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Marlins still in stadium limbo


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Marlins still in stadium limbo

By BARRY JACKSON bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

As if the Marlins don't have enough problems during this depressing season, here are two more:

 

? Just when MLB thought something was close, the stadium deal is again on indefinite hold, exasperating MLB executives determined to keep a team here. Though the Marlins want a downtown site, Miami city manager Pete Hernandez said the city won't deal with the Marlins issue until UM decides whether to move to Dolphin Stadium. (There's no timetable for that.)

 

? The Marlins are increasingly worried they won't be allowed to remain at Dolphin Stadium much longer, if at all, after their lease ends in December 2010. Marlins president David Samson said in recent months, a Huizenga Holdings official reaffirmed Wayne Huizenga's earlier written notification that the lease would not be renewed. To be ready by 2011, stadium construction must begin by next April, and the deal would need to be consummated immediately.

 

''Knowing Dolphin Stadium's desire to eliminate the infield dirt for football. . . . I am confident [Huizenga] meant what he said -- that the Marlins lease would not be extended past 2010,'' Samson said.

 

It's difficult to believe Huizenga would leave the Marlins homeless. So should they be worried if there's no ballpark by 2011? ''I don't know the answer,'' Huizenga said. ``It depends on the number of years. If they're looking for a one-year extension, I'm not saying yes or no. If the University of Miami comes, then it's not just the Dolphins. [uM] would have to play on dirt, too.

 

'I don't want to do anything to hurt the Dolphins' chances of winning. We miss field goals on dirt. [still], we're the family that brought the Marlins here, and the last thing we want to do is hurt the team.''

 

Huizenga said he won't revisit the idea of a ballpark next to Dolphin Stadium.

 

The Marlins and MLB want a downtown Miami site north of government center (which several county commissioners oppose) but likely would accept the Orange Bowl site as a last resort if UM moves to Dolphin Stadium. The funding gap is at least $30 million and potentially more than twice that, depending on the site. Still, MLB and the Marlins won't speak to out-of-town markets for the foreseeable future.

 

? Samson said if the Marlins ''are not in the [playoff] race, we will not raise payroll'' this year but might otherwise.

 

? The road has been rocky not only for the Marlins' young arms, but for some of their top prospects, too. Highly regarded pitching prospect Ryan Tucker is on indefinite suspension for insubordination after walking away when Jupiter pitching coach Reid Cornelius was speaking to him on the mound. Florida's top prospects -- Chris Volstad (Single A Jupiter) and Gaby Hernandez (Double A Carolina) -- have pitched better after slow starts, though Volstad has allowed a lot of baserunners (152 in 99 innings).

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I think this is utter BS from the City of Miami. I knew we were for a long ride when MLB decided to pull out of Hialeah and back into the hands of the City of Corruption. MLB and the Marlins deserve the treatment that they are getting. Basically as 2nd class citizens.

 

Wayne is fat and happy laughing at the situation.

 

It doesn't look good folks. This team will be the laughing stock of MLB if we don't have a place to play by 2010

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I think this is utter BS from the City of Miami. I knew we were for a long ride when MLB decided to pull out of Hialeah and back into the hands of the City of Corruption. MLB and the Marlins deserve the treatment that they are getting. Basically as 2nd class citizens.

 

Wayne is fat and happy laughing at the situation.

 

It doesn't look good folks. This team will be the laughing stock of MLB if we don't have a place to play by 2010

 

Well if the OB site does get picked, that is much better than Hialeah.

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It's continues to be about Huizenga holding the Marlins hostage by not making a deal with UM until it is physically impossible for them to build in time for the 2010 season. Knowing the City of Miami legally cannot renege on their UM deal they sit by, waiting for MLB to allow the Marlins to leave town and cry crocodile tears as they bemoan the loss to the community.

 

What Huizenga (I'm not saying he is specifically pulling the strings because I have no knowledge of that but rather I'm speaking about his holding companies that include the stadium property) wants is for no new venue to be built in south florida under any circumstances and for the city, through the county, to actually pay him for taking UM in-house, to let them off the hook.

