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Marlins Stadium News

This article was suppose to be included in yesterday's postings but the site went down in the wee hours of the morning and I was unable to add it from work.  Some of the referenced times in the quoted articles are a day old.

The Florida Senate is scheduled to vote on the measure today.

In a surprise move two nights ago the Florida Senate will vote on a measure for a Marlins stadium subsidy.

With no warning and just two days left in the legislative session, a second $60 million subsidy for the Florida Marlins on Wednesday made it further than ever in the Florida Senate after Miami members attached it to another sports stadium bill.

Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah, got his Senate colleagues to create the $2 million-a-year sports stadium slot for the baseball team to play in a new ballpark in his hometown.

Under the bill, the Marlins' current $2 million-a-year subsidy would be deemed to have been for the football Dolphins and would continue to flow to Dolphin Stadium owner H. Wayne Huizenga for another 18 years.

Garcia and former Majority Leader Alex Villalobos joined with Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla to push the idea, setting aside their ordinarily bitter rivalry.

The main reason it got through the Senate was it attached to a bill favoring the Orlando Magic to get the same subsidy.

I was always impressed with San Antonio's spirited attempt to land the Marlins.  But they have nothing on Hialeah.

Here is what it comes down to: the Senate may vote today on the issue.  Should it pass in the Senate, it will have to be approved by the House.  Should the House approve the measure, which it most likely will, it goes to the Governor for him to sign.

The Governor is iffy but has indicated the following:

Gov. Jeb Bush signaled Thursday he's open to a proposal to give state help to Miami-Dade County for a new Florida Marlins baseball park in Hialeah.


Although Bush killed a deal early in his first term that would've allocated the money for a new Marlins stadium in South Florida, he promised a full review of the proposal if it reaches his desk.

The Governor is all for the subsidy to the Magic and I would be surprised if this bill comes before him that he wouldn't sign.

But there is a fly in the ointment.

But opponents struck back Thursday: Sen. Mike Fasano of Tampa stuck the Orlando Magic subsidy on his own bill -- one that awards millions to refurbish several spring training facilities -- and passed it out of the Senate. That meant the Magic-Marlins bill no longer has to pass.

Marlins friendly members of the House are devising a way to strike back.

Over in the House, which is far more receptive to the Marlins, members started reviewing ways to get the plan to the Senate where Senate President Tom Lee, who killed the subsidy last year, will have a harder time stopping it.

Welcome to the world of politics.

Even if all approve of the measure it isn't enough to makeup the funding shortfall.

In order to cover the rest of the cost stadium it is in the hands of the county:  

Another bill to be voted on today would also give Miami-Dade County and Hialeah to use some of the existing sales tax they get from the state to help fund construction of the ballpark.

Sometime today we will know.  

Marlins Ballpark News has the link to the live voting in the Senate.