SBD/Issue 100/Facilities & Venues

Miami-Dade Mayor Pushes For Marlins Ballpark In Annual Speech

Mayor Alvarez Pushes For New Ballpark
In His Annual State Of The County Address
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez yesterday during his annual State of the County address said that the "bleak economy is a key reason the public, and the County Commission, should back a deal to spend hundreds of millions of public dollars" to build a new ballpark for the Marlins, according to Charles Rabin of the MIAMI HERALD. Alvarez said that the ballpark project “will become an economic engine at a time the region needs it most.” However, ballpark opponent Frank Del Vecchio, whose group held a brief rally outside the Miami Beach auditorium where Alvarez delivered his speech, said, “This is the worst deal I’ve seen in 35 years. This project will have cost overruns. The only way to complete construction and operate it will be for public funds to be continually put into it.” Rabin notes the Marlins “would spend $120[M] on construction and repay the county a $35[M] loan through yearly rent payments.” The city of Miami “would pay for and build the parking structures” (MIAMI HERALD, 2/11).

Questions Surround The Finances
For A New Marlins Ballpark
QUESTIONS REMAIN: In Miami, Douglas Hanks writes Miami-Dade’s “top stadium expense remains a mystery: how much it will cost to pay back the construction debt.” County Manager George Burgess yesterday said that his staff “may not release a repayment plan on $347[M] in ballpark bonds until Miami-Dade commissioners meet Friday.” Hanks notes without those details, “it’s almost impossible to estimate the strain a new [Marlins] stadium might place on Miami-Dade’s budget or how much the ballpark ultimately would cost the county.” Top county administrators “have already said hotel taxes do not generate enough revenue to fund the bulk of the stadium debt” (MIAMI HERALD, 2/11).

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