Apparently the judge in Miami ruled in the Marlins favor! Great!
Apparently the judge in Miami ruled in the Marlins favor! Great!
Last edited by milladrive; 03-30-2012 at 10:37 AM. Reason: Title
Looks like the Marlins Stadium is probably a go. Hopefully fans will show up, this stadium won't be cheap!
Judge: Florida Marlins stadium serves public good
Following a favorable court ruling, government and Marlins officials say they will move forward on building a long-sought 37,000-seat baseball stadium.
The Florida Marlins took a major stride Tuesday in their lengthy quest for a permanent South Florida home, when a judge ruled that a new ballpark funded primarily through tax dollars serves the public good.
With Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jeri Beth Cohen's ruling, the county and Marlins said they will move ahead with construction of the $515 million, 37,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium in Little Havana.
''This is the one we've been waiting for,'' said Marlins President David Samson. ``It's a complete victory. It took a long time.''
County Mayor Carlos Alvarez on Tuesday restated what he told the court during his deposition: Building the ballpark will revitalize the neighborhood and create much-needed jobs.
''When the economy is hurting, it means thousands of jobs -- good-paying construction jobs -- for people who need them now,'' he said.
The team and government are going forward even as one of billionaire auto dealer Norman Braman's seven lawsuit counts has yet to be adjudged. They believe that issue -- involving the complex financing that set the stadium and a string of other public works projects in motion -- would not affect the new ballpark eyed for the former Orange Bowl site.
Braman took minor solace in Cohen's 41-page ruling. Though Cohen found that the stadium meets the key ''public purpose'' test, she also gave credence to his belief that the stadium can be viewed as a ''sweet deal'' for the Marlins.
Cohen noted the county didn't do an economic impact study for the Little Havana area, said the site has no link to downtown, noted the team did not have to make its financials public even though almost $400 million in public money would be spent, and agreed with Braman that clear proof does not exist that a new stadium would stimulate the neighborhood.
''It reminds me of a football game that you lose when all the statistics are on your side,'' Braman said after the ruling. ``It's not what we believe the constitution of the state of Florida states, and we will appeal the judge's decision to the Supreme Court.''
Replied Samson: ``Let's cut right through it. The trial court's job is to apply the law -- not to make the law.''
FORCE OF LAW
Ultimately, Cohen said the case law was unshakable, and that she could not counter 39 years of rulings that backed the Marlins, the county and the city of Miami's contention that the public would benefit from a new stadium.
'' . . . The law in Florida is clear that retaining a professional baseball team in Miami satisfies a paramount public purpose,'' the judge wrote.
Braman sued the county, Miami and the Marlins over a smattering of issues, chief among them the claim that the use of $382 million in tourist tax dollars to build a private entity a ballpark does not serve a public purpose.
His bigger concern was that the public did not get a vote, through referendum, on the spending -- part of a larger multibillion-dollar megaplan for Miami. Government leaders countered that the public elected the politicians who approved the development blueprint.
Tuesday's ruling continued a string of losses for Braman, with all six lawsuit counts adjudged so far going against him.
Still on the table is a ruling from Cohen on the sole remaining count: whether the county can use Community Redevelopment Agency dollars to pay off a $484 million construction debt at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
Though that financing, on the surface, has no ties to building a ballpark, it's all part of Miami's most expansive public works plan in decades -- the $3 billion deal to build a port tunnel, a park at Bicentennial, the ballpark and a streetcar system, and pay off the Arsht Center debt.
Paying off the debt frees up another pot of money to help fund the ballpark, Braman contends, noting that the team signed an agreement linking the arts center payoff and the ballpark.
The county argues it could build the stadium regardless of the arts center debt.
The agreement calls for the Marlins to put $120 million toward the stadium, and also repay the county another $35 million in ``rent payments.''
Braman believes that if he wins on the last count, the court could potentially order a referendum on the spending at the Arsht Center. That, he believes, could doom the stadium.
The other side sees that last issue differently.
The ballpark, they said, will be financed with an array of tourist and convention-development and sports-franchise taxes, plus a $50 million bond voters approved in 2004 for Orange Bowl renovations -- but no CRA funds.
Though Alvarez and County Manager George Burgess say there's no link between the final ruling and the stadium, they've avoided answering how the Arsht Center debt would be paid off -- if the judge rules it's illegal.
Cohen said she'll make her decision after the Supreme Court rules on a similar case from Escambia County. Initially, the court decided property tax money couldn't be used to pay off bond debt without a public vote, a ruling that could have resonance in the Braman case.
The court then decided to rehear a motion and hasn't issued a final ruling. There is no sense when Cohen will decide this issue.
Braman's hope now is that, with a favorable ruling in that count, a political change of will would doom the stadium.
But Tuesday, the government was focused on the ruling at hand.
''We were quite confident that was how this ruling was going to come down,'' Burgess said Tuesday at County Hall.
Miami Mayor Manny Diaz said the still-pending count of Braman's suit will not hold back construction, though he couldn't pinpoint the date for a stadium groundbreaking.
The city will move ''as fast as we humanly, physically, possibly can,'' Diaz said.
The Marlins are pushing ahead with architectural drawings and finalizing arrangements with a contractor, all in the hopes of opening the 2011 season in the new park.
If the Marlins hope to break ground this year, county commissioners must finalize construction, management and other agreements; and city leaders need to approve land-platting and permits.
But that was the last thing on Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria's mind Tuesday, shortly before his team took the field against National League rival Philadelphia.
The team said a retractable roof stadium would draw crowds otherwise driven away by South Florida's steamy, rainy weather. One midday game last week drew fewer than 600 fans in their seats for the first pitch.
A new stadium would pour concession and skybox proceeds into the bottom line of a team that has won two World Series but has had among the lowest payrolls and attendance in baseball.
''We look forward to the Marlins playing in the new ballpark for generations to come,'' Loria said in a prepared statement.
Thank God That They Are Finaly Going To Get Their Own Stadium!
They're still not going to get fans to show up. That area over there is a nightmare. If they can't get the stadium in downtown Miami, they should just move.
The new renderings should be released not too long from now. Remember, both of those editions shown above were designed with the idea that the Orange Bowl would still be there. The OB has been demolished and now the new ballpark can occupy the whole site
Parks I've visited: 30 for 30, plus 5 closed
How many seats were they planning on having?? I think something akin to PNC Park would be perfect...
Nice of them to 'scale' it back to a pesky $515 Mil, with the team tossing in a whopping $120 mil...
It's really strange to see the empty lot like that, it looks so small. From wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_Orange_BowlThe stadium was on a large block bounded by Northwest 3rd Street (south), Northwest 16th Avenue (west), Northwest 6th Street (north) and Northwest 14th Avenue (east, the open end of the stadium).
Demolition began in March 2008, and will eventually make way for a new 37,000 seat retractable roof baseball stadium that is scheduled to open as the home of the current Florida Marlins in 2011. The team has agreed to change their name to the Miami Marlins as part of the agreement between the team, the city of Miami, and Miami-Dade County.
Last edited by GordonGecko; 09-12-2008 at 07:41 AM.
Last time I checked, Cincinnati didn't have any of that going for them.
Because you know all hispanics like baseball...
(btw, do you work for MLS)?
Or was that for the devil rays?
double post sorry
Last edited by BMF; 09-12-2008 at 12:14 PM.