 

It's very ugly but very predictable. Watch for Huizenga to sell the Dolphins and the stadium if he can get all his ducks in a row - the Marlins exit, UM under contract, $$$ from the county to pay for the stadium reconstruction. Wayne believes in selling high. See WM. See Blockbuster.

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Huizenga said he won't revisit the idea of a ballpark next to Dolphin Stadium.

One more stupid decision to add to his ever growing list.

 

The Marlins and MLB want a downtown Miami site north of government center (which several county commissioners oppose) but likely would accept the Orange Bowl site as a last resort if UM moves to Dolphin Stadium. The funding gap is at least $30 million and potentially more than twice that, depending on the site. Still, MLB and the Marlins won't speak to out-of-town markets for the foreseeable future.

Hats off to those commissoners, I am with them. I am still having nightmares from having to go downtown for Panther games when they were in the Miami Arena.

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I am the least optimistic i have ever been about the Marlins staying the only we have going for us is as of right now to my knowledge they have no other viable options in terms of relocation and given the time frame it is unlikely another city could build a stadium in enough time be ready to play . Really as much as the city , county , state , varous marlins owners deserve blame for us being in this situation it is time for MLB to set up and help out

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This is somewhat off topic - what happens if we dont have a stadium by 2011? Do the Fish have to move? or do we take a year off :lol ?

 

Depending on where the construction is - there is one - the marlins could play in another city - perhaps orlando, perhaps elsewhere in the country until the stadium is complete. But I would assume if Wayne gets his way MLB will move the franchise permanently. I think only time will tell.

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Guest Festa

It's only a matter of time before MLB gives up and Miami loses its baseball team.

 

Those in charge are playing with fire and I'm afraid they're going to get burned sooner rather than later.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

This is somewhat off topic - what happens if we dont have a stadium by 2011? Do the Fish have to move? or do we take a year off :lol ?

 

Depending on where the construction is - there is one - the marlins could play in another city - perhaps orlando, perhaps elsewhere in the country until the stadium is complete. But I would assume if Wayne gets his way MLB will move the franchise permanently. I think only time will tell.

If the stadium is actually being built and the team is homeless for a year (an unlikely scenario from my view), I wouldn't be surprised to see them playing in Puerto Rico.

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This is somewhat off topic - what happens if we dont have a stadium by 2011? Do the Fish have to move? or do we take a year off :lol ?

 

Depending on where the construction is - there is one - the marlins could play in another city - perhaps orlando, perhaps elsewhere in the country until the stadium is complete. But I would assume if Wayne gets his way MLB will move the franchise permanently. I think only time will tell.

If the stadium is actually being built and the team is homeless for a year (an unlikely scenario from my view), I wouldn't be surprised to see them playing in Puerto Rico.

 

I dont think so. The expos didnt even get good attendance when they were there. I think they (marlins + MLB) would just pay Wayne a large sum of money and stay one more season.

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This is somewhat off topic - what happens if we dont have a stadium by 2011? Do the Fish have to move? or do we take a year off :lol ?

 

Depending on where the construction is - there is one - the marlins could play in another city - perhaps orlando, perhaps elsewhere in the country until the stadium is complete. But I would assume if Wayne gets his way MLB will move the franchise permanently. I think only time will tell.

If the stadium is actually being built and the team is homeless for a year (an unlikely scenario from my view), I wouldn't be surprised to see them playing in Puerto Rico.

I think the backfields of Roger Dean Stadium would be the best bet :mischief . In all seriousness, can we build like a huge hole in the ground and lure all these butt heads into the hole. I just hope some way, somehow we can find a way to get a deal done. Have we talked with anyone in Broward/Palm Beach or do they want nothing to do with it?

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I still believe that Orlando is the best option for the Marlins. Orlando is the second largest market in the country without a MLB team, and has a great desire to build sports venues.

 

How would moving to a smaller market solve anything? Orlando has trouble filling their arena for just one team. The drays played a series there, and they didnt even sell out all the games (the venue holds less than 10,000).

