PDA

View Full Version : Marlins new ballpark in jeopardy



savafan
03-09-2008, 03:59 PM
http://www.miamiherald.com/459/story/446822.html

By CHARLES RABIN And MICHAEL VASQUEZ
crabin@MiamiHerald.com

A growing turf battle between Miami and Miami-Dade police officers -- and their respective politicians -- threatens to delay or derail the long-sought $525 million Florida Marlins ballpark, even as cranes ready to take down the historic Orange Bowl.

The fight is simple at its core, centered on which agency gets to patrol the ballpark grounds and reap millions in off-duty pay during the team's 35-year lease. While the ballpark would be built in the city, the county would own the facility.

Politically, the solution is not so simple, as each governing body -- Miami on one side and Miami-Dade on the other -- wants to ensure its officers get their share of the spoils. Each has passed dueling resolutions.

Elected leaders fear giving in means they'd lose the support of two of the most powerful voting blocks in South Florida, the Police Benevolent Association representing county police and the Fraternal Order of Police overseeing Miami.

The unions' political might extends beyond the 5,000 officers, said former Miami Police Chief Ken Harms, to the ability to organize and campaign for commissioners.

'No reasonable politician wants to alienate his or her police or fire department. They want to be able to say down the line, `we supported you guys,' '' said Harms.

The police issue threatens to delay the aggressive schedule the Marlins have crafted to complete the massive construction job within a 28-month window so the team can play in Little Havana by 2011.

Despite the Baseball Stadium Agreement being approved two weeks ago in broad form by the city and county, a host of other issues -- including a management contract that would include the policing duties -- must be resolved and voted on by commissioners before the digging begins in November.

The agreement also says that if the plan falls apart because a management agreement isn't reached, the county could be on the hook for one-third of any money spent to that point -- Marlins architectural drawings, for example, or any Miami public works -- whether the county spent any money, or not.

The coveted off-duty pay -- which averages $28 an hour in Miami and $30 in the county -- is significant to Miami police, and even more so to county officers who use it to bulk up their pensions. The BSA calls for the Marlins to fund police presence.

The agreement calls for land under the stadium to be deeded to the county -- freeing the city from a pricey property tax bill.

But the decision to deed those 13 acres or so has set off a threat by the county's most powerful union boss ''to blow up'' negotiations; a protest by the union representing Miami police; and the specter of a grievance by Miami police -- against city commissioners.

''They're [county police] proposing to have double the amount of police officers, just so they don't get sweaty outside,'' said FOP boss Armando Aguilar, who represents Miami's 940 police officers.

The turf battle surfaced unexpectedly two weeks ago as county commissioners prepared to vote to finance the stadium, when John Rivera, the PBA union boss, threatened to detonate the deal if his members were left out.

Commissioners, their aides and Marlins officials searched for a way to appease Rivera. Several hours later, Rivera accepted the financing vote under the condition that city and county administrators return with a negotiated settlement within 30 days -- or the ballpark deal would die.

Last week, as city commissioners passed a unanimous vote for Miami officers to patrol the stadium, about 100 members carried signs and strolled the circular City Hall parking lot protesting any potential county presence.

Said city Commissioner Tomas Regalado: ``Common sense never is present in any dealings with the county.''

Then Tuesday, after county commissioners passed a similar unanimous vote for county officers to patrol the new ballpark, city commissioners were put on notice -- by their own police department.

FOP attorney Osnat K. Rind cited the city's collective bargaining agreement in contending there was no leeway when it comes to patrolling in Miami. ''The union considers the city's action a serious breach of its obligation to act in good faith and fairly with employees,'' wrote Rind.

During the county hearing, commissioners harped on how county forces lost lucrative jobs at the AmericanAirlines Arena and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. They vowed to never let that happen again.

''I'm not blinking,'' piped in Commissioner Joe Martinez.

County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Manager George Burgess, and city Mayor Manny Diaz and Manager Pete Hernandez, aim to settle the dispute. Alvarez and Burgess declined comment.

Hernandez said he's trying to get the two police departments to talk. He said he spoke with FOP's Aguilar Tuesday and is willing to sit down with Rivera.

The parties have two weeks to reach resolution. With that deadline looming, some see signs of light, others not so much.

Union bosses representing city and county firefighters -- who, like police, are also negotiating for territorial rights -- are talking. PBA's Rivera said he's fine with his troops working from the stadium sidewalk in, and city police the adjacent streets.

''I never implied we wanted to encroach,'' he said.

Replied Aguilar: ``They want to be the boss. Well, let them build it outside, in the county, then. Let them build it in the Everglades.''

cincrazy
03-09-2008, 04:16 PM
That city doesn't deserve a baseball team. Moving baseball to Florida turned out to be a pretty awful idea.

