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Stadium News - Sort of

This isn't really that much of an update but I guess it is good the wheels are turning.

Instead of me hacking through the "new" information, we will let Sarah Talalay give us the overview.

Miami-Dade County's Citizens Advisory Committee recommended the $50 million in general obligation bond funding approved by county voters in 2004 for renovating the Orange Bowl be put toward a Marlins stadium as long as its built at the OB site.

The committee, which as its name says is purely advisory, voted 12-2 in support of changing the designation of the dollars from an OB renovation to a new baseball stadium, now that the University of Miami Hurricanes will be abandoning their old home for Dolphin Stadium next year.

The recommendation still needs to be the subject of a public hearing and the approval of the county commission, but it does mean there's sentiment toward helping fill the funding gap in the proposed $500 million, retractable roof ballpark. "Right now, they're simply allowing for it to be part of a funding package," County Manager George Burgess said.

The sides -- the county, city of Miami, Marlins and Major League Baseball - have been talking and trying to hammer out a deal, but they're not there yet.

One part of the possible agreement is pretty interesting.

Burgess also said that any deal would stipulate that Major League Baseball would be obligated to have a franchise at the Orange Bowl site for 30 years or until the debt is paid off, and that the Marlins would have to cover any cost overruns.

The Marlins have agreed to covering the overruns in the past so this probably wouldn't be a big deal.  The interesting part is MLB agreeing to keep a team playing in the same location for 30 years.

I'm not sure they will agree to that.  While we are all rabid fans of the Fish, let's face it, there aren't that many of us.  And MLB agreeing to keep a team in place for 30 years without knowing if the attendance will increase at the games could be problematic.

The attendance could increase, of course, but unless there is some assurance of a minimum yearly attendance level it could be a tough sell.  Not to mention that the Marlins still haven't agreed to contribute the same amount of money to the Orange Bowl site as the downtown site.

We still have a ways to go but step one of the 197 steps needed to get a stadium has taken place.  So I guess that is good news.