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well this is my first time


here it goes






There is a video on the link




Officials reveal plan for retractable-roof Marlins stadium in downtown Miami


By Sarah Talalay

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted February 28 2007

Miami-Dade County and city of Miami officials unveiled on Tuesday the framework of a financing plan for a $490 million downtown Miami ballpark for the Florida Marlins and said they hope to work out the details by the end of April.


The plan calls for a retractable-roof ballpark with 37,000 seats and 60 suites to be built on nine acres of county- and city-owned land just north of the county government center north of Northwest Second Street, east of Interstate 95 and just west of the Metrorail, a few blocks southwest of Miami Arena.


According to memos issued by Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess and Miami City Manager Pete Hernandez, the financing calls for the Marlins to contribute $207 million -- $45 million up front and the rest in future rent payments to the county, which will issue the bonds. The Marlins would also be responsible for cost overruns.


The county would pitch in $145 million in county hotel bed and sports facilities taxes; the city would provide $108 million in Tourist Development Taxes and hotel bed taxes freed up when Miami Arena was sold in 2004.


For the remainder, the county will issue bonds against a $60 million state sales tax rebate, which will generate about $30 million.


Although the deal is far from complete and includes hurdles such as finding an alternate location for the county's planned Children's Courthouse and securing state funding, which has eluded the Marlins and South Florida officials five times in the past seven years, county officials said a deal is closer than ever.


"This is the year," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez said. "We either have a deal or we don't. It's very close and I'm very optimistic."


The County Commission is scheduled to discuss the plan at its meeting on Tuesday; the City Commission might also discuss it on March 8.


Officials are also optimistic this will be the year the state provides the sales-tax rebate. Last week, a state Senate panel passed two bills that would provide the rebate. A separate bill under consideration in the Legislature would provide the rebate to all nine professional sports franchises in the state.


If a deal can be reached, officials hope construction can begin in May 2008, with completion planned for April 2011. The Marlins' one-year lease options at Dolphin Stadium run through the 2010 season.


The Marlins declined to comment.


"I've never seen us closer to something that should make good sense for everybody," said Burgess, who has been involved in ballpark talks for nearly seven years.


He praised the urban location for its proximity to the expressways and public transportation. The memos show more than 7,000 public parking spaces are within five-eighths of a mile of the location.


County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz says he would have preferred a location earlier contemplated in Hialeah, but says he supports the new plan, particularly since Major League Baseball, which has been heavily involved in negotiations, prefers the downtown location.




for the first time im acutally gettting excited!!!! :thumbup

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