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WHY IS DON SMILEY-ING? TALK IN MIAMI OF DOWNTOWN PARK
Published October 17, 1997
Marlins President Don Smiley and city of Miami execs have "quietly been discussing the franchise's future - one that could include a move to downtown Miami," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. Miami Mayor Joe Carollo said Thursday that he has had "several conversations" with Smiley about "everything from changing the name of the team to the 'Miami Marlins' to building a stadium adjacent to the Heat's planned bayfront arena." Carollo said that he would be "willing to consider" the use of a tourist hotel tax to help finance a new ballpark, and that marked the "first time a local official has publicly expressed" possible public investment in a facility. Smiley said he "won't seriously pursue" a new stadium until he purchases the team, and that he "remains confident" that he will be able to put together an investment group (MIAMI HERALD, 10/17). FISH BITS: In Miami, Anne Moncreiff Arrarte wrote that, "[M]arketers from Manhattan to Miami are rushing to take advantage of the momentum" of the Marlins postseason run. The team's official sponsors, including American Airlines, NationsBank, Blockbuster and AutoNation, have received "first dibs" on all new postseason promotions (MIAMI HERALD, 10/16)....Pro Player Stadium has sold out for all four World Series games, with each expected to draw more than 65,000 (Marlins)....The Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the Marlins participation in the World Series will result in a $24M regional economic impact (SUN- SENTINEL, 10/16)....The Marlins' popularity, especially among Miami's Hispanic population, is examined by USA TODAY's Tom Weir in a front-page cover-story: "The Marlins multinational roster has tapped the spirit of Miami's Spanish speaking community in a way that football, basketball and ice hockey can't" (USA TODAY, 10/17).