KronoRed
03-09-2008, 04:18 PM
Just blow up the orange bowl, everyone will feel better.

cincrazy
03-09-2008, 04:20 PM
Just blow up the orange bowl, everyone will feel better.

Amen to that. Florida corners the market as far as crappy, downtrodden stadiums are concerned.

sonny
03-09-2008, 09:11 PM
Move the team to Montreal. the fanbase was better.

KronoRed
03-09-2008, 10:19 PM
Move the team to Montreal. the fanbase was better.

Boo, get the Jays out of Canada, trade them back all the hockey teams.

4256 Hits
03-09-2008, 11:14 PM
Unions were a large part of the rise of the USA are now becoming a large part of the downfall of the USA.

Raisor
03-09-2008, 11:17 PM
Boo, get the Jays out of Canada, trade them back all the hockey teams.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2300/2242155009_6db8bd8843_o.jpg

Chip R
03-09-2008, 11:37 PM
Unions were a large part of the rise of the USA are now becoming a large part of the downfall of the USA.


Save it for the Peanut Gallery.

bucksfan2
03-10-2008, 04:31 PM
I was down in Naples, Fl this past week and read an article similar to that in the local newspaper. What struck me as ironic was that Naples is about 90 minutes from Miami yet the local paper covered the Red Sox and even the Twins more than they did the Marlins. I think its about time to move the Marlins out of Miami to a city that would better support them.

KronoRed
03-10-2008, 04:36 PM
Raisor stop with the Trek pictures, if you start up with D&D pics you'll lose your rep.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 04:37 PM
the problems the Marlins have is they have no leverage, no where to go. I am amazed the stadium project has gotten this far. Miami is bidding against itself.

Chip R
03-10-2008, 04:55 PM
the problems the Marlins have is they have no leverage, no where to go. I am amazed the stadium project has gotten this far. Miami is bidding against itself.


They could fold unless Bud lets them go to Vegas.

pedro
03-10-2008, 04:56 PM
They could fold unless Bud lets them go to Vegas.

Portland.

Chip R
03-10-2008, 04:59 PM
Portland.


Portland too.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 05:02 PM
Portland too.has even less to offer than Miami ... especially after the AAA fiasco.

pedro
03-10-2008, 05:04 PM
has even less to offer than Miami ... especially after the AAA fiasco.

Really? Have you ever even been here?

flyer85
03-10-2008, 05:06 PM
Really? Have you ever even been here?
smaller population base, smaller tv market, bankrupted their AAA team, no major league stadium. I would say things are looking up.:thumbup:

red-in-la
03-10-2008, 05:06 PM
Raisor stop with the Trek pictures, if you start up with D&D pics you'll lose your rep.

Don't stop....:laugh:....don't stop.....:laugh:

pedro
03-10-2008, 05:09 PM
smaller population base, smaller tv market, bankrupted their AAA team, no major league stadium. I would say things are looking up.:thumbup:

And also the biggest market in the country without a team.

Where 10-15% of the fans at Mariners games on any given night are estimated to be from, even though it's 3 hours away.

Where the local pro soccer team averages 10,000 fans a night.

Yeah, we suck.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 05:11 PM
Yeah, we suck.never said that.

If Portland was ANY option the Marlins would be headin' for Pacific waters.

15fan
03-10-2008, 05:13 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

Draw a circle around Atlanta. Nearest MLB teams are in DC (650 miles), Tampa (450 miles), Cincinnati (475 miles), St. Louis (550 miles), and Houston/Dallas (800 miles).

Charlotte, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Jacksonville, or Orlando would give the southeast another team that would be closer than any other existing MLB team to Atlanta.

It's not like the population in this part of the world is going to pull a Rust Belt and stagnate or shrink any time soon...

flyer85
03-10-2008, 05:17 PM
There just aren't any cities beating down the door of MLB to get a franchise. To even get MLB to open the door you would have to have a stadium deal in place or the proposition is a non-starter.

pedro
03-10-2008, 05:22 PM
There just aren't any cities beating down the door of MLB to get a franchise. To even get MLB to open the door you would have to have a stadium deal in place or the proposition is a non-starter.

They had one brokered here ready for the Expos. It's not on the table anymore but I think one could be put together if the Marlins were serious about moving.

In fact, one of the local native american tribes has offered to build one for free in exchange for riverboat gambling rights. The current governor has said no, but he's out after this term so that could change.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 05:24 PM
They had one brokered here ready for the Expos. It's not on the table anymore but I think one could be put together if the Marlins were serious about moving.

