Marlins ballpark agreement reached
By Sarah Talalay | Sun-Sentinel.com
12:21 AM EST, February 16, 2008
The Marlins, Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami and Major League Baseball reached agreement late Friday to finance a $515 million ballpark at the site of the Orange Bowl, according to a source.
The agreement was not released, but was expected to be distributed to county and city commissioners, who will need to approve it. The city has scheduled a special commission meeting to consider the deal at 9 a.m. Thursday; the county commission is to meet at 1 p.m. that day.
The deal calls for the county and city to contribute $360 million mainly in tourist taxes and a $50 million general obligation bond Miami-Dade voters approved in 2004 to renovate the Orange Bowl, but which will instead be moved to the ballpark project.The Marlins are to contribute $155 million.
The Marlins have been trying for years to finance a new ballpark, but numerous deals were derailed when the state Legislature failed to help pay for the project. The new agreement does not count on state dollars and officials have said they have never been closer to building a 37,000-seat retractable roof ballpark.
The team says it needs its own home because it pays rent at Dolphin Stadium, where its lease expires after the 2010 season, and receives only percentages of revenue from parking, concessions and advertising signage.
The Marlins hope to break ground by year's end with the stadium opening by April 2011, when the team would be renamed the Miami Marlins.