Wachovia, which is lending $100 million toward the $515-million Florida Marlins ballpark project, wants its fees paid up front. Meanwhile, the rest of the bonds for the project will be sold this week.
It's not unusual to see last-minute changes on the financing package for a project on the scale of a new Major League ballpark, so we're not surprised to see things delayed a bit after Wachovia, which is financing $100 million of the $515-million Florida Marlins facility, demanded its fees up front — a demand that will move the termination date for the project from July 1 to July 15.
The termination date is the last day Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami can walk away from the deal with no penalties.
Some pounced on the news as a sign that the credit markets are uneasy about the project. We're not so sure this is true: the delay comes because Wachovia wants its fees paid up front, something many lenders are asking for these days in the tight economy.
The true test of what the market thinks of the ballpark financing will come later this week, when the county sells $404 million in bonds for the project. While we're pretty sure the market will respond favorably — after all, the county is highly unlikely to default — we could see some unexpected happenings regarding rates and other fee assumptions.
RELATED STORIES: Next up for Marlins ballpark: financing the project; County approves financing plan for new Marlins ballpark — with reservations; New Marlins ballpark passes design hurdle; Miami-Dade County Commission approves Marlins ballpark; Miami City Commission approves new Marlins ballpark; Marlins agree to share in sale proceeds on eve of city vote on new ballpark; Set-asides for Marlins ballpark scrapped; city to vote tomorrow; Marlins' pledge of minority set-asides on new ballpark threatens project; Loria: What's good for the Florida Marlins is good for the USA; Will $100 million be enough to sway Spence-Jones' vote on new Marlins ballpark?; More bad news for Marlins ballpark plans: prime source of funding plummets; Key vote may go Marlins way; Vote on new Marlins ballpark delayed again; Miami-Dade County withdraws from Marlins ballpark negotiations, putting entire deal in doubt; With A's and Fish having ballpark problems, 'C' word comes up; New lawsuit filed against Fish ballpark; hearing dates changed again; Always read the fine print, as Marlins fans are discovering; Marlins ballpark vote delayed until March 12; Total borrowing cost of new Marlins ballpark: $1.9 billion
Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see articles before they're posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.