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Stadium News - Sort of

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Sarah Talaly weighs in on the potential problems facing a new stadium for the Marlins.

It isn't yet clear what auto dealer Norman Braman's lawsuit challenging the wide-ranging plan to fund $3 billion in downtown Miami projects means for the still being negotiated plan for a $525 million Marlins ballpark at the site of the Orange Bowl.

Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami, the Marlins and Major League Baseball intend to keep negotiating a Baseball Stadium Agreement.

"I have no reason to believe the deal is in trouble," MLB President Bob DuPuy said. "Stadium deals often engender opposition. I don't view this as a reason to either delay or be concerned."

In fact, negotiators might be more concerned an agreement still has yet to be reached.

Nevertheless, some believe the suit could spell trouble if Braman prevails in court and a major source of ballpark funding is no longer available. At the very least being tied up in court could make it difficult for the Marlins to meet their April 2011 deadline for opening a ballpark. The team's lease at Dolphin Stadium expires after the 2010 season.

"If I were a Marlins fan, I would be very worried. This is going to push back this stadium, this is going to push back this deal," said Bob Jarvis, a sports and constitutional law professor at Nova Southeastern University.

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Jarvis, however, said he thinks the bond arguments are significant, but the public records law arguments might be even more harmful to the Marlins deal. "If the court accepts that, everything they've negotiated goes out the window," Jarvis said. "Even if they do everything again, but this time in public, that would set them back months and months. Every time you get these setbacks, the cost of the building goes up."

Braman isn't the only one against the plan. Carl Hiaasen makes his opinion known.

In its present harebrained form, the downtown megaplan looks like a megascam, another sneaky political raid on anti-poverty funds.

There's nothing wrong with having big dreams, but this will be a nightmare, guaranteed.

A $3 billion streetcar named Deceit.

This just keeps getting better and better.  <insert your favorite curse word or phase here>.  And the clock keeps ticking.