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Stadium News - Sort of

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There was some troubling news reported in the Wall Street Journal, yesterday, about the possible new stadium.

Some stadiums themselves are in jeopardy, opposed by taxpayers and public officials who don't think investments in sports facilities are justified in the current climate. In Florida, construction of a new ballpark for Major League Baseball's Marlins that was supposed to start this fall probably will have to wait for better economic times.

Katy Sorensen, one of the commissioners of Florida's Miami-Dade County, said she expects support for the $515 million Marlins ballpark to dissipate. Florida's real-estate market is one of the hotspots in a foreclosure crisis that helped to bring down several major banks and spark a selling frenzy in global markets.

Financing for the proposed stadium relies partly on bonds financed with hotel and tourism taxes. Ms. Sorensen said in the current economy it isn't clear whether the county would have enough money to cover the debt.

"Everybody is a little skittish right now," added Ms. Sorensen, who has always opposed the project. "It's going to be a tough sell to the public to approve something like this."

The Marlins declined to comment. Bruno Barreiro, the county commission's chairman and a supporter of the project, said he hopes to submit a final deal for a vote in coming months, but he acknowledged that securing financing for the project might take a while.

"We have to wait until the market stabilizes," he said.

Should Miami-Dade cancel the stadium and presumably the rest of the Mega-Plan, which is well within their rights, it will, economically, be a really bad idea.

Cutting government expenditures on infrastructure projects, and yes, the stadium counts, is a really bad idea.  I won't bore with all the reasons, but suffice it to say: the decision would qualify for the Smoot-Hawley award for the quickest way to tank the local economy.

I'm not saying if the stadium isn't built, it will tank the economy.  What I am saying is that this is not the time to cut back on infrastructure projects.  Whether the stadium is included or not.