Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And here is where your tax money goes

The Florida Marlins Stadium.

I wrote about budget cuts, service cuts, and homeowners issues in South Florida.

This is a good example of how your (and my) money is spent.

Not that I am an opponent to everything that would promote our tourism, and the vision that Miami and South Florida inspires around the world; however a friendly city with well run libraries, numerous cultural activities, good movie theaters, convenient public transportation, pedestrian walking areas, nice small stores, good beaches and parks, could be a greater attraction to our visitors, than exhibiting a World Series trophy in a publicly financed stadium.

My idea is that since owning a professional sports team is a business, and if owners cannot come up with the money to build their own facility, it’s OK for the city to finance it or bear part of the cost.

But since the moment the stadium is built, the franchise will automatically double or triple in value, the city should in turn receive part of this capital gain. If the franchise owners are confident in their operation, as they want the city to believe, why not offer the city a part of this extra value.


What about making the city of Miami a partner in this business?


Just nonsense, of course.


It is much easier to have the city or the county get in some more debt, pay for the stadium, and in case of problems, they always have the recourse of cutting seniors transportation, social services to the handicapped or disadvantaged, reduce library hours, and I leave the rest to your imagination.


This is the text of the relevant article I read today in the Sun-Sentinel.

Florida Marlins to proceed with plans for new stadium after court victory



September 10, 2008 - By Sarah Talalay - The Sun Sentinel.

The Florida Marlins say they will proceed with plans for a $515 million ballpark at the site of the former Orange Bowl after a Miami judge ruled Tuesday the project serves a "paramount public purpose" — meaning public dollars can be used to build it.


Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen called the ballpark issue "contentious and emotional," but said the law is clear in the case filed by auto dealer Norman Braman targeting the financing of $3 billion in Miami projects, including the ballpark.


The Marlins, Miami-Dade County and city of Miami will continue negotiating final construction and financing agreements and hope to present them to city and county commissioners in the coming weeks. The team plans to unveil renderings of the 37,000-seat ballpark shortly.


"We will proceed immediately to finalize discussions with the County and the City to put in place all the long-awaited final agreements," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said in a statement. Braman vowed to fight on.

"We're optimistic we're going to prevail on appeal," Braman said. "We're going to take it to the district court and if necessary to the Supreme Court of the State of Florida."

Cohen plans to rule on the case's remaining count — whether a public vote is needed on a portion of the funding of the $3 billion in projects — after Sept. 15. She is waiting for the state Supreme Court to rule in similar cases.



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