Stadium News - Sort of

The Braman trial took a turn for the strange.

Instead of hearing opening statements in the case targeting the financing for a Florida Marlins ballpark, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen surprised a packed Miami courtroom Thursday afternoon by ordering the sides into settlement talks.

Lawyers for auto dealer Norman Braman, who filed the suit, and the defendants, the Marlins, Miami-Dade County and city of Miami, had been in mediation talks earlier this week trying to reach a settlement. That Cohen sent them back into talks could mean an agreement is close, though no one was saying that Thursday. Cohen said the trial would resume Monday.

I doubt an agreement  is close.  But I could be wrong.  I can't imagine what the defendants will agree to since Braman has lost every ruling.

However, some have a guess to what will satisfy Braman.

Some close to the mediation said items being discussed included the possibility of building a community center near the planned ballpark, or awarding more public access to the facility. Such moves may help satisfy Braman's quest for more public benefit from the megaplan.

Okay, I can get on board for a community center and better public access to the park.  Assuming anyone from a location other than Miami-Dade County plans to attend some games, and I hope they do, they should have easy access from public transportation to the stadium.

Others see it this way:

Others said the standoff -- being mediated by former judge Bruce Greer -- hangs on whether the Marlins will give back some of the concessions the team received in December's Baseball Stadium Agreement engineered by Burgess.

Though the county would own the stadium, the Marlins would receive all monies from its naming rights, which to some teams is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

After years of a crappy lease, I don't see the Marlins organization budging on giving away possible revenue streams in what is suppose to be their new home.  Once again, I could be wrong.

Also, I don't think Burger King is going to pay "hundreds of millions of dollars" to have the new stadium known as the Whopper.  Though there are some industries in Miami that might,, but decorum precludes me from listing them here.

In summary, I think we will go trial on Monday.  But we will see.



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