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Stadium News - Sort of

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Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess has proposed a new funding plan for the Orange Bowl site.  Before we get too far into this, it will be important to keep in mind the words of Sarah Talalay.

Still in draft form - and I'm being told still in need of significant work...

Just keep that in mind.

Now, let's go forward.

According to a county memo, the plan calls for Miami-Dade County to contribute a total $249 million to the project: $199 million in hotel bed and sports facilities taxes and $50 million from the general obligation bond county voters approved in 2004 for renovation of the Orange Bowl stadium. The last plan unveiled publicly called for the county to contribute $145 million in tourist taxes and issue the bonds for the stadium the team would repay in rent.

The plan anticipates that the city of Miami would put up $121 million in tourist taxes. That's up from $108 million in earlier versions of the deal. The city would also need to build a 6,000-space parking garage.

The team's contribution would be $155 million up front, rather than $207 million, which would have come as $45 million up front and $162 million in future rent payments.

First off, I'm not sure the Marlins have a $155 million dollars liquid.  Maybe they do and would be willing to part with it.  If not, maybe MLB would float them a loan to get a deal done.  I don't have time to look at the present value of money comparing the old proposal with the new one to see if the Marlins are actually saving money.  It's not that it is a hard equation to calculate, but that I'm not completely sold on what should be used as the real interest rate. Also, should the team takeout a loan, there is the interest rate and the amount of years to consider.  Anyway, there are some question marks concerning the team's contribution.

The Marlins won't be making the decision alone, MLB was at the meeting and will definitely give their thoughts on whether the deal should be accepted or not.

Watching it all unfold is Major League Baseball, which believes South Florida warrants keeping the franchise. ''I've got a lot of reading to do tonight,'' said Irwin Raij, an MLB attorney.

The county's contribution will increase over the former deal and also requires that the $50 million set aside to refurbish the Orange Bowl will go to the new Marlins stadium.  The $50 million transfer would have to be approved by a vote in a public referendum.

It is within the realm of possibilities  that the Marlins may accept the deal and the county can get the referendum to pass, but I have some doubts about city accepting this.

Not only does their contribution increase, but they are responsible for paying for a parking garage.  And when it is all said and done, all they will get out of it is that the team will change their name to the Miami Marlins by 2011.

The county will own the stadium.

If the plan comes to fruition, it will result in the following.

The county's plan envisions a 37,000-seat retractable roof stadium at the site of the Orange Bowl to open by April 1, 2011. The $525 million projected cost - up from $490 million earlier this year - has increased because it includes $10 million in Orange Bowl demolition and other infrastructure costs and requires a speedy 29-month schedule for construction, which would begin in November.

Good luck with that 29-month schedule: I hope it doesn't rain. Like that is possible.  Also the Marlins will have to agree to cover any cost overruns.  Which is something they have been unwilling to do in the past for the Orange Bowl site.

The City of Miami meets tomorrow to discuss the issue.  The county commissioners will meet next Tuesday.

We should know something next week about where it all stands.

Here is the memo if you want to read through it.

Stadium deal (pdf)

I haven't read it being pressed for time. But I hope to later tonight.