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The cheap tickets for that game were also $45, as opposed to $8 tickets that the Rays sell. Plus attendence was around 8500 for a stadium that held only 9000 and it was still 30 minutes from downtown orlando. Disney is NOT close enough to downtown to draw people from all areas in orlando. I live in East Orlando (attending UCF) and Disney's wide world of sports is about 45 minutes away. For an extra hour of driving, I can go to Tropicana, and get tickets $38 cheaper ($76 if i have to buy two tickets), plus free parking this year.

 

Downtown is 15 minutes from East orlando, and accessible for West Orlando, and the surrounding areas. A stadium near downtown would only be 30 minutes from disney, and 15 from universal.

 

Orlando is in the center of the state, and many Marlins fans from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale visit annually. I believe that the residents of Orlando (and the Central Florida region), mixed with Florida residents (and more specifically, Florida Marlins fans visiting), and national and international tourism will boost attendance (both from the parks and the convention center).

 

Imagine possible park/marlin deals. Universal closes between 6:00 pm and 7 pm starting in August. Imagine going to Universal, and then being shuttled to the game and back. If the park closes at 6, they could leave and arrive at the stadium by game time, and then have a ride back to their cars. Or just driving to the ballpark after spending a day in the heat and lines and enjoying a relaxing game.

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Guest Festa

Depending on tourists to fill a baseball stadium for 81 home dates is a risky proposition. Especially when there is little room for error in a market of that size.

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Depending on tourism solely is obviously not the best case scenerio. The Central Florida community WILL support the Marlins, but the tourism will help build a national (and INTERNATIONAL) fanbase and will help fill seats.

 

A short list of possible relocation cities includes Las Vegas, which will depend greatly on tourism. Yet keeping the Marlins in Florida will allow for more local support than possible in Las Vegas and perhaps a Florida baseball team will elevate themselves above 29th and 30th (second to last and last) in attendance.

 

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

 

Planners with the firm Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin in Orlando evaluated six sites, including the existing Tinker Field, other land around the Citrus Bowl, the current location of Orlando police headquarters, property the city bought several years ago for a new police station and the site that has since been selected for a new Magic arena."

- Orlando Sentinel

 

"Serious talk has been made on bringing Major League Baseball to Orlando. Current mayor Buddy Dyer said he would like to see it in the future. Orlando was a finalist city in the expansion for the 1993 season. Ironically, they were mentioned as a possible destination for one of the 1993 expansion teams, the Florida Marlins, during that team's investigation of new locations should Miami fail to build them a new baseball stadium."

- Wikipedia

 

 

Last year, for braves spring training 150,465 people attended 17 Games at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Braves played exhibitions against the University of Georgia and the Netherlands National team along with 15 games against other MLB opponents in 2006, averaging 8,850 fans per game. The Braves attracted seven sellout crowds of more than 10,000 fans, including a season-best 11,431 during the Braves-New York Yankees game on Mar. 27. The game also marked the highest single-game attendance total since the Braves began spring training at Disney's Wide World of Sports? Complex in 1998. In all, the Braves' record-setting 2006 spring training season included four of the 20 best single-game attendance totals in The Ballpark history.

 

Other top attendance games included: 10,785 (Braves-St. Louis Cardinals, Mar. 12) and 10,710 (Braves-Houston Astros, Mar. 14). The games against the Cardinals and Astros rank as the 12th and 13th best single-game attendance totals, respectively, in Braves spring training history at the Disney sports complex. The 2006 schedule included no rainouts.

 

 

http://disneyworldsports.disney.go.com/dww...danceDetailPage

 

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Good March weather helped spring training attendance in Florida reach a record high for the second straight year in 2007.

 

More than 1.7 million fans saw games at 17 training sites across the state last month, an increase of 112,507 from 2006's record, the Florida Sports Foundation said Friday. There were just three rainouts, all March 16.

 

The New York Yankees led the way with 154,661 fans attending games at their Tampa training site, an average of 10,311 fans. The Atlanta Braves drew 140,034 fans to its spring home at Disney's Wide World of Sports. The Braves and New York Mets attracted the single-game high of 11,591 fans for a March 22 game.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/20...499785912_x.htm

 

Keep in mind that this is still a good distance away from Downtown, and a stadium closer to downtown will open up a much larger market.

