SBD/Issue 88/Facilities & Venues

Legislature Wants To Stop Huizenga From Receiving Tax Breaks

Double Dip: Florida Legislature Looking
Into Huizenga’s Tax Break

Florida state Senate President Tom Lee suggested that he would “like to stop Wayne Huizenga from receiving millions in tax breaks for refurbishing” Dolphins Stadium for the Marlins because the team is leaving the ballpark and “is seeking a $60[M] subsidy identical to what” Huizenga receives, according to Caputo & Klas of the MIAMI HERALD. Lee: “I really want to look into how that was done, in what context it was done and what promises were made. But there are allegations developing that (getting a new subsidy) would essentially represent a double-dip by the Marlins.” Huizenga through a spokesperson said that he will “fight in court if the Legislature tries to take” away his subsidy. Lee: “We’ve received phone calls from the Devil Rays and everybody who would like to get on that bandwagon if they could. And the well here in Florida is only so deep” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/27). Lee told Marlins President David Samson that he would make an “honest effort” to help the team stay in Florida, but added, “We’re not going to pay twice.” Lee: “We don’t need the liability of people standing up and saying, ‘We already paid once, how are we going to recover that money?’” (Sarah Talalay, SUN-SENTINEL, 1/27).

MONEYBALL: With the Marlins signing 1B Carlos Delgado to a four-year, $52M deal — the largest contract in team history –- state Sen. Alex Villalobos said, “Anytime you throw around that kind of money, it raises a question of why they don’t pay for the stadium themselves.” In Miami, Barry Jackson notes the Marlins claim to have lost over $20M with a $52M payroll in ’04. In September, Samson said that Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria’s appetite for “continuing to lose that amount of cash is dwindling.” But Jackson writes that since November, the Marlins “have added more than $90[M] in salary commitments for this season and beyond, in addition to agreeing to guarantee the last three years and $25.5[M] of [3B] Mike Lowell’s contract” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/27).

BOX OFFICE DRAW: MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported that after announcing the signing of Delgado on Tuesday, the Marlins yesterday “sold about $150,000 in various season-ticket packages, which is five times the amount for a normal day” (MLB.com, 1/26).

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