rain delays.

 

I have come to accept the possibility it may be downtown IF they can find a place where it will fit. But moving it further away from the two counties that are faster growing and have the most disposable household income (as per other threads in this section) is not a good recipe for the future. Broward fans may still come, but it pretty much washes away PBC season ticket holders unless they are retired. I know we will be unable to renew our season tickets and be very lucky to get to 5-10 games a year.

But we will see.

Broward and PBC may be faster growing as a whole in terms of percentage, but the condo/residential boom that is happening in downtown/brickell is unprecedented. For a few years, it seemed like many of these condos were being purchased by south american investors who simply needed somewhere to put their money when their own economies were plummeting. So, at the moment, because there are a lot of absentee south american units owners, there is considerable vacancy/availability in these residential areas. However, the sheer number of units that will be built within the next 2 to 3 years (and I'm not talking about the projects that *may* be built if they sellout, I'm talking about the ones that are 100% going to break ground and have 100% sellout) are being purchased by local owners, the majority of which will make these units their primary residence. Once that happens, the actual number of people living in the downtown/brickell area will dwarf whatever numbers will exist in downtown broward and PB combined. Plus, this doesn't even consider the exploding downtown workforce. If I didn't live down here, I wouldn't believe it myself. What's going on in downtown Miami is what happened to south beach in the early 80s. And, the people who will be working AND living here will have plenty of disposable income. The only logical place to put a stadium is downtown, where the Marlins could get a consistent walk-up crowd from this booming residential/workforce population within 5 miles of the ballpark.

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Walk-up crowd?

What about you, do you plan on walking to the stadium? Especially seeing as you're close.

You're driving here in Miami/FTL.

It's just a matter of how long the drive is, and if there's a destination beyond the game.

If it's built on the proposed but too small location, it's certainly not a destination spot. It's a let's go and get back to our car and go home location.

The best location for the franchise would be near the current Joe Robbie site.

But, we'll settle as fans for anyone who's paying....anywhere.

We'll see....I have a feeling that we're going to see a different location proposed...one that is funded, and endorsed by MLB, ownership, and municipalities involved.

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Walk-up crowd?

What about you, do you plan on walking to the stadium? Especially seeing as you're close.

You're driving here in Miami/FTL.

It's just a matter of how long the drive is, and if there's a destination beyond the game.

If it's built on the proposed but too small location, it's certainly not a destination spot. It's a let's go and get back to our car and go home location.

The best location for the franchise would be near the current Joe Robbie site.

But, we'll settle as fans for anyone who's paying....anywhere.

We'll see....I have a feeling that we're going to see a different location proposed...one that is funded, and endorsed by MLB, ownership, and municipalities involved.

Walk-up crowd, at least in my opinion, encompasses those that can leave their residence/work and get to the stadium within 15 minutes, including traffic. People who can, on a whim, decide to go to the game after work and actually make it for the first pitch. I'd doubt many people would actually "walk"...I mean, the AAA is closer to downtown and few actually walk. However, that doesn't mean a walk-up crowd cannot be achieved with a downtown site. It in fact does exist for the heat games. Cabs, the metro rail/mover, buses (the downtown trolley), etc. can all be utilized for nominal fees from the brickell/*true* downtown area.

 

As for me, I live/work on Brickell. I assume it would be built near the fed. courthouse/miami arena site, which takes me 10 minutes with traffic by car. When I go out in downtown, I take a cab. I'd assume most of the people in the area would drive themselves, but I'm sure a considerable portion would take a cab, the metro rail/mover, or one of the downtown trolley buses. It would be akin to living on 10th and Ocean and saying something at 2nd and Ocean isn't "walk up" distance. In reality, you could walk it, but few do. That doesn't mean beach residents aren't considered "walk-up" for ocean drive.

 

I lived in Houston for a few months when minutemaid park (then Enron Field) first opened. The "walk-up" business crowd was literally 75% of the total attendance. Everyone was in work clothes. It was not like that (so I'm told) when the games were in the AstroDome 30 minutes away on the freeway. I think a downtown site in Miami could have the same impact. Now, I remember telling my friends at the game "the stadium may be more packed than marlins' games, but at least the marlins fans dress up and act like it is a baseball game." So, the walk-up crowd does have some negative impacts, but, on the whole, I think we need people in seats at all costs, even if that means sacrificing arguably our most loyal fan base (those who drive an hour and a half from PBC to sit in the heat on weekend days games).

