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Marlins, county sparring over team contribution to new ballpark

Miami MarlinsMiami-Dade County officials are challenging some $1.7 million in expenses claimed by the Miami Marlins toward the construction of the team’s new ballpark, Marlins Park.

The issue: under the 2009 agreement that established the ballpark, the team is able to deduct expenses it incurred toward construction of the new facility. Those so-called “soft costs” covered a wide range of expenditures, mostly related to design, consultation and legal fees. In the end, the team claimed credit for $38.5 million of the soft costs.

But $1.7 million of that is being challenged after a county audit, and most of that money is related to the sales center constructed on the ballpark site. The couunty says construction of that facility and its associated costs — advertising banners, cable service to the facility, furniture, etc. — should not be borne by county residents, as it was a sales office and not part of the ballpark construction project.

The Marlins have already agreed to waive some of the items billed to the county, including a $10,000 wine bill incurred when the ballpark project was green-lighted. The county and the Marlins will continue to negotiate over the remaining items, with an arbiter having the final say.

RELATED STORIES: Reax to new Marlins ballpark

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