Marlins President David Samson rejects new demands from the City of Miami to share in revenues from a new Florida Marlins ballpark, so the deal is dead for the day.Marlins President David Samson rejected new demands from the City of Miami to share in revenues from a new Florida Marlins ballpark, so the deal is dead for now, pending further negotiations and another recess.
The initial vote on the $606-million project failed before the City Commission by a 2-2 margin. Commission member Marc Sarnoff proposed the Marlins contribute more to the costs of an adjacent parking ramp (capping the city’s cost at $95 million), give up naming-rights revenues to the city and county, and promise to split profits should the team be sold.
Despite discussions with the city of Miami, Miami-Dade County and MLB officials, those terms were flatly rejected by Samson, who declared the ballpark deal for the Marlins dead, leading Miami-Dade County to cancel an afternoon session designed to discuss the ballpark proposal. This led to a heated discussion among commission members as to how talks with the Marlins evolved; some want to see negotiations continue with the Marlins. Sarnoff, in particular, criticized county officials for not coming clean about the actual cost of the ballpark — $1.9 billion — until the evening before such an important vote. As of right now the city commission is again in recess, though Samson made it pretty clear he was in no mood to entertain changes to the agreement.
Ironically, city approval was seen as a sure deal because Miami’s exposure on the deal is limited; the city’s contribution to the ballpark is capped at $13 million. But concern about whether the parking lot would end up breaking even — officials estimated that would take 35 years — and the revelation that the total ballpark project would cost Miami-Dade County $1.9 billion is leading many to take a fresh look at the project.
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