FUSION FLUSHED AT ORANGE BOWL? HOROWITZ DOWN ON LEASE TERMS
The future of Miami's expansion MLS team was "left in
doubt" Thursday because of an "acrimonious lease
disagreement that boiled over ... in the men's restroom at
Miami City Hall," according to Jackson & Branch in the MIAMI
HERALD. Fusion Owner Ken Horowitz: "I am out of here. I
have personally ruled the Orange Bowl out as a site. It's
the mayor [Joe Carollo] who's to blame." City Commissioner
Tomas Regalado: "Ken Horowitz told me in the restroom that
he's leaving. He's made that decision." Jackson & Branch
write that city officials had sought a 10-year lease with
the Fusion as "that's the minimum requirement for seeking a
state sales-tax rebate -- worth as much as $1 million a year
-- for stadium improvements." Horowitz "prefers" either a
three- or five-year lease, with an out clause after three
years if average attendance finishes below 16,000. City
officials say that this figure is too high, because the
league's average attendance is "only in the 14,000 range."
MLS Commissioner Doug Logan "remained hopeful" a lease could
be worked out, despite Horowitz's "claim to the contrary."
Horowitz said that "he's uncertain" whether the Fusion will
play in South Florida, but Logan said that Horowitz can't
move the team without MLS permission (MIAMI HERALD, 7/25).