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The Stadium Deal - Again

Or could one just happen - please.

Marlins President David Samson expressed cautious optimism Tuesday about finally putting together a financing deal for a new stadium this year.

"We certainly anticipate having a deal, but there are still enough open items as far as the structure of the deal and the financing of the deal for me to say it's not imminent, but it's progressing in a way that I hope results in a deal," Samson said at the team's Media Kickoff Luncheon.


"Without the state's financial help there's no stadium deal as we see it right now," Samson said.


Samson said the team anticipates being able to open a new stadium in 2011, but for that to happen, design and site work needs to begin in the next few months.

It really doesn't add much that already hasn't been said, other than the Marlins will at the minimum play out their lease.  One part of the article is becoming increasing true, for the site to be ready for the 2011 season it needs to begin construction relatively soon.  I was hoping that the design phase was further along than Samson alludes to.  But then again this is Samson talking, so who knows if it is true or not.

One part of the funding still has to be passed the county commissioners and the other to be approved by the state legislature and the latter has commented they didn't feel it should be priority on the agenda.  Since state funding is apparently needed to build the thing, it may not be approved, if it is, until late in the session.

It takes about 2.5-3 years to build a retractable roof stadium, weather permitting.  Since it is already the year 2007 and the Marlins are homeless after the 2010 season, this year could be critical.

In case you were wondering what will happen with the team's payroll should all the funding legislation pass, the answer is - not much.

But even if the stadium materializes, the payroll will remain low during construction years, president David Samson revealed Tuesday.

''It would not go up at all during construction,'' he said. ``Our contribution is so large, and we're responsible for overruns.''

I was wondering who would be liable for the overruns.  The Marlins had offered to cover it in other proffered stadium deals and obviously they are still holding good to that offer.

But I digress.  Back to the payroll.  If the Marlins front office holds true to the promise that the payroll will remain low during the construction years, it produces an interesting quandary.  Because both Willis and Cabrera will become free agents after the 2009 season.  Hopefully if a stadium is in sight they will be willing to accommodate the two.  Honestly, I think only Willis will be interested in an offer from the Marlins.  Cabrera, on the other hand, will be looking for the highest payday possible.  And that is not a negative judgement on the man, it would be a completely understandable move on his part.  Stadium or not, I don't think Cabrera can be long term signed by the Marlins.  Hopefully I am wrong, once again.