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Stadium News - Sort of

Dr. Ron Cox brings some, hopefully, good news.

Here is his email presented with his permission.

Dear Craig:
 
Determined not to let the Marlins' ballpark fail, David Samson and Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez had separate meetings with City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones prior to an important Community Redevelopment Association meeting last night.  Spence-Jones announced that she felt the meeting with Alvarez "addressed her concerns" about ensuring the promised delivery of CRA dollars to her Overtown district.  This appears to give the Marlins the key third vote they will need to pass 4 of the 5 ballpark agreements at the next City Commission meeting scheduled for March 19.
 
The tension between Marc Sarnoff and Spence-Jones was evident at last night's meeting, where Sarnoff attempted to interject his own budget estimates about how much money Overtown (Spence-Jones district) was going to receive from the bond issue.   Spence-Jones repeatedly cut off discussion as Sarnoff tried to undermine the cost estimates associated with the Marlins ballpark by suggesting that there would be less money for Overtown than was previously estimated. 
 
Growing increasingly frustrated with Spence-Jones, Sarnoff said that "When you're really, really poor, you really don't know there's a bad economy out there because it's pretty much the same.  I get that."  His comment was greeted with boos from the working class audience, an appropriate illustration of the tension that divides Sarnoff's relatively rich district with the working class and poor areas represented by Spence-Jones.
 
Ultimately, this suggests favorable City Commission votes for the Marlins for 4 of the 5 ballpark agreements, although the fifth agreement requiring a bid waiver for construction, which the Marlins want to ensure that the ballpark does not get delayed further, will still require 4 of the 5 votes from the commission.  However, Mayor Manny Diaz' office has indicated that they do not feel the bid waiver vote will be an obstacle to getting the stadium deal completed.
 
Stay tuned, of course, but this is at least short-term good news for Marlins fans.
 
Dr. Ronald W. Cox
Associate Professor
Department of Politics and International Relations
Florida International University
Miami, Fl 33199

 Thanks Ron!

Finally, something may be turning the Marlins way.

Dr. Cox easily knows more about the politics of stadium financing than I ever will and when he speaks, I listen.

At very least we have some potentially good news to take with us over the weekend.  And given the way things have been going, that's a major improvement.