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We Bought The Marlins’ Crap Hook, Line and Sinker

March 31, 2009 By Matt Meltzer in


I’ll preface this by saying I am a huge Marlins fan. They may be the only team in all of sports where I actually might care whether they win or lose after I turn off the television. It is a team that exemplifies its region better than any other I can think of: Buy success, sell out everyone, concern yourself only with making money, and nobody stay for more than five years.

But my love for our local professional baseball team aside, what the Hell is the County Commission thinking giving them THAT much money for a new stadium? It’s something like the 4th worst deal in baseball history, in terms of the amount of money the city is putting up versus the team, and in case any of you forgot Miami-Dade County isn’t exactly walking around with money falling out of its pockets.

You’re Goin’ NOWHERE


I’ve listened to the likes of Zaslow and other local talk-radio personalities say that this new stadium saved baseball in South Florida. How, exactly did it do this? We don’t bend over, spread ‘em, and build the Marlins a stadium, where they gonna go, huh? If you didn’t notice, the economy is crap everywhere. This isn’t 1998 when every city was bending over backwards to spend tax dollars to build stadiums for billionaires. Its 2009, everyone’s broke, and if we’re not gonna build you a stadium, I don’t think anybody else is either.

Stadium or no, the Marlins aren’t going anywhere. Unless I missed that bond issue that San Antonio passed, or the groundbreaking in Vegas, or that measure that squeaked by in the North Carolina Legislature.  You know what the County Commission should have told the Marlins when they asked for tax dollars for a new stadium? Go ask someone else and see if they’re that dumb.  The Marlins scared the people of South Florida into thinking they had a backup if we told them no. The Commission should have been smart enough to call their bluff.

Maybe We Can Institute a Special “New Yorker” Tax


For those who were not aware, a large part of the tax revenue for this stadium is coming from hotel taxes and other tourism-based revenue. And tourism is not exactly spiking. Hotels aren’t booked months in advance anymore. Hell, some are lucky to have 70% occupancy on a weekend. So where are these dollars gonna come from? It’s not like we have a cocaine import tax.

With the prospect of the revenue stream drying up, and this city’s fine history when it comes to public works projects, why do I get the feeling that this stadium is going to make the Arsht Center look like a stroke of fiscal genius? Why do I for see a half-finished stadium sitting as an eyesore off the 836 for decades, while the Marlins continue to win 82 games a season in a football stadium? Or worse, why do I see $100 Marlins tickets going unsold, because that was the only way anyone could figure out to raise the money to pay for the overruns.

I like the Marlins as they are now. I like being able to go to a game, pay nothing for a ticket, sit wherever I want and not have to deal with crowds. You think a stadium is somehow gonna turn Miami into a sports town? Think again. As a Marlins fan, yeah, I’m kinda excited to get a park closer to home. But as a logical human being, I see nothing good coming out of this. You heard it here first.

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About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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