Marlins are Go

And the second hurdle is cleared:

A home, at last, for the Marlins.

Miami-Dade County commissioners on Monday put to rest more than a decade quest by voting in favor of a roofed ballpark for the Marlins on the Orange Bowl grounds. Commissioners cast two separate votes; the first came back 9-4, and the second was 10-3.

Since winning the World Series in 1997, three separate Marlins owners have sought a baseball-only facility. Now that will become a reality. The next step is moving toward breaking ground by July in hopes of getting the building open by 2012.

I’m done bloviating about all of this. All I’ll say is that Marlins’ ownership had better hold up its end of the bargain — well, what would have been a bargain if they had ever shown a care for the public in all of this — and put the resources and love into this team that the citizens of Miami deserve. If they go all Lerners-with-the-Nationals on this, I hope and suspect that the pitchforks and torches will be generously distributed throughout Dade county.

Check in with Jorge and Neil going forward, as they will no doubt continue to have the best coverage of all of this.

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Comments

  1. lar said...

    So my question is, how definite does this make things? Didn’t Tampa recently approve a stadium too, and isn’t it on hold? Or am I wrong about that?

  2. Pete Toms said...

    lar, Rays are back to square 1, looking for a site.

    Well, I am wrong again.  I thought this deal was gonna die at the county level due to financing concerns (bed tax revenues declining due to the recession, borrowing costs in the bond market).  But, they did it and the votes weren’t even close at the county.  Maybe in the end the recession helped, lots of short term construction work now.

    Happy for Marlins fans, should be a good spot to watch a ball game.

  3. GBS said...

    Another community squeezed for a half-billion dollars, give or take, by the uber-rich.  I love baseball, but I sure do hate these deals.

    I’m wondering how soon it will be before the Blue Jays, White Sox and O’s start complaining that their “ancient” parks need to be replaced.

  4. pete said...

    Don’t worry, Craig—once the stadium is done, ownership will come up with another reason not to spend any money.

  5. Jorge Costales said...

    Agreed with the sentiments about the onus being on Marlins ownership to live up to the many promises they made in the course of the obtaining public—albeit non-local tax—monies to build the ballpark.

    But as a Miamian who supported the stadium and has no illusions about the Loria MLB ownership track record – which is in my opinion:

    Good – spent money from 2003 thru 2005 very effectively and established a baseball operation which has allowed them to have a .500 W/L record with minimum wage salaries for the past 3 years.

    Bad – Montreal and minimum wage salaries for the past 3 years.

    The answer to why someone who is aware of that would support the stadium is that I believe that the stadium ensures us of having a permanent [or at least 20 years?] MLB team in Miami. So even if the Marlins continue at the low-end of the pay scale and the record is bad and attendance does not materialize. Then the smart move is for MLB to push for a sale of the team, not to allow or encourage relocation. Especially in light of the international growth of the sport in the region. It would be, ‘the smart move.’

  6. Jorge Costales said...

    Re Tampa – forgot to add – please check out this blog – http://blogs.tampabay.com/ballpark/

    Blog is by Aaron Sharockman, a local reporter

    Any public financing in Tampa has to go thru a public referendum, so local civic leaders are trying to develop a plan which will allow them to present a united front. You have to figure they’ll want to go public as close the World Series memories as possible

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