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Report: Marlins to get $50MM for stadium


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Marlins may get $50 million for stadium

Posted on Mon, Oct. 15, 2007Digg del.icio.us AIM reprint print email

BY CHARLES RABIN

crabin@MiamiHerald.com

Marlins may get $50 million for stadium

 

The Florida Marlins moved a step closer to getting the missing chunk of money they claim has held the team back from building a new stadium for most of the past decade.

 

A citizen's advisory panel charged with overseeing the distribution of billions of dollars in bond money agreed Monday to let the Marlins use $50 million, pegged for renovating the decaying Orange Bowl, to build a new ballpark.

 

Tuesday, the Miami-Dade County Commission will take up a resolution by Chairman Bruno Barreiro instructing the county manager and the mayor to use all available money to negotiate with the ball club.

 

HURDLES TO CLEAR

 

Still to come: A committee chaired by Jose ''Pepe'' Diaz -- who has consistently fought for a new stadium -- must agree with Monday's decision by the Citizen's Adivsory Council. Then the full county commission must accept redirecting the money, which has the support of several commissioners and County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

 

Marlins brass, as has been their custom for the past, declined comment on any of the proceedings.

 

''There's universal agreement that if we're able to keep the franchise in South Florida, we now have a site that's going to be absolutely vacant, and that has to be demolished,'' County Manager George Burgess told advisory council members Monday in reference to the Orange Bowl site. ``That is the only reasonable site we have to work with.''

 

The county manager, bolstered by the appearance of Barreiro, told the 14 advisory council members present that the county was in deep negotiations with the Marlins that must be completed in the next few weeks if the team hopes to play in a new stadium by opening day 2011.

 

The Marlins' lease with Miami Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga at Dolphin Stadium ends after 2010.

 

''The clock is truly ticking,'' Burgess said.

 

LEAVING ORANGE BOWL

 

The $50 million became available when the University of Miami announced it was abandoning the Orange Bowl -- the Little Havana landmark that has hosted rock stars and refugees, as well as UM Hurricanes games -- for Huizenga's Dolphin Stadium near the Dade-Broward county line next season.

 

The UM move also opened the door to another $35 million, money the city of Miami planned to use for Orange Bowl renovations. Though city commissioners must vote on it, sending that money the Marlins' way has the endorsement of at least two of the five commissioners, and the mayor has said in the past he endorses the construction of a new stadium for the team.

 

The most recent financing plan -- which is nine months old and could be dramatically altered -- calls for a 37,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium with 60 suites at a cost of $490 million, on property in downtown Miami adjacent to Government Center.

 

Under that scenario, the Marlins would spend $45 million out of pocket and would pay off a $162 million county bond through rent. The county would put in $145 million in bond money, and Miami was to spend $108 million mostly through tourist taxes.

 

Most of that money would come from tourist and sports tax dollars that can only go toward building sports complexes or convention centers.

 

The February proposal, like most before it, left a $30 million gap, which has since risen to $40 million and could increase more with delays.

 

But the plan also depends on the Marlins making the $207 million contribution, which they have yet to say they would do if offered a stadium at the Orange Bowl -- instead of downtown as they prefer.

 

The Marlins have made a habit of near misses: Five times team officials have gone to the Legislature seeking a tax break that would fill the funding gap, failing each time.

 

Under any future agreement, Burgess said the county would own the stadium and the land under it, and the city would own the adjacent land.

 

The Marlins would also collect concession money from parking and food and stadium suites -- which they don't get a fair share of, they say, from the lease they inherited and currently hold with Huizenga.

 

Burgess also said that any deal would stipulate that Major League Baseball would be obligated to have a franchise at the Orange Bowl site for 30 years or until the debt is paid off, and that the Marlins would have to cover any cost overruns.

 

ABSOLUTE GUARANTEES

 

''There have to be absolute guarantees,'' said Burgess.

 

CAC members at Monday's meeting had limited discussion, with only Jeffrey Mischon and Guy Forchion voting against the item.

 

Mishchon questioned awarding the money before an agreement was in place, and spoke of possible parking problems; Forchion felt it might be more appropriate to put the question to public referendum, saying renovating the Orange Bowl and building the Marlins a new ballpark were ``completely different.''

 

But in the end, most seemed to agree with board member Sylvia Person.

 

''If you build it, they will come. And they will,'' she said.

