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Posted on Mon, Mar. 08, 2004

Stadium deal set through '06



The Baltimore Orioles and the city of Fort Lauderdale have reached ''an agreement in concept'' for the team to continue spring training at Fort Lauderdale Stadium through at least 2006, a city official said.


The two-year deal still must be signed by the Orioles and approved by the city commission, likely on April 20. Under the agreement, the Orioles would cover the stadium's operating expenses in 2005 and 2006, said Vince Gizzi, Fort Lauderdale's superintendent for special facilities. The stadium had a $300,000 deficit last year.


The city and team would like to sign a 15-year lease, but that's contingent on the state legislature providing as much as $15 million toward renovating and expanding the stadium. The Orioles have said they would match the state's contribution.


If the money is allocated by the legislature, the city likely would demolish nearby Lockhart Stadium and use the grounds to build minor-league fields for the Orioles, whose minor-leaguers now train in Sarasota. The new fields could also be used for high school events, Gizzi said.



A similar story appeared in the Sun-Sentinel.


How this plays out will have a great bearing on how things go for the Marlins in their quest for a new stadium. It is hard to believe that the legislature would agree to a $15 million deal for the Orioles to refurbish a stadium in Ft Lauderdale for a month of spring training games and not be equally supportive of keeping a MLB team in Miami. While the Marlins will seek approximately double ($30 million over 15 yrs) the economic justification is manifestly larger.


The Herald find themselves in a box over this. The Orioles have one of the wealthiest owners in baseball. If any team can afford to do this on their own, it's Peter Angelos. As it pertains to the Herald and the Orioles' request, so far their editorial position has been neutral, simply reporting what has been going on in Broward. It would be hard for them to remain silent on the O's request and then come out against the Marlins seeking a similar deal with the State. Even if this forces the Herald to not take a position on the Marlins request that's a win for the franchise.


It also places the Miami-Dade delegation in a difficult position, especially those like Dan Gelber (who supports Miami Beach's contention that they are being short-changed) and Gwen Margolis. Supporting the Orioles request and then turning their backs on the Marlins would be unjustifiable on many levels.


Watching how this plays out may be THE key to the Marlins finally getting a stadium.

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well put, 03.


unfortunately, the other side of the coin could hold true as well.


if the $15 million for the O's ballpark doesn't pass in the state legislature, the new precedent probably wouldn't help the marlins' push for $60 million from the state. that said, i think in the end we'll get state money even if the O's do not.

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The clock is ticking boys and there isn't much time left. Whatever these guys are doing for the stadium, they better hurry it up and do it otherwise who knows for how much longer we can have an actual Major League Baseball team play here all season long :banghead


Samson always said it would come down to seven nights of all-nighters.


I wonder if he has his jammies packed?

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