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Stadium News - Sort of

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As Brickell reported in the comments, he was a busy boy this weekend, that the "final" stadium deal has been released.

If Miami and Miami-Dade County commissioners approve a $515 million financing plan on Thursday, the Florida Marlins could be on their way to building a 37,000-seat retractable roof ballpark at the site of the Orange Bowl.

Commissioners were being briefed about the agreement during the holiday weekend in advance of a City Commission meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday and a County Commission meeting at 1 p.m.

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It calls for the county, which would own the stadium, to contribute $347 million -- that includes a $50 million general obligation bond approved by voters to renovate the Orange Bowl but since shifted to the ballpark project -- and the rest from hotel bed and sports facilities taxes. The county figure has ballooned from earlier proposals because it is counting $88 million in tourist development taxes it would otherwise be spending in the city.

The city is to provide $13 million in tourist taxes and pay $10 million for demolition of the Orange Bowl. The city will also oversee the building of a $94 million, 6,000-space garage, but the team is to buy most of the spaces annually to cover debt service and then resell the spots.

The team is to contribute $155 million, including $35 million in rent payments, and pay for cost overruns, unless delays are caused by the city or county. The team would be renamed the Miami Marlins by 2011, when it hopes to open the ballpark.

While I fully expect the deal to be approved by the City and the County, but even if they do, there are still problems ahead.

Those involved say they've never been closer to realizing a ballpark. But even if the commissioners approve the plan, hurdles remain: negotiating financing, construction, non-relocation agreements and other documents.

In addition, luxury auto dealer Norman Braman has filed the first of what are expected to be several legal challenges to the plan to expand the CRAs. His suit claims changing the use of the general obligation bond money violates the state constitution and the source of the performing arts center bond repayment breaches the contract with bondholders, of which he is one.

If I had to guess, I would say the further negotiations will be resolved.  Now as for the lawsuits, only time will tell.

Here is the 94 page agreement:

Marlins Stadium Agreement (pdf)

I've haven't had a chance to read it, yet.  But presumably others have.

Here is Photi's breakdown.

Also here are Brickell's insights.