In fact, one of the local native american tribes has offered to build one for free in exchange for riverboat gambling rights. The current governor has said no, but he's out after this term so that could change.
If they had a stadium deal in hand one of the Florida teams would be packin' their bags as we speak.

IMHO cities are tired of being extorted by MLB franchises.

Chip R
03-10-2008, 05:26 PM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

Draw a circle around Atlanta. Nearest MLB teams are in DC (650 miles), Tampa (450 miles), Cincinnati (475 miles), St. Louis (550 miles), and Houston/Dallas (800 miles).

Charlotte, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Jacksonville, or Orlando would give the southeast another team that would be closer than any other existing MLB team to Atlanta.


ATL would throw a fit if FLA moved to any of those places and HOU would do the same if they moved to NO. Plus NO may lose the Hornets and/or the Saints. The ideal move would be the metropolitan NY area but that's abput as likely as finding a Bill James Historical Abstract in Dusty's bookcase.

15fan
03-10-2008, 05:37 PM
ATL would throw a fit if FLA moved to any of those places

I don't think so. NFL competition in Charlotte, Jacksonville, Nashville, and NO. NHL competition in Raleigh and Nashville. NBA competition (if you want to acknowledge the Hawks as NBA talent...) in Charlotte, NO, Memphis and Orlando.

After California and the Caribbean, the SE is probably the next richest part of the country with respect to developing baseball talent. Only having 1 team in this part of the world just doesn't make sense.

Chip R
03-10-2008, 05:43 PM
I don't think so. NFL competition in Charlotte, Jacksonville, Nashville, and NO. NHL competition in Raleigh and Nashville. NBA competition (if you want to acknowledge the Hawks as NBA talent...) in Charlotte, NO, Memphis and Orlando.

After California and the Caribbean, the SE is probably the next richest part of the country with respect to developing baseball talent. Only having 1 team in this part of the world just doesn't make sense.


I don't disagree but it's not like the other sports where you can pull up stakes and move on a whim. The Braves have all that competition and now they aren't going to have a fit when they get more? With all their fickle fans? All ATL needs to do is to get 4 or 5 more teams to side with them and they can block FLA from moving anywhere but Boca Raton.

RBA
03-10-2008, 05:56 PM
Reno Marlins. Lt Dangle on Stadium patrol. In Driving range of Vegas, Sacramento, Tahoe, Carson City, and Yosemite National Park.

Strikes Out Looking
03-10-2008, 05:57 PM
Actually, now that the dollar is down, baseball may be more economically viable in Montreal.

Blimpie
03-10-2008, 07:16 PM
Just blow up the orange bowl, everyone will feel better.:wave::clap:

Blimpie
03-10-2008, 07:22 PM
ATL would throw a fit if FLA moved to any of those places and HOU would do the same if they moved to NO. Plus NO may lose the Hornets and/or the Saints.Yes, but it would still make better sense in those areas. The other team owners sure didn't mind putting the screws to Angelos when the Nationals were being approved in the Orioles' backyard.

Of course, Angelos is demon spawn in many of their eyes...so I digress.

ramp101
03-10-2008, 08:58 PM
eh, the stadium deal is going through

this is just a blip on the radar

cincinnati chili
03-11-2008, 02:21 AM
I seem to remember hearing about how Cleveland and Seattle were terrible baseball towns.

Look, I don't like the whole stadium extortion game anymore than the next person, but I believe the Marlins drew 3 million fans in their first year and drew pretty well the year after their 2nd world series. All of it in a crummy rainfall-prone setting in stifling summer heat. The population of Miami likes baseball as much as any population in the country. If they do the park right, I expect them to draw above average on a consistent basis.

ramp101
03-12-2008, 12:42 PM
I seem to remember hearing about how Cleveland and Seattle were terrible baseball towns.

Look, I don't like the whole stadium extortion game anymore than the next person, but I believe the Marlins drew 3 million fans in their first year and drew pretty well the year after their 2nd world series. All of it in a crummy rainfall-prone setting in stifling summer heat. The population of Miami likes baseball as much as any population in the country. If they do the park right, I expect them to draw above average on a consistent basis.

that...

and actually putting money into the team

but they are correlative anyway

KronoRed
03-12-2008, 03:04 PM
I wouldn't expect Loria to put any money into the team, I expect him to sell as fast as he can as soon as the new place opens.

ramp101
03-12-2008, 09:07 PM
I wouldn't expect Loria to put any money into the team, I expect him to sell as fast as he can as soon as the new place opens.

fine with me

but it's not like he hasn't put money into the team before

Raisor
03-12-2008, 09:51 PM
I seem to remember hearing about how Cleveland and Seattle were terrible baseball towns.



Seattle was never a terrible baseball town, those 500 of us that were regulars at the Kingdome really knew the game.