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Ladies and gentlemen, your new stadium plan


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New Marlins stadium plan unveiled

 

Posted on Tue, Dec. 11, 2007

 

BY CHARLES RABIN - crabin@MiamiHerald.com

 

Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess offered the Florida Marlins a revised plan for the Orange Bowl site Tuesday that shifts a large out-of-pocket cash burden to the ball club, yet costs the county more long term.

 

Burgess's plan, detailed in a cramped third floor County Hall conference room with Major League Baseball in attendance, prompted team officials to break a year-long silence on publicly discussing stadium issues.

 

Team President David Samson called the next 10 days ''critical,'' and said for the first time that if a deal can be brokered, the team would play at the Orange Bowl site.

 

''We're absolutely willing to look at that,'' said Samson, who was digesting the plan's fine print late Tuesday evening. ``We're not site specific. We're South Florida specific.''

 

Burgess, surrounded not only by MLB officials but five county commissioners, said the plan ``minimizes risk to the county.''

 

The big reason: The Marlins would have to come up with $155 million on the front end, more than triple the $45 million previously discussed.

 

Yet the team would end up paying less in the long haul for the facility, now budgeted at $525 million. Before, the team's overall burden over many years would total $207 million. Now, it stops at the $155 million.

 

The county's share, meanwhile, would shift as well.

 

Before, the county would have put up $145 million in bonded tax revenues. It would have also floated a $162 million bond issue that the team would have repaid over decades through gate and concession receipts.

 

Now, the county will put up $199 million in mostly tourist tax dollars and chip in $50 million from a General Obligation Bond. While that $249 million total is less than the $307 million previously discussed, the county would not be getting additional payments back from the team.

 

After seven years of failed efforts to find the two-time World Series champions a new home, Burgess said: ``We have a funding plan in place we think works -- finally.''

 

He said the new formula means public financing would be lowered from 95 percent to about 70 percent. ''Getting away from public financing is good,'' Burgess said.

 

County commissioners will meet Tuesday to discuss the plan.

 

Also needing to sign off on the deal: the city of Miami, which would need to put in $121 million, mostly from tourist tax dollars.

 

Watching it all unfold is Major League Baseball, which believes South Florida warrants keeping the franchise. ''I've got a lot of reading to do tonight,'' said Irwin Raij, an MLB attorney.

 

The Orange Bowl site became available -- and the preference of some county commissioners -- when the University of Miami announced its football team would play next year at Dolphin Stadium.

 

Not long after, county leaders managed to shift $50 million in bond money planned to renovate the OB for the Hurricanes to instead help the Marlins build a new, state-of-the-art facility.

 

The cost has jumped from a recent $490 million estimate to build at downtown Miami's Government Center.

 

When complete -- the goal is to open the gates by April 2010 -- the 37,000-seat stadium would feature 60 private luxury suites, a retractable roof and natural grass.

 

The Marlins would be responsible for cost overruns, and the city of Miami would be on the hook for building a 6,000-car garage. The county would own the stadium.

 

The team would be required to enter into a non-relocation agreement.

 

The new details emerge as fan morale took a hit after last week's trade of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, the Marlins' two most recognizable stars and last remnants from the 2003 World Series champions.

 

But with a relatively healthy radio and television audience, MLB and owner Jeffrey Loria have expressed a will to stay in South Florida.

 

The Marlins have said for years they're in dire need of a new facility. Dolphin Stadium, owned by H. Wayne Huizenga and on the county line, was built for football. Loria has consistently cut payroll, saying the majority of parking and concession money goes to Huizenga.

 

Samson believes that if a stadium is built, the team that traditionally stands near the bottom in payroll and attendance could draw crowds back. ''We've seen markets completely turn around with new stadiums,'' he said.

 

Tuesday's meeting started as a simple get-together of Commission Chairman Bruno Barreiro and Commissioner Jose ''Pepe'' Diaz, who co-chairs the county's sports commission. It mushroomed as word spread. Soon in attendance were Commissioners Natacha Seijas, Joe Martinez, and Carlos Gimenez.

