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Stadium News - Sort of

Once again, a baseball only stadium for the Marlins is being held hostage.

Sarah Talalay reports.

Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones has been quiet about the Marlins ballpark issue since her absence at the city commission meeting on Feb. 13 left the ballpark deal deadlocked 2-2 and almost derailed it completely before the meeting was continued until March.

That is, until Friday.

On Friday, Spence-Jones, who had been on maternity leave, issued a statement titled "Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones Says Marlins Must Hit a Home Run for Her District." In the release from her office, Spence-Jones says times have changed since she supported the ballpark last year.



Spence-Jones' statement listed several. She wants to ensure improvements and jobs for her district. Among her demands: preserving property tax dollars raised in the Overtown Community Redevelopment Agency for the Overtown neighborhood; "authorize a half billion dollar bond issuance to fund the redevelopment of the historic Overtown community," and that the Marlins and Major League Baseball pay for a "mini-baseball youth academy located in the inner city."

Three times the statement says the Marlins "will strike out" on March 6 -- when the commission is to vote on the ballpark agreement -- if changes are not made to the deal.


I guess this is natural for a politician who all of a sudden discovers they possess the swing vote.  However, given that Samson wasn't the least bit willing to give into Sarnoff's demands on a complete point-by-point basis, I doubt the organization will give into Spence-Jones' either.  I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

There is still some time before the vote to try and negotiate.  But if the city is being this difficult, I can't imagine what the county will be like, assuming the deal can somehow get passed by the city.

Why am I reminded of this Paul Simon song?