Ballpark Agreement Nearly Complete; Marlins Looking at Designs

The fine reporters at Miami Today lead off with a major updated on the ballpark project.

It looks like the Marlins are so confident that they deal will get done that they have retained HOK Sports and are already reviewing 3 different ballpark designs. The new $389.4 million ballpark will include a retractable roof, 37,000 seats, and 60 club suites. These details come from a preliminary agreement between Miami-Dade, Miami, and the Marlins.

Under the agreement, the Marlins would keep proceeds from the naming rights to the new ballpark, and construction materials used to build the stadium — totaling $525 million — would not be subject to sales taxes, pending state approval.

“The team has determined that the baseball stadium can be completed within the stadium project budget,” the agreement says. But the preliminary contract stipulates that the Marlins would be bound to pay costs “that exceed the stadium project budget” of $525 million.

As expected, the Marlins are assuming all cost overruns.

The budget allocates $389.4 million for construction, $4.2 million to furnish the stadium and $131 million for planning, design, infrastructure and demolition of the Orange Bowl and other costs.

The county, which would own the stadium, is to contribute $249 million, Miami $121 million and the Marlins $155 million. Although its costs could be greater, the team would be required to set aside $20 million for cost overruns and any claims that resulted from building the stadium.

The agreement also states that these cost assume that Orange Bowl will be razed by March 31, 2008 with the city bearing all those costs.

Some other interesting details include:

  • The Marlins will get office space form the city or county within 2 miles of the stadium for use as a marketing office
  • 10% of the planning, design and construction must come from small businesses
  • The construction manager must be a Florida contractor and the choice is subject to a veto by the county
  • The Marlins will provide monthly updates to the county on the schedule and costs
  • The Marlins payment to the county is due upon three months notice
  • The project will have three construction bank accounts with all interest earned directed towards covering additional costs or repaying bonds
  • The city and county get 12 dates a year for community events but the Marlins can reject these events if they are risky to the playing field, conflict with baseball rules, or incompatible with sponsorships

Finally, the report adds that the team may be on the hook for another $6.1 million:

The team wants the state to exempt construction materials from its sales tax, which would save $4.4 million, and another $1.7 million in waivers from city and county impact fees.

The sales tax waiver would need an OK from the Legislature, which is looking to cut this year’s budget $1 billion.

Bottom line: It’s almost done. They’ve worked out the fine details and the Marlins have already hired a design firm.

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