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Herald - Arriola Talks About Stadium Proposal


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Check out this outstanding column in today's Herald. It says a lot about the city of Miami's proposed stadium offer and the unfortunate lack of cooperation between the counties in South Florida.

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Posted on Tue, Jan. 06, 2004

 

Arriola proposes stadium solution no one will buy

By JIM DEFEDE

Herald Columnist

 

On Thursday, Miami City Manager Joe Arriola will present plans for a baseball stadium on the site of the Orange Bowl.

 

In one scenario, he will recommend condemning land around the existing Orange Bowl, so that a no-frills, baseball-only stadium can be built alongside the existing stadium. The stadium would have no retractable roof and limited luxury suites -- both of which are likely deal breakers for the Marlins.

 

In the second, he will suggest refurbishing the Orange Bowl to accommodate both football and baseball for the next six or seven years until the Marlins can find a better alternative site, as well as additional funding, to build their own stadium.

 

''Is it perfect? I know it's not perfect,'' he told me Monday. ``I know it is not even that great. I'm only offering them what we can do.''

 

The ideal solution, Arriola charges, would be for the politicians in Miami-Dade and Broward to get together and come up with a joint plan to keep the Marlins in South Florida.

 

''What is wrong with the two counties getting together,'' he asks, ``and building the perfect site?''

 

I told Arriola I was surprised to hear him say that, since it would mean the stadium probably wouldn't be built in Miami.

 

``So?''

 

And the team wouldn't change its name to the Miami Marlins.

 

''So?'' he says again. ``Are we so parochial that that is the only thing we care about? There should be real leadership that gets together and says, `Look, this is not the Miami Marlins, this is the Florida Marlins. How about all of us putting our resources together and getting this done?''

 

Excuse me, operator, can you please check this connection? I think there's something wrong with my phone -- Joe Arriola is making some sense.

 

''Nobody wants to do that, unfortunately,'' he says, referring to the political leaders in Miami-Dade and Broward. ``So what I am bringing to the table is the solution that a small city with budgetary issues can do.''

 

Of course, his solution of moving to the Orange Bowl isn't going to fly. Despite previous reports attributed to Arriola, which said the Marlins had dropped their request for a retractable roof stadium, Arriola now says the team has only agreed to listen to his proposal.

 

''They are willing to listen,'' he says. ``Are they going to accept it? I have no idea.''

 

Several sources have said the team is still adamant about wanting a retractable roof, because fears of rain delays often hurt attendance.

 

Arriola said any participation by the city -- even for the Orange Bowl site -- would have to go before voters.

 

''The only thing the city will back is something that is part of a referendum and goes to the people,'' he said. ``The Miami Arena is a white elephant. Whether the county wants to admit it or not, the AmericanAirlines Arena is a white elephant, and if you go to Broward County, you know that Panther arena is a white elephant.''

 

A common complaint against Arriola is that he negotiates deals through the press, often blindsiding the county and the Marlins with proposals they only learn about in the newspaper or on TV.

 

It is a more serious problem than Arriola wants to admit, and one that is gaining him and the city of Miami a bad reputation.

 

Instead of bravado it comes across as an over-inflated ego. Nevertheless, his point is well taken.

 

''I am very open, and very, very loud in my thinking,'' he says, ``that people should be told the exact, absolute truth.''

 

As with many of his statements, Arriola was taking a swipe at Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas. He cited Penelas' flip-flop on construction of the AmericanAirlines Arena.

 

''They would like me to do this deal in a backroom,'' he said. ``And I'm not willing to do that. I want this to be out in the open and for people to vote for it. It's their money, and they should vote for it.''

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Can't help but agree 100% with Arriola here.

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Excuse me, operator, can you please check this connection? I think there's something wrong with my phone -- Joe Arriola is making some sense.

 

:lol

 

 

Where's pubes so we can rain on his parade since it was he who said that EdCanes has been wrong many of the times...

 

 

Good job Edcanes! We knew about this a week before the press knew about it! :thumbup

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Excuse me, operator, can you please check this connection? I think there's something wrong with my phone -- Joe Arriola is making some sense.

 

:lol

 

 

Where's pubes so we can rain on his parade since it was he who said that EdCanes has been wrong many of the times...

 

 

Good job Edcanes! We knew about this a week before the press knew about it! :thumbup I'm not quite sure what Edcanes got right. Help me out here, we still don't have a stadium, and we don't look any closer, that article is an opinion piece, and it sounds like Miami/Dade/Broward are all pretty fragmented when it comes to this stadium...