 

Martinez and Gimenez expressed concerns. Martinez questioned Raij about the Marlins' ability to come up with the money.

 

Before leaving the meeting, Gimenez noted that the team's share would dip. ''Now we're at $155 million,'' he said. ``That's all I've got to say.''

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_n...ory/341240.html

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The marlins obviously have a funding mechanism in place or you wouldn't have had this announcement today. Whether it is a loan they have secured, an equity partner or wherever.

 

The tax ramifications are complicated if a loan is involved (unless, say it isn't so MLB stepped up?? just guessing) I'm thnking this because the Marlins make no rent payments under this plan so they must be servicing debt instead.

 

As I said, the other day the PSFT had grown to a point where there was enough money to build three stadiums and if you'll notice the parking garage is back.

 

Keep in mind btw, MLB owns 20% of the profits the Marlins make in the first five years of a new stadium.

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The marlins obviously have a funding mechanism in place or you wouldn't have had this announcement today. Whether it is a loan they have secured, an equity partner or wherever.

 

The tax ramifications are complicated if a loan is involved (unless, say it isn't so MLB stepped up?? just guessing) I'm thnking this because the Marlins make no rent payments under this plan so they must be servicing debt instead.

 

As I said, the other day the PSFT had grown to a point where there was enough money to build three stadiums and if you'll notice the parking garage is back.

 

Keep in mind btw, MLB owns 20% of the profits the Marlins make in the first five years of a new stadium.

 

I'm assuming that the Marlins were familiar with what this plan was going to be prior to the announcement. Hopefully the fact that they know have to pay $155 upfront wasn't just sprung on them tonight...The article kind of makes it sound like it was, but that can't be the case, right?

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The Marlins and MLB have been part of negotiations of this deal for months.

 

At this point it's a matter of tying down language but it's probably 90%% that is agreeable to all parties. I assume the reason they want all the money up front is to do a design/build contract to limit cost overruns and speed construction.

 

This will be a major economic boom to the building trades in Miami and couldn't come at a better time. It might even signal the bottom of the real estate market but that's open to debate. We'll see.

 

I'm really pleased they held out for the garage. The OB was the kiss of death without one.

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The name change has been in place ever since the city of Miami re-entered negotiations two years ago. It was one of the conditions of them doing so.

 

So I guess this means I will have to buy a new cap and away jersey! LOL!

 

This stadium deal sounds reasonable for the Marlins. A lot will hinge on the Marlins being able to front the $155 million, of course. And I have no idea how feasible that will be for the team. Certainly the recent cost-cutting should help in that regard. I hope this gets done.

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A few observations:

- Reading through the memo, it hurts to read that the site in downtown was actually cheaper and better than the Orange Bowl site. Alas, we'll take whatever we can get. Also, construction begins November 2008 with opening day scheduled for the 2011 season.

 

- The County wants to look into the fabric roof concept introduced by Tampa Bay's proposed pirate ship of a stadium. They believe it saves both construction and air conditioning cost. I say we we build a real roof — hybrid roofs don't have a good track record (see Olympic Stadium in Montreal).

 

- Total of 37,000 seats, 3,000 club seats, 60 private suites, 7,200 affordable seats, and parking. Total cost: $525,000,000 ($489,800,000 for construction and design + $4,200,000 for furniture fixtures and equipment + $9,000,000 for owner contingency + $12,000,000 for site work + $10,000,000 demolition of the Orange Bowl, infrastructure and site prep).

 

- If the Marlins are sold to a new owner in the first 10 years (except for the unfortunate death of the team's principle owner), the team would have to pay the County a percentage of the sale price with the assumed price at signing being $250,000,000.