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Broward and PBC may be faster growing as a whole in terms of percentage' date=' but the condo/residential boom that is happening in downtown/brickell is unprecedented. For a few years, it seemed like many of these condos were being purchased by south american investors who simply needed somewhere to put their money when their own economies were plummeting. So, at the moment, because there are a lot of absentee south american units owners, there is considerable vacancy/availability in these residential areas. However, the sheer number of units that will be built within the next 2 to 3 years (and I'm not talking about the projects that *may* be built if they sellout, I'm talking about the ones that are 100% going to break ground and have 100% sellout) are being purchased by local owners, the majority of which will make these units their primary residence. Once that happens, the actual number of people living in the downtown/brickell area will dwarf whatever numbers will exist in downtown broward and PB combined. Plus, this doesn't even consider the exploding downtown workforce. If I didn't live down here, I wouldn't believe it myself. What's going on in downtown Miami is what happened to south beach in the early 80s. And, the people who will be working AND living here will have plenty of disposable income. The only logical place to put a stadium is downtown, where the Marlins could get a consistent walk-up crowd from this booming residential/workforce population within 5 miles of the ballpark.[/quote']

 

Your explanation seems to be on the theory that PBC and Broward's growth will become stagnate while the area you are talking about continues to grow. Unfortunetly this is not the case. And I totally disagree with your explantions of disposable incomes based simply on what you think they will be.

However, this is something that you and I will have to agree to disagree on. I'm going to argue the points until the day they break ground, as you are. Problem is, it's out of our hands. It will go where the $$$ and support for the stadium is. We have no say. You and I will simply have to be content in knowing the team is staying. My wife and I will find other things to do on those 60-65 days a year that we won't be travelling to downtown and be thrilled with the 5-10 games we will be able to attend if that's what it comes to.

 

Walk-up crowd?

What about you, do you plan on walking to the stadium? Especially seeing as you're close.

You're driving here in Miami/FTL.

It's just a matter of how long the drive is, and if there's a destination beyond the game.

If it's built on the proposed but too small location, it's certainly not a destination spot. It's a let's go and get back to our car and go home location.

The best location for the franchise would be near the current Joe Robbie site.

But, we'll settle as fans for anyone who's paying....anywhere.

We'll see....I have a feeling that we're going to see a different location proposed...one that is funded, and endorsed by MLB, ownership, and municipalities involved.

Walk-up crowd, at least in my opinion, encompasses those that can leave their residence/work and get to the stadium within 15 minutes, including traffic. People who can, on a whim, decide to go to the game after work and actually make it for the first pitch. I'd doubt many people would actually "walk"...I mean, the AAA is closer to downtown and few actually walk. However, that doesn't mean a walk-up crowd cannot be achieved with a downtown site. It in fact does exist for the heat games. Cabs, the metro rail/mover, buses (the downtown trolley), etc. can all be utilized for nominal fees from the brickell/*true* downtown area.

 

As for me, I live/work on Brickell. I assume it would be built near the fed. courthouse/miami arena site, which takes me 10 minutes with traffic by car. When I go out in downtown, I take a cab. I'd assume most of the people in the area would drive themselves, but I'm sure a considerable portion would take a cab, the metro rail/mover, or one of the downtown trolley buses. It would be akin to living on 10th and Ocean and saying something at 2nd and Ocean isn't "walk up" distance. In reality, you could walk it, but few do. That doesn't mean beach residents aren't considered "walk-up" for ocean drive.

 

I lived in Houston for a few months when minutemaid park (then Enron Field) first opened. The "walk-up" business crowd was literally 75% of the total attendance. Everyone was in work clothes. It was not like that (so I'm told) when the games were in the AstroDome 30 minutes away on the freeway. I think a downtown site in Miami could have the same impact. Now, I remember telling my friends at the game "the stadium may be more packed than marlins' games, but at least the marlins fans dress up and act like it is a baseball game." So, the walk-up crowd does have some negative impacts, but, on the whole, I think we need people in seats at all costs, even if that means sacrificing arguably our most loyal fan base (those who drive an hour and a half from PBC to sit in the heat on weekend days games).

 

I believe by definition that the walk up crowd has nothing to do with distance. It's the amount of people that buy tickets the day of the game no matter where they are from. I can pretty well judge the size of the crowd at the games by looking at the crowd around the ticket windows as we enter the stadium. If any team is basing it's future on the walk up crowd instead of it's season ticket base then it is doomed for disaster.

