The time may be nearing for the Florida Marlins to say whether they will accept the Orange Bowl site as their future home.
After much speculation, it now appears as if key leaders in Miami are willing to allocate some of the former Orange Bowl renovation money to building a ballpark for your Florida Marlins. Of the $85 million, $50 million came from a county bond while $35 million came for tourist bed taxes and therefore belong to the the city of Miami. I don’t know if both the county and the city will allocate the money but you can imagine that just $35 million, which Miami can approve for the ballpark by a simple vote, would help close that pesky funding gap. In fact:
… both Miami-Dade governments said recently they had no problem targeting it to help the financially struggling franchise build a ballpark.
Now, we’ve discussed the team’s interest in downtown (vs. the Orange Bowl) but Miami officials are willing to tell us what the Marlins told them:
Miami City Manager Pete Hernandez said team owner Jeffrey Loria indicated he was ”open-minded” about the Orange Bowl site. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro said Loria had told him the property was “acceptable.”
Acceptable? Doesn’t sound enthusiastic but this is probably the Marlins best and last chance so I assume they will take it and smile (all the way to the bank).
We’ll end with a very optimistic and hopefully real statement from co-chairman of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission Jose ”Pepe” Diaz
“That money was specified for the Orange Bowl. . . . Let’s just say the stars are all aligned.”