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The Florida Marlins' pledge to steer millions of dollars in construction contracts for their proposed ballpark to black-owned businesses is dead.
Just four days after the team and local black leaders signed the deal, hailing it as a historic breakthrough in race relations, the compact dissolved after the Miami-Dade County Attorney said it would violate court rulings that prohibit governments from awarding contracts based on race.
While the Marlins pledged black businesses 15 percent of the work from the teams' $120 million contribution to the construction project, the city and county are funding the rest of the $639 million stadium, parking and public works project.
''We are very disappointed in the county attorney's interpretation of the law,'' Bill Diggs wrote in a statement released late Tuesday, announcing the dissolution of the compact.
Diggs is president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, which represents black-owned businesses.