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Marlins Stadium Regains Life

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I thought that the Marlins new stadium project was just about officially dead, but it turns out that it's not.

Depending on your source, the Marlins hopes for the last $60 million of stadium financing may be tied on to a bill that's related to NASCAR, spring training facilities, and/or convention centers.  All of that may even be covered under one bill somehow or another.

It also seems that legislation related to the stadium is moving through both the state house and the state senate.  However, what went through the Senate yesterday seems to run at odds with the naming request the city of Miami previously made:

Almost simultaneously, a key Senate committee agreed by a one-vote margin to keep the stadium alive with a likely caveat that the team keep its name as the Florida Marlins and not change to the Miami Marlins.

The City of Miami wanted the team to change their name to the Miami Marlins if the city was going to put their resources behind the project - but apparently this will only happen if two local governments request it.  Other than Miami, I'm not sure who else would (maybe Miami-Dade County).  

Maybe the legislators can compromise.  They could allow the Marlins to become the Miami Marlins and rename the state's other team the Alabama Devil Rays.  Then legislators will have their worries about which baseball team folks associate with our great state alleviated (unless of course they're concerned that people think of the Miami in Ohio).

I enjoyed this quote though:

"If the money is that important, maybe it shouldn't be left to doubt...that it should be known forever more as the Florida Marlins," said Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Fort Lauderdale, a Marlins fan.

The Senator neglected to mention that while he would like the team to keep their current name, he would also prefer that his hometown not contribute any money to the stadium project.  I'm not saying I disagree with Senator Campbell.  I'm just saying that it's interesting to watch these people spend other people's money.

This line - which has at least a first cousin in nearly every similar article - continues to infuriate me:

The county and city have estimated that a new ballpark next to the Orange Bowl would raise $8 million of new sales tax revenue a year.

Given that it would take over $110 million in incremental revenue annually (over and above what the Marlins currently generate - since they play now in the same county and city that they will with this new ballpark), each fan (assuming they'd draw 3 million per year) would be asked to pay more than $35 more per time out to the ballpark than they do today.  I just don't see where that kind of incremental spending is going to come from.  And if it does come, it will come at the expense of spending somewhere else - at the movies, at Disneyworld, or at restaurants, etc. More than anything, I'd really like to see the analysis that supports this $8 million in incremental tax revenue per year.  I'm sure we could poke holes in it all day.

Another great quote:

"If this amendment is not approved and, God forbid, this team would leave this great state, we would have nothing," said Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami, a prime sponsor of the House measure.

Hey Carlos - on your way back home, stop by the Tampa/St. Pete area.  Maybe the DRays owners will hook you up with as choice of seats as the Marlins do.  I know, I know - you're just greasing the wheels in case the Marlins make the playoffs this year.  Keep talking like this and I'm sure David Samson will have you at the top of the list for comp tickets when the games count most.