The Marlins’ moment of truth

Miami-Dade officials have set the vote — and released the final renderings and sketches and stuff — for the Marlins’ new stadium:

Miami and Miami-Dade leaders are poised to cast rapid-fire, historic votes that could end the decade-long search for a permanent home for the two-time World Series champion Florida Marlins.

If approved Feb. 13, the partially glass-encased, 37,000-seat facility with a retractable roof would rise to face the downtown skyline from the Little Havana grounds where the revered Orange Bowl once stood.

The votes, required for five contracts that must be approved before ground can be broken, could be vindication for team owner Jeffrey Loria, who, like the two owners before him, suffered through a series of broken last-minute deals at the hands of government.

You all know how I feel about publicly-funded stadiums, so for philosophical reasons I’m hoping this doesn’t pass. And in an ideal world, the vote’s failure would result in Jeff Loria throwing up his hands and selling the team to someone who would build a stadium themselves and make Miami the amazing baseball town it certainly could be.

But we also know that won’t happen. If this fails, there will be more political junk, followed by even greater cuts to the Marlins baseball operations (if that’s even possible), followed by an eventual move to a town with more pliant politicians. So I suppose this is a lose-lose proposition. Which was probably inevitable the moment Loria took control of the team.

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  1. glenn said...

    Whether or not the funding is approved, it’s still not going to work.  The location is almost as bad as Dolphins Stadium for the fan base.  A location in the vicinity of the Broward and Palm Beach County lines, either near the water or along I-95 was the place to build.  Even somewhere along the Tri-Rail, around the Cypress Creek Station would have worked. 

    The site isn’t even the best choice in Dade county.  That big fenced off swath of Bicentennial Park just outside of downtown would have been light-years better than this.  At least there you have a MetroMover stop that connects to the MetroRail and Tri-Rail system. 

    Not that any of that would matter to the fans in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.  Ask anyone living in those areas what it is like to go to downtown Miami or Miami Int’l Airport using the Tri-Rail system and they’ll tell you they’d rather take their chances with the perpetual gridlock on I-95. 

    I used to live in Hollywood and would take the Tri-Rail down to the OB for Hurricanes games.  For a noon or 12.30pm start, we would have to leave from the Hollywood Station sometime around 9am, take the Tri to the Metro connection, ride to the stop nearest the OB, and then walk over a mile to get to the Stadium by 11.30-noon.  Does anyone really think that the folks in PB (30 miles north of Hollywood) are going to do that?

    OK, that was too long.  Sorry, but I can go on about this subject for hours.

  2. Pete Toms said...

    I didn’t know until I read this piece that MLB’s commitment to build another “urban youth academy” in Miami will be yanked away if the stadium construction doesn’t go ahead.  It’s always “about the children”, ain’t it?

    Going forward, anybody wanna handicap the final costs?  How tough is it gonna be to sell the bonds?  The Yankees just sold their most recent round of bonds and the borrowing costs were significantly higher than the first round. 

    There’s still a long way to go here…which isn’t to say it won’t happen…

  3. Jeff said...

    Its funny to me that Glenn would actually pipe up for the deep and broad base that is Broward and Palm Beach Marlins Fan.  Even though the team has been in that stupid football stadium very close to them and well north of Miami, these mysterious fans have failed to materialize.  Glenn reminds me of the guy from Montreal, speaking on behalf of the other 12 season-ticket holders demanding respect.

    Listen, Miami is a baseball town.  For the shear fact that its populated by people from so many baseball loving countries.  Ft.  Lauderdale is full of boring old white people that-obviously- have proven they won’t come out to games.

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