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Stadium News - Sort of

Brickell brought up in the comments of the last stadium post, which I was extremely glad he did since I so stupidly left it out, that the freebies were causing a problem.  And as it turns out, Miami-Dade is still wrestling with the free ticket issue.

At least two Miami-Dade County Commissioners commendably are rethinking an offer of free tickets from the Marlins with the pending deal to build the team a new stadium. Included in the proposed $525 million stadium plan are use of two stadium suites and 22 free infield box seats at home games for Miami and Miami-Dade County officials. The luxury package emulates one that Major League Baseball gave Washington, D.C., commissioners when the Nationals relocated there. Even still, the arrangement creates the appearance of a conflict, i.e., a favor in return for support.

There are better approaches. County Commissioner Natacha Seijas says she prefers to pay for her tickets. Good for her.

Also, Commissioner Carlos Gimenez suggests that the Marlins reserve one suite that the county could buy on a per-day basis for special events. At other times, the team could use the suite for entertaining, or donate it to charities, Mr. Gimenez says. Other county and city commissioners should follow this example. They should say No to Marlins' freebies.

Personally, I don't see the free suites and the infield tickets as bribes to get the stadium deal done.

I see it as this: the county is throwing the biggest chunk of money into the building of the stadium, and when it is completed they will own the stadium and the land it sits on.  Therefore I wouldn't find it surprising that the owner of the stadium received a couple of free suites and some infield tickets to the games.  Of course, it is not exclusively the County Commissioners money which is being put into the deal.  It's the residents of the county.  So if the commissioners are somewhat concerned about the free stuff appearing inappropriate, I can understand that.

Whatever they choose is no big deal to me.  Just vote on it and let's move pass the suite/ticket issue so we can get the stadium deal approved.