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Orange Bowl not a good site for baseball

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Everyone is chiming in on the possibility about the Marlins move to Orange Bowl location.  And it ain't pretty.

Though the Marlins and Major League Baseball dislike the Orange Bowl site for a retractable-roof stadium and have concerns about whether fans would go there, Miami-Dade county manager George Burgess said using the proposed downtown Miami site would be more costly and complicated, and that's why talks are focused on the OB land.

Of the $88 million that was in place for OB renovations if UM had stayed, $38 million is city money, and Miami city commissioner Joe Sanchez (who represents the district where the OB sits) said the city commission might approve using that toward a Marlins ballpark. What about using the other $50 million on a ballpark (which would require Miami-Dade County commission approval)? ''I'm not sure that's going to happen,'' Burgess said.

Even though that $38 million would essentially cover a $40 million funding gap for a $500 million ballpark, here's the catch: That gap would grow if the Marlins' distaste for the OB site causes them to drop their contribution to the project (which would have been $207 million for a downtown location). The Marlins aren't saying what they'll offer.

Oh great, MLB and the Marlins might be so against the team playing at the Orange Bowl location that they are going to lower their contribution.  This just keeps getting better and better.

Larry Lebowitz of the Miami Herald pens an interesting article about the problems with the site.

Purely from a transportation perspective, the Orange Bowl site is a lousy one.

Without serious highway and mass-transit improvements, it would be bad for the Little Havana neighborhood near the OB, bad for the ball club, bad for fans.

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The alleged ''charm'' of haggling with Little Havana locals to park on their front lawns -- a rite of passage for UM fans every fall -- isn't going to wear well over a long hot summer of baseball.

The bowl's locale, a few blocks south of the Miami River, magnifies the access headaches.

In theory, five drawbridges carry vehicles over the river.

In reality, one (Northwest Seventh Avenue/Fifth Street) is completely gone and won't be rebuilt until 2011; another (NW 17th Avenue) is so unsafe that the county was forced to close it earlier this month with little notice, and a third (NW 12th Avenue) is being rebuilt and won't reopen until February 2009.

And all of the bridges still must open, on demand, for marine vessels.

Mass-transit options are pretty slim.

If you interested in the problems with the Orange Bowl location, read his whole take on the matter.

Fish@Bat gives their opinion on the situation.  It is well worth the read.

What it all comes down to is this: everyone agrees that having a downtown Miami stadium would be best for the fans, the team and the city.  But you already knew that.  However, I starting to think it is Orange Bowl or move.  I hope I'm wrong, especially since it is a real possibility that attendance won't substantially increase if the stadium is built where the Orange Bowl presently resides.