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Broward and PBC may be faster growing as a whole in terms of percentage, but the condo/residential boom that is happening in downtown/brickell is unprecedented. For a few years, it seemed like many of these condos were being purchased by south american investors who simply needed somewhere to put their money when their own economies were plummeting. So, at the moment, because there are a lot of absentee south american units owners, there is considerable vacancy/availability in these residential areas. However, the sheer number of units that will be built within the next 2 to 3 years (and I'm not talking about the projects that *may* be built if they sellout, I'm talking about the ones that are 100% going to break ground and have 100% sellout) are being purchased by local owners, the majority of which will make these units their primary residence. Once that happens, the actual number of people living in the downtown/brickell area will dwarf whatever numbers will exist in downtown broward and PB combined. Plus, this doesn't even consider the exploding downtown workforce. If I didn't live down here, I wouldn't believe it myself. What's going on in downtown Miami is what happened to south beach in the early 80s. And, the people who will be working AND living here will have plenty of disposable income. The only logical place to put a stadium is downtown, where the Marlins could get a consistent walk-up crowd from this booming residential/workforce population within 5 miles of the ballpark.

 

Your explanation seems to be on the theory that PBC and Broward's growth will become stagnate while the area you are talking about continues to grow. Unfortunetly this is not the case. And I totally disagree with your explantions of disposable incomes based simply on what you think they will be.

However, this is something that you and I will have to agree to disagree on. I'm going to argue the points until the day they break ground, as you are. Problem is, it's out of our hands. It will go where the $$$ and support for the stadium is. We have no say. You and I will simply have to be content in knowing the team is staying. My wife and I will find other things to do on those 60-65 days a year that we won't be travelling to downtown and be thrilled with the 5-10 games we will be able to attend if that's what it comes to.

My explanation has nothing to do with PBC and Broward as entire counties. I think it is undisputed that these areas are booming in comparison to Miami-Dade County (particularly PBC). However, there is a huge shift in population that is happening in Miami, and it is going to explode in the next few years as the residential population of downtown/Brickell expands and many who live in west Miami (or other parts of South FL) move to downtown/Brickell. The condos that are being built here are not low-income housing. They avg. between 350-400K for a 1/1 less than 1000 square feet, and they skyrocket past the millions...for condos in miami that are soldout. The people that will be living in these areas will have money. The average age of the owners/tenants will be young. Their disposable income will be high. This will all happen within the time the new stadium will be built. I am not arguing about the disposable income of Miami-Dade v. Broward v. PBC, but the disposable income of this very condensed area in downtown/Brickell. Logic dictates that this area will be exponentially wealthier in the next few years as these luxury condos fill up. By, don't take my word for it, see http://www.realcities.com/mld/miamiherald/...te/11698211.htm

 

(''You have a wave of development underway here in Miami that is unprecedented, bigger than anything, bigger than Hong Kong in the boom years of development,'' said former Portland, Ore., councilman Charles Hales, a transportation consultant working on a plan for a Miami streetcar line.

 

"Not since the post-World War II housing boom that multiplied Miami-Dade County's population fivefold, to more than one million people, has the region experienced anything comparable. But that took almost 20 years."

 

''Just five years ago we were broke; we had zero development,'' Winton said. ``I'm going to bet you that when we're done -- I don't know when that will be -- historians will identify this as the most significant and rapid transformation of an American city.''

 

"What precisely will the boom deliver? It's too soon to tell, experts say.

 

But this convulsion of development is already remaking not just Miami's skyline, but its streets and neighborhoods and likely its population, too.

 

If it stays on track, the boom promises a fundamentally different Miami -- more urban and congested, but also more cosmopolitan and, given the high prices the condos command, probably wealthier.")

 

Seriously, there will be about 30 new 40+ (some actually in the 70s) story residential units within a 5 mile radius of the proposed site - Asia, Icon Brickell, Villa Magna, Infinity Lofts 1 and 2, Neo Vertika, the Everglades, Epic, Met 1, 2, 3, 600 Brickell, Capital Brickell, etc....just click on the interactive map located at http://www.miamiherald.com/classifieds/real_estate/ to see the area.

 

Nothing like this is going on in Broward or PBC. The majority of the development in those counties is AWAY from their downtown/work areas. If I was building a football stadium, I'd built it right where DS is located. It's perfect for everyone. However, the Dolphins have 8 home games a year (7 next year because of the whole Giants game in London). When you have 81 games a year, you need to build the stadium in a heavily populated area, such as downtown. Broward and PBC do not have these types of locations.

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