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Miami residents vote for new stadium


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Miami residents vote for new stadium

09/01/2008 11:56 AM ET

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

 

This is part of an MLB.com/floridamarlins.com exclusive series with Marlins president David Samson chronicling the progress and developments of the new retractable-roof stadium that is scheduled to open in 2011. As part of the series, which will run twice monthly, fans are encouraged to e-mail David at [email protected]. The fan who presents the best suggestion for this two-week period will receive free tickets to an upcoming Marlins game.

 

MIAMI -- Miami-Dade County residents had their say last week, and they voted in favor of those who support a new stadium for the Marlins.

 

The Aug. 26 elections in Miami-Dade County had a direct connection to the Marlins efforts to get construction under way on a retractable-roof stadium in the Little Havana section of Miami.

 

At a time where there is a legal challenge to the project, several local politicians who voted in favor of the baseball park were up for re-election on Aug. 26. All of them won.

 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez won by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, and several county commissioners also were voted back into office by comfortable margins.

 

"The night of Aug. 26 was very, very important in the timeline of the stadium project, as well as, really, the success of Miami, which is a great city," Samson said.

 

Auto dealer Norman Braman is legally challenging some aspects of funding for the new ballpark, along with the financing of a $3 billion mega-plan for a number of ambitious projects. Not just a Marlins' stadium is at stake here for Miami. There are a number of projects impacted by the lawsuit, including a Port of Miami tunnel and revamping Bicentennial Park.

 

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen, who also was re-elected on Aug. 26, still has to make two final rulings in the case. The decisions should come by the middle of the month.

 

Braman has said he would consider dropping his lawsuit if the projects were put to the public vote.

 

The political process did come into play last Tuesday, because the county residents had their chance to have their voices heard in the voting booths.

 

Elected back into office were Alvarez, along with Miami-Dade County commissioners Audrey Edmonson, Joe Martinez and Bruno Barreiro.

 

"There was a referendum, and it was called the Mayoral election," Samson said. "Mayor Alvarez was convincingly re-elected by the people of Miami-Dade County, thereby showing their support of him, the mayor, and these projects, including our stadium.

 

"The fact is the people did vote, and the judge can see that these commissioners and this mayor have time and time again supported not only this stadium, but other downtown projects. The people in each district had a chance to review what their commissioners stand for, and how they have voted in the past, and how they have voted on the projects. The people have spoken."

 

Even with the lawsuit in a holding pattern, the Marlins have remained active on the stadium front.

 

When the team was in Arizona recently, Samson and representatives for the Marlins park, including Miami-Dade County manager George Burgess, took a tour of two facilities with roofs: Chase Field (Diamondbacks) and University of Phoenix Stadium (NFL's Arizona Cardinals).

 

"When we were in Arizona, everyone got a chance to see what a downtown stadium [Chase Field] can offer and a rural stadium, which is what University of Phoenix Stadium is. That helped them see what what a new stadium could be like in Little Havana, which is maybe a mile-and-a-half from downtown Miami.

 

"We wanted everyone to see the roof at Chase Field, and the University of Phoenix Stadium, which has a fabric roof, a very unique roof."

 

University of Phoenix Stadium has already been the host of a Super Bowl, and the annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

 

So many new ballparks are making major economic impacts in their respective communities. The Arizona Cardinals, for instance, contribute $150 million to the local economy each year, and the Fiesta Bowl brings in another $140 million.

 

These big economic numbers are not being lost on South Florida officials. For instance, the second round of the 2009 World Baseball Classic will be played at Dolphin Stadium, the Marlins' current home. The event is expected to pour $25 million into South Florida for those few days.

 

Representatives from HOK Sport, hired to design the Marlins new ballpark, and Hunt/Moss, the construction manager for the project, were part of the team's contingent that traveled to Arizona. The group also had representatives from companies that make retractable roofs. "It was a very, very important trip," Samson said. "We're also going to make a trip to Minute Maid Park [in Houston] to see another roof facility."

 

It's good to see that the people support the new stadium and could make a potential vote on the new stadium pass if one is needed. Hopefully, this should be a strong indicator that no vote should be needed on the stadium, since the public re-elected city officals that support the stadium and due to the vote obviously delaying the construction of the stadium.

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an article about nothing , wishfull thinking by samson

 

 

i dont think so. if the people did not support the construction of a new stadium (or even the entire package for that matter) then these officials would have been elected out of office i would think, simple as that. the mayor easily won relection 2 to 1...thats alot support. this is just one way the citizens of miami can let their voice be heard. it's not "wishful thinking", its democracy.

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an article about nothing , wishfull thinking by samson

 

 

i dont think so. if the people did not support the construction of a new stadium (or even the entire package for that matter) then these officials would have been elected out of office i would think, simple as that. the mayor easily won relection 2 to 1...thats alot support. this is just one way the citizens of miami can let their voice be heard. it's not "wishful thinking", its democracy.

 

The mayoral election has nothing to do with whether or not we will get a stadium . At the end of the day the judges ruling will determine whether or the not the project will move forward . So while pro Marlin representatives were re-elected it IS wishfull thinking to say that resolves the matter .

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an article about nothing , wishfull thinking by samson

 

 

i dont think so. if the people did not support the construction of a new stadium (or even the entire package for that matter) then these officials would have been elected out of office i would think, simple as that. the mayor easily won relection 2 to 1...thats alot support. this is just one way the citizens of miami can let their voice be heard. it's not "wishful thinking", its democracy.

 

The mayoral election has nothing to do with whether or not we will get a stadium . At the end of the day the judges ruling will determine whether or the not the project will move forward . So while pro Marlin representatives were re-elected it IS wishfull thinking to say that resolves the matter .

 

well, i agree that this election has nothing to do with the stadium issue directly...but i think it contridicts bramans arguement that "the public does not support the stadium"...if that was the case, we would see some of that directly affecting elections...it does not resolve the matter ofcourse, but can be used to counter bramans arguement that the public does not support our elected officials voting to fund a new stadium...like i said, if that was the case, then why were they all re-elected???? obviously, the public approves of the job they have done, and that includes supporting a new marlins stadium. again, it is not wishful thinking, it is a matter of fact.

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