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sounds promising

 

HURDLES TO CLEAR

 

Still to come: A committee chaired by Jose ''Pepe'' Diaz -- who has consistently fought for a new stadium -- must agree with Monday's decision by the Citizen's Adivsory Council. Then the full county commission must accept redirecting the money, which has the support of several commissioners and County Mayor Carlos Alvarez

 

these don't sound like much of a hurdle with Diaz & Alvarez backing the stadium.

 

I'm glad George Burgess is involved with all of this. He wants to see something get done but isn't going to screw the city either. Admiring a city official or politician in south florida is pretty rare.

 

 

Still not convinced the Marlins will put up the money at the OB instead of downtown... we'll see.

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And by the way, funny how things work. Not too long ago construction prices were spiraling out of sight.

 

Basic materials costs are down, general contractor pricing are down, and significantly, a yard of concrete is down almost 11% in a year. Couldn't be a better time to get this stadium built.

 

I think the biggest issue remains the concessions selection. City wants cronies, Marlins/MLB want open bidding.

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please happen!!! we need this new stadium to have any shot of resigning cabs and hanley

 

I doubt any serious attempt to keep them is made even with a new stadium.

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And by the way, funny how things work. Not too long ago construction prices were spiraling out of sight.

 

Basic materials costs are down, general contractor pricing are down, and significantly, a yard of concrete is down almost 11% in a year. Couldn't be a better time to get this stadium built.

 

I think the biggest issue remains the concessions selection. City wants cronies, Marlins/MLB want open bidding.

 

This article doesn't mention the Marlins, but it could also be a sign of good timing:

 

http://miamitodaynews.com/news/071011/story4.shtml

 

The county's Tourist Development Tax and Professional Sports Facilities Franchise Tax, which make up the remainder of the 6% collected from room rentals, yielded a 22.7% increase from last August

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Stadium = Keeping Willis and Cabrera

 

 

Unfortunately that is not true, but I will let you believe it if it makes you feel good.

but our chances of doing so raise dramitically in the event the stadium deal is finalized soon

 

Not by the sound of things in other articles. For one, the team leans towards pitching and defense and in the same breath says they believe Miggy can be a better 3B than he has shown. If he returns this year it may be his last chance of showing he can actually play the position. And I still fully believe his agent will be in his ear telling him not to sign long term here so he can go to a large market and reap the $$$ stars make there through endorsements, etc... I think more will be clear in how negotiations and possible arbitration happen this time around. Miggy's agency looked like they tipped their hand last year so I don't expect less than that attitude this time around.

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Guest iFesta Touch

Stadium = Keeping Willis and Cabrera

 

 

Unfortunately that is not true, but I will let you believe it if it makes you feel good.

Thanks MLB Revenue Sharing System!

 

Fixed

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Guest iFesta Touch

Stadium = Being able to keep Willis and Cabrera

fixed

 

The Marlins or any other team in a similar-sized market will never be able to outbid for a Miguel Cabrera. He will easily be making $20M a year in free agency.

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And by the way, funny how things work. Not too long ago construction prices were spiraling out of sight.

 

Basic materials costs are down, general contractor pricing are down, and significantly, a yard of concrete is down almost 11% in a year. Couldn't be a better time to get this stadium built.

 

I think the biggest issue remains the concessions selection. City wants cronies, Marlins/MLB want open bidding.

 

This article doesn't mention the Marlins, but it could also be a sign of good timing:

 

http://miamitodaynews.com/news/071011/story4.shtml

 

The county's Tourist Development Tax and Professional Sports Facilities Franchise Tax, which make up the remainder of the 6% collected from room rentals, yielded a 22.7% increase from last August

 

 

I've been pointing out this trend for a long time.

 

If the guys who put together the original or even the first revised projectiond had calculated anywhere near the $$ that's been collected, they would have been summarily fired. The sum is staggering. Enough to build the stadium + money left over and it keeps flowing in by the barrelful.

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Stadium = Being able to keep Willis and Cabrera

fixed

 

The Marlins or any other team in a similar-sized market will never be able to outbid for a Miguel Cabrera. He will easily be making $20M a year in free agency.

Is it possible in the world of Marlin-dom that we sign Cabs before he can become a free-agent? :confused

 

One can hope.

 

As far as this $50 mm is concerned I won't believe anything until I see the stadium actually being constructed and at that point I will still be skeptical.

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