 

 

Fish@Bat

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I'm torn on this, because I'm convinced the stadium needed to be downtown or by the AAA. The OB site is worthless IMO. And, the fact that 1 out of ever 12 seats is a club seat sounds like a high percentage. Is 60 suites a high number though? It is fairly absurd to think that the lack of suite revenue is the primary reason the Marlins claim poverty at DS, yet they only need 60 suites to have long-term stability? Even if you received $500,000 per suite (an outrageous amount, considering the baseball only purpose of the facility), that would only mean an additional $30 million to the franchise (still in the bottom quarter of league payrolls if added to our existing budget).

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Guest iFesta Touch

A few observations:

- Reading through the memo, it hurts to read that the site in downtown was actually cheaper and better than the Orange Bowl site. Alas, we'll take whatever we can get. Also, construction begins November 2008 with opening day scheduled for the 2011 season.

 

- The County wants to look into the fabric roof concept introduced by Tampa Bay's proposed pirate ship of a stadium. They believe it saves both construction and air conditioning cost. I say we we build a real roof — hybrid roofs don't have a good track record (see Olympic Stadium in Montreal).

 

- Total of 37,000 seats, 3,000 club seats, 60 private suites, 7,200 affordable seats, and parking. Total cost: $525,000,000 ($489,800,000 for construction and design + $4,200,000 for furniture fixtures and equipment + $9,000,000 for owner contingency + $12,000,000 for site work + $10,000,000 demolition of the Orange Bowl, infrastructure and site prep).

 

- If the Marlins are sold to a new owner in the first 10 years (except for the unfortunate death of the team's principle owner), the team would have to pay the County a percentage of the sale price with the assumed price at signing being $250,000,000.

 

 

Fish@Bat

 

 

Don't compare the roof in Montreal to the roof in Tampa. They are two totally different mechanisms.

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I'm torn on this, because I'm convinced the stadium needed to be downtown or by the AAA. The OB site is worthless IMO. And, the fact that 1 out of ever 12 seats is a club seat sounds like a high percentage. Is 60 suites a high number though? It is fairly absurd to think that the lack of suite revenue is the primary reason the Marlins claim poverty at DS, yet they only need 60 suites to have long-term stability? Even if you received $500,000 per suite (an outrageous amount, considering the baseball only purpose of the facility), that would only mean an additional $30 million to the franchise (still in the bottom quarter of league payrolls if added to our existing budget).

Well, you're not counting parking or concessions either.

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Guest iFesta Touch

Martinez and Gimenez expressed concerns. Martinez questioned Raij about the Marlins' ability to come up with the money.

 

They haven't been paying attention lately.

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Guest iFesta Touch

I'm torn on this, because I'm convinced the stadium needed to be downtown or by the AAA. The OB site is worthless IMO. And, the fact that 1 out of ever 12 seats is a club seat sounds like a high percentage. Is 60 suites a high number though? It is fairly absurd to think that the lack of suite revenue is the primary reason the Marlins claim poverty at DS, yet they only need 60 suites to have long-term stability? Even if you received $500,000 per suite (an outrageous amount, considering the baseball only purpose of the facility), that would only mean an additional $30 million to the franchise (still in the bottom quarter of league payrolls if added to our existing budget).

 

 

-60 suites is about the average.

-3,000 club seats is a relatively low number (but this is a relatively small facility).

-You're not including parking, concessions, additional advertisements*, naming rights (for the stadium and even sections)

 

 

*Signage is expensive. A sign on the outfield wall can easily run a company into the seven digits.

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So the question becomes at the end of the last Marlins home game in 2009 how loud and long will the "F*** You Wayne" chant be ? :D

 

 

 

yes, I know it's in bad taste I couldn't resist. my bad

 

Never thought of this. But I can imagine some kind of chant going on that day.

 

I'm not a big fan of parking garages for many reasons. One would be the congestion when leaving a high attended game. Couple that with no real infrastructure in place to get to the majors highways and it seems like a nightmare waiting to happen. But I can't see any way around it for this site. And it has me wondering. Would there still be room for regular parking at the site? I would guess it would be first come, first served for season parking pass holders? Not that it would make that much difference to me. We will have to give up our season tickets for some kind of week end plan or something for this site. But at least the team stays in South Florida.

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