- Aug 13, 2003
- Reaction score
- 120 mi west of Costa Rica
The Marlins have until the session ends May 6 to make their case, but Senate leaders remain unconvinced that taxpayers should subsidize millionaire owners and athletes. If the plan fails, the Marlins face a decision. They could ramp up the talk of moving to Las Vegas or another city, the threat implicit in Loria's answer.
They could reach some other deal with city and county leaders in Miami to finance the remaining $30 million in construction bonds, or the Marlins could cover it themselves.
Or the Marlins could do the unexpected. They might even talk about becoming a long-term part of Wayne's World Ã¢â‚¬â€ on the site where they now play for landlord Wayne Huizenga, owner of the Miami Dolphins.
Far-fetched? Dolphins Enterprises CEO Joe Bailey said Tuesday about the Marlins: "We've always been working under the assumption they're going to get this done. I guess the best thing to say is if that doesn't happen, that's not the end of the world. We're willing to work with them as best we can."
Huizenga himself said last month, "We're not against the Marlins staying on a long-term basis."
The roof Huizenga wants to build on Dolphins Stadium, either retractable or permanent, would solve a big problem for the Marlins: rain delays. The Marlins say they are crippled by the lease in Dolphins Stadium, which cuts off a big chunk of money from suites, advertising, parking and concessions.
Huizenga wants to spend hundreds of millions to build a mecca capable of hosting events including Super Bowls on a semi-permanent basis. There's talk of hotels, restaurants, shops and a facility beside the main stadium to accommodate big events and preserve the turf on the main field. Bailey called it "sort of like a World's Fair."
A baseball stadium could be built there, too. The city of Miami might not help pay for a project outside its boundaries, but the city's contribution to the current plan, $28 million, is relatively small compared to Miami-Dade County's pledge of $138 million. Another $32 million comes from parking fees. The Marlins are pledging $192 million from future stadium revenue.