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Downtown Stadium Deal on the Clock

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MLB's negotiations of contracts, for a downtown Miami stadium, expire fairly soon.

If the Marlins are interested in Major League Baseball's proposal for a ballpark in downtown Miami, they'll need to act fairly quickly.

According to sources, MLB has contracts to purchase about 11 acres in an area south of Miami Arena generally bounded by Northwest Fifth and Seventh streets, Miami Avenue and the Metrorail line, but those contracts expire within 60 days. It is unclear whether the contracts can be extended.

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The Marlins declined to comment Monday, but the sources say they have expressed concerns about whether the property is large enough -- the acreage currently under contract would make it among the smallest ballpark footprints in baseball -- and whether it can accommodate a roof. The Marlins have been insistent that a new ballpark must have a retractable roof.

Given the pace that the stadium deals have transpired so far, I doubt this one can be cut within the 60-day time frame.

The downtown stadium has about the same funding shortage of the previous proposals.  Of course if the city would give the franchise a property tax break that could help in this matter. But I believe the parties are counting on funding from the state in the form of a state tax rebate in order to make it happen.  Which isn't coming anytime soon, if ever.  

The county and the Marlins are working towards the Hialeah proposal and I suspect that if (please be when) a new stadium is constructed it will be in Hialeah.