January 28, 2009
We've heard this one a couple dozen times or more before, but a final decision on public funding for a new ballpark to house the Florida Marlins may actually take place on Feb. 13, when Miami and Miami-Dade commissioners are supposed to vote on the matter. The current plan is for a 37,000 seat, retractable-roof stadium on the site of the former Orange Bowl. However, the artist's renderings do not show a "deep "Bermuda Triangle" outfield area (like the one in Dolphin Stadium) as was mentioned back in November. The goal now is to finish the stadium by 2012, but with the economy the way it is now, who knows? See the Miami Herald; hat tip to Mike Zurawski.
Here's a thought: Given the bleak budgetary situation across the country, and the hostility to using precious public funds for the purpose of making expense-account corporate fat cats comfortable in luxury suites, why not turn the Miami ballpark into a public works project like what was done in the 1930s? Pay minimum wage, with basic-level health care benefits and maybe barracks to live in. That would give valuable experience and training to thousands of unemployed workers, which would have much more of a stimulative effect than many of the proposals that are currently being debated in Congress.