New Marlins stadium gets OK
The governments of Miami and Miami-Dade County approved funding for a new baseball stadium for the Florida Marlins yesterday. It took seven hours of debate before the measure was passed by the Miami-Dade commissioners, 9-3. The County Manager said that the Orange Bowl project can go ahead with or without subsidized funding through the Community Redevelopment Agencies, which was the reason for a lawsuit recently filed by millionaire businessman Norman Braman. The deadline for reaching concrete, definitive terms over financing, etc. is July 1. The Miami Sun Sentinel reports, "The Marlins will provide $120 million up front and another $35 million in annual rent payments of $2.3 million a year." Well, that is certainly more than most other teams have been willing to pay for new stadiums over the past two decades, so let's give franchise owner Jeffrey Loria credit for that. Construction is expected to begin in November, as long as no unforeseen obstacles emerge. (As fans in the Washington and Minneapolis areas know, prolonged bickering and foot-dragging by local politicians is to be expected in these situations.) Nonetheless, it is almost a sure bet that the two-time world champions will move into their home in 2011 and thus become known as the Miami Marlins.
FOOTNOTE: MLB President Bob DuPuy hailed the decision, saying baseball "believes in this market" (South Florida). In the past, he has often cited astrological cycles (getting "the planets and sun and moon aligned") as the basis for stadium deals, which makes me wonder whether the eclipse on Wednesday night had anything to do with this.