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Stadium News

The Hialeah city leaders with the passing of the UDB extension are seriously pursuing options to meet the funding gap for a new stadium in their city.

Hialeah city leaders, who recently won clearance to build an industrial park on 1,100 acres of land that had been off-limits to large-scale development, are discussing a plan with Miami-Dade County that would devote property taxes from the industrial park to building a new stadium for the Florida Marlins.

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Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess and Hialeah Council President Steve Bovo said the idea is under discussion. ''It's a viable alternative,'' Burgess said of the plan, which would need the county commission's approval. ``It's an approach we have . . . agreed makes sense. We're moving quickly.''

Though the deal is far from final, a successful resolution would keep the Marlins...in South Florida.

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But Bovo said ''you're talking about a huge amount of money'' potentially. Burgess agreed that the industrial park ``could generate significant incremental tax value.''

This has some promise.  

A few obstacles stand in the way such as it requires developer Armando Codina to donate the landfill to the city which he has said in the past he wouldn't do.  But he now appears to be wavering somewhat.

No one knows how much money will be generated from the property taxes from the potential development of the area.

The county commissioners may feel they have already pledged enough money to the stadium and wouldn't want to give up the prospective tax revenue in addition.

The property tax revenue from the development is to be split evenly between the county and Hialeah.  The county's representative wants both shares to go to the project whereas Hialeah would like to retain their share.

Problems aside, for the moment, this has potential.

There is still a lot to negotiate but this is the first time in a long while that local politicians seem intent on working out a stadium deal.  That, in itself, is promising.