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Even More Stadium News

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And the state politicos are just making it more convoluted everyday.

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, said any money spent to build or refurbish pro sports facilities should be decided by the voters instead.

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Bennett has not yet filed a bill to establish a voter referendum. Miami lawmakers in both the House and Senate, however, are pushing legislation designed to provide a $60 million tax rebate to help the Florida Marlins build a half-billion dollar, retractable-roof park at a site yet to be determined.

"I'm really not understanding why he'd want to put that on a referendum at this point,'' said Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Miami, who is sponsoring one of the measures to help the Marlins. ``It's not tax dollars going to the stadium, it's a rebate.''

We could discuss the differences in the opportunity cost of funds not collected and already existing tax funds being paid out and its effect on the taxpayer.  But I doubt anyone reading this wants to get into that discussion.

The reason this was brought up is to highlight, even with a sympathetic to the cause governor and the Miami area lawmakers finally working in concert, this ain't going to be easy.

On a good note, should Hialeah not be the home of the new Marlins stadium and it is looking doubtful they will be.  They may get a really neat copy of the home game as the consolation prize.

If a deal is reached to build a baseball stadium for the Florida Marlins in downtown Miami, Hialeah, once considered a potential stadium location, could get a new Major League Baseball training complex.

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With negotiations progressing for a downtown stadium, Mr. Robaina asked baseball officials to consider Hialeah as a home for a baseball academy. Officials of Major League Baseball, which opened its $10 million Urban Youth Academy last year in Compton, CA, have been looking to launch another one, Mr. Robaina said. A complex in Hialeah would sit on 12 to 15 acres at the site promoted for a Marlins stadium, he said.
   The Compton facility sponsors youth baseball programs and contains fields for semiprofessional leagues and international tournaments and a training academy for umpires.
   The complex would "not be just a place to have camps," Mr. Robaina said. "There would be classrooms for training umpires and people who want to stay in baseball as a career. We would create an adjacent community complex both for kids and young adults. It would encompass a lot of levels."

If the stadium is built in downtown or at the Orange Bowl site, Hialeah deserves to be the home of the MLB's second academy.  If it wasn't for the bulldog tenacity of Mr. Robaina, a stadium in Miami wouldn't be this far along.  And Major League Baseball should honor that.  Not to mention the ancillary benefit to the Marlins of being able to scout so much young talent so close.