[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Making Sense

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Making Sense

The whole issue with the Florida Marlins and their quest for a ballpark is something that, besides of great interest to me, is admittedly somewhat of a personal dilemma. I am a baseball fan and a committed resident of South Florida. Thus, I am inclined to believe that a major league baseball team in Miami provides many benefits that can't simply be measured by dollars and cents. It positively impacts our quality of life, has the potential to unite a community like few other things can, provides a healthy diversion to a wide cross-section of our diverse population and attracts visitors (contrary to what some people think....I've seen it myself at Marlins games).

On the other hand, I am skeptical of Marlins' top management (namely Jeffrey Loria and David Samson) and their commitment to South Florida. They stand to benefit the most, at least financially, from a new ballpark. Public contributions to the ballpark are much greater than the team's contribution. I have to admit that this aspect of the issue makes me pause briefly.

Prior attempts to negotiate a ballpark with the Marlins have fallen flat, with both local government and the Marlins with plenty of blame to share. This is exactly why I believe the current plan is our best and probable last shot to keep the Marlins in town.

So then, how do I begin to reconcile this dilemma?

I'll let Jorge Costales of 2 Think Good explain:
I would prefer not to see Mr Loria, or any other owner, profit from projects which involve public monies. But that is not how this issue has played out all over the US. The Marlins scheduled level of contributions for the stadium are consistent with other recent deals between MLB and local governments. As such, I don't feel strongly enough about wanting to avoid the rich guy getting richer scenario [envy], to wish to see the franchise leave. So I support having the stadium built for the Marlins.
Couldn't have said it better myself, Jorge.


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