 

Orange County leaders who will be asked to approve a $1.1 billion plan for arts and sports venues next month now have another option to consider -- one that includes not only a new basketball arena but a retractable-dome baseball stadium and a grand-prix racetrack.

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/community/n...story?track=rss

 

That plan is only one on the table, and most likely won't be chosen. Yet ideas like this are very promising and show that Orlando is dedicated to building multiple sports venues in Orlando in addition to the new Magic arena.

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There is nothing new here folks. I told you all that UM was holding things up. Now if you want to believe Wayne's hand is in it.....please do...as it likely is. However, MLB and the Marlins are unable to leave because there is no viable market for baseball open right now. Las Vegas and San Antonio are off limits as other MLB owners have vetoed the idea of having their television territory trampled on.

 

The ballpark has to be under construction by early 2008. The issue is UM. The City should place a deadline on UM to make a decision to exit the lease, take the OB plan the City has offered, or stay the rest of their lease at the OB as-is. Will the City do that? We shall see.

 

As for the Marlins, Samson said October/November would be the time he would expect deal-finishing. MLB is now handling the ballpark talks and they are only in July. So to meet Samson's goal (which is basically the 11th hour for a safe 2011 open) they have to restart these talks by August.

 

However, if the ballpark opens mid-2011 (say in June or July) the Marlins will likely play on the road until the facility opens and then have an unbalanced schedule with more home games the rest of that season.

 

The Braves and Expos both did it in the past, it doesn't kill anyone.

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The cheap tickets for that game were also $45, as opposed to $8 tickets that the Rays sell. Plus attendence was around 8500 for a stadium that held only 9000 and it was still 30 minutes from downtown orlando. Disney is NOT close enough to downtown to draw people from all areas in orlando. I live in East Orlando (attending UCF) and Disney's wide world of sports is about 45 minutes away. For an extra hour of driving, I can go to Tropicana, and get tickets $38 cheaper ($76 if i have to buy two tickets), plus free parking this year.

 

Downtown is 15 minutes from East orlando, and accessible for West Orlando, and the surrounding areas. A stadium near downtown would only be 30 minutes from disney, and 15 from universal.

 

Orlando is in the center of the state, and many Marlins fans from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale visit annually. I believe that the residents of Orlando (and the Central Florida region), mixed with Florida residents (and more specifically, Florida Marlins fans visiting), and national and international tourism will boost attendance (both from the parks and the convention center).

 

Imagine possible park/marlin deals. Universal closes between 6:00 pm and 7 pm starting in August. Imagine going to Universal, and then being shuttled to the game and back. If the park closes at 6, they could leave and arrive at the stadium by game time, and then have a ride back to their cars. Or just driving to the ballpark after spending a day in the heat and lines and enjoying a relaxing game.

 

Last time I checked there are more than 9,000 seats at a stadium that go for over 40 dollars. BTW Dolphin stadium is more than 30 min from downtown miami during rush hour. I dont see why saying the stadium is 30 min away from downtown orlando is even an issue. Most fans already are traveling 30 min to see their teams (this applies to all teams)

 

Take a look at the magic. With the exception of this past season, they didnt sell out all their games. If you are going to move the marlins to orlando it should be an improvement. Orlando has one team, and cant sell out the stadium on a consistent basis. Why would they all of a sudden sell out a baseball stadium 81 times? Then factor in that there will be a smaller tv audience.

 

No one is going to plan a trip to orlando to see the marlins. I cant believe you think people are going to leave universal studios and run to see a baseball game for a team they could careless about. That family from North Dakota isnt coming to see the marlins. Sorry, but thats not going to happen. What might happen is fans of opposing teams might plan trips to see their team, not cheer for the marlins. No one from miami is going to cheer on the team either. I know if the marlins left for orlando they wouldnt be my team any longer, I probably speak for 95% of the fans.

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