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Excuse me, operator, can you please check this connection? I think there's something wrong with my phone -- Joe Arriola is making some sense.

 

:lol

 

 

Where's pubes so we can rain on his parade since it was he who said that EdCanes has been wrong many of the times...

 

 

Good job Edcanes! We knew about this a week before the press knew about it! :thumbup I'm not quite sure what Edcanes got right. Help me out here, we still don't have a stadium, and we don't look any closer, that article is an opinion piece, and it sounds like Miami/Dade/Broward are all pretty fragmented when it comes to this stadium... He said there would be a deal announced on Thursday January the 8th by Miami, he didn't say that the Marlins would exactly agree to it but he hit it right on the money...

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Excuse me, operator, can you please check this connection? I think there's something wrong with my phone -- Joe Arriola is making some sense.

 

:lol

 

 

Where's pubes so we can rain on his parade since it was he who said that EdCanes has been wrong many of the times...

 

 

Good job Edcanes! We knew about this a week before the press knew about it! :thumbup I'm not quite sure what Edcanes got right. Help me out here, we still don't have a stadium, and we don't look any closer, that article is an opinion piece, and it sounds like Miami/Dade/Broward are all pretty fragmented when it comes to this stadium... He said there would be a deal announced on Thursday January the 8th by Miami, he didn't say that the Marlins would exactly agree to it but he hit it right on the money... Huh? He said that we'd have a stadium by the 8th. There isn't even an offer on the table; this is just a person thinking out loud.

 

Edcanes said: "I'm first going to say, this second hand info and I don't want people to think this is fact......BUT it appear the deal is done with the city of Miami and the Marlins. An announce will be made on Thursday Jan. 8th. Don't ask me where, how much and all those juice questions because I don't know...I do know that an announce will be made Jan.8th. that's all I know.....I'll try to gather more info after the New Year "

 

THERE IS NO DEAL IN PLACE. There isn't even an offer really on the table either.

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In one scenario, he will recommend condemning land around the existing Orange Bowl, so that a no-frills, baseball-only stadium can be built alongside the existing stadium. The stadium would have no retractable roof and limited luxury suites -- both of which are likely deal breakers for the Marlins.

 

I like this idea. Imagine the Marlins' Spring Training Home, Roger Dean Stadium, with an upper deck and 38,000 seats. RDS has luxury boxes and nice amenities and didn't cost that much. Anybody not agree?

 

Here is a link to HOK's portfolio page on Roger Dean Stadium for you to see what I mean.

http://www.hoksve.com/sport/projects/37065...m.htm?sort=Time

 

Baseball is fancy on the field, as long as the venue is nice, fan-friendly and clean, why does it need to be fancy?

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Roger Dean Stadium Fact Sheet

 

Description

A $28 million Spring Training Complex/Stadium specially designed to house two Major League Baseball teams. The complex is the newest and most state-of-the-art facility of its kind in Florida. The stadium features luxury sky-box seating, permanent seating, parking and concessions.

 

Open Date

February 28, 1998

 

Ownership

Palm Beach County

 

Management

Florida Marlins & St. Louis Cardinals

 

Location

Roger Dean Stadium is located on approximately 110 acres within the Abacoa Community. Abacoa is located on Donald Ross Road, approximately ? mile east of Interstate 95.

 

Baseball

Spring Training is held during the months of February and March. The Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals share the facility during this time. The stadium is one of only four facilities in the country that has two Major League teams during Spring Training. The Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League (A) make their home at Roger Dean Stadium from April through August. The stadium is the only one in the country that hosts two Minor League Baseball teams on a permanent basis. .

 

Capacity

The ballpark features field box, loge box, bleacher, grass berm, and luxury skybox seating. The stadium can accommodate approximately 7,000 fans. It seats approximately 6,600 and another 200 fans can spread out on a blanket and catch a closer glimpse of the game from the Grass Berm, located just in front of the Party Deck in right field.

 

Dimensions

Left Field ? 335 feet

Left-Center Field ?380 feet

Center Field ? 400 feet

Right-Center Field ? 375 feet

Right Field ? 325 feet

 

 

Special Events

Roger Dean Stadium is more than just a stadium?It can be rented out for the day to host a company picnic, meeting, fund-raiser, graduation ceremony or a private function. The stadium regularly hosts over 20 outside events each year. The facility is also the host to two of the largest high school baseball tournaments in the country each year, the USA Baseball Junior Olympic Tournament in June and the Baseball America/ Perfect Game Baseball Wood Bat Championship in October..

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