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Stadium News - Sort of

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And it just keeps getting better and better.

City Manager Pete Hernandez told frustrated city commissioners that the Marlins are backing away from a promised $207 million contribution to the cost of the 37,000-seat, retractable-roof baseball stadium.

Marlins officials could not be reached for comment late Thursday. But Hernandez said the club is looking to cut its contribution out of concern that building a new stadium on the site of the Orange Bowl -- a plan that has gathered support recently among city and county leaders -- would not be as profitable as the downtown site that the team prefers.

The news irritated Miami commissioners, who set a mid-December deadline for making a deal -- or perhaps walking away.

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City commissioners have clearly begun to lose patience with the stalled stadium talks. Commission Vice Chairman Joe Sanchez on Thursday proposed a Dec. 13 deadline for an updated stadium plan. Before then, Sanchez said, he wants the Marlins to publicly announce their commitment to the Orange Bowl site.

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His deadline proposal passed unanimously.

Sanchez said there are plenty of things Miami can do with the Orange Bowl site if the Marlins are unwilling to commit, including turning it into a park.

If a stadium plan isn't set by Dec. 13, ''we move on,'' Sanchez said.

Oh, boy.

I can believe the team doesn't feel that the Orange Bowl site won't be as profitable as a site downtown.  Especially since most data available indicates that it probably won't be.  But the Marlins cutting their contribution to the stadium does indicate they aren't willing to stay in South Florida at any cost.  

I don't believe the deadline is written in stone since there have been many deadlines like this in the past.  But it is true the Marlins are getting near to the point it is either get something done or move.  If the club feels moving turns out to be the preferable option, I have no idea where they will go.  But that doesn't mean that back room discussion haven't been taking place all this time.

This is one crappy Soap Opera. I just hope it has a happy ending.