Two World Series championships couldn’t bring out Marlins fans. Hopefully a new ballpark will do the trick.
After more than a decade of financial uncertainty while pushing for a permanent home, the Marlins finally landed one when the Miami-Dade Commission voted 9 to 4 to approve construction of a $634 million, 37,000-seat retractable roof stadium on the grounds of the Orange Bowl.
”Ten years is a long time. Eventually it was going to come. Wow, I’m very happy, very pleased,” team owner Jeffrey Loria told the Miami Herald.
The only remaining obstacle will be selling the necessary stadium bonds in a challenging economy by a July deadline. The county will pay the bulk of the stadium costs through tourist taxes and bond referendums while the Marlins will pay $120 million in the later years of construction and another $35 to repay the county for borrowed money.
• Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote says that with a new ballpark the Marlins are finally home.
"Our best days in the big leagues until now have been about simply having a team," Cote writes. "Monday may have been the best day of all because it was about keeping a team, finally stamping a sense of permanence on a club struggling to grow without roots."
• Sun Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde says Loria worked the count against county commissioners to get a better deal. He notes that a year ago Loria offered $212 million for a ballpark. Now the team is paying a little more than $150 million.
The Palm Beach Post’s Dave George says give Loria credit for getting a deal done.
A look at other stories making news around the world of baseball.
Off the Air and Online
More and more minor league teams have abandoned broadcasting their games on the radio, typically because they can’t find or afford a deal with a station, and have turned instead to the internet.
Such a move may be cost-effective, but likely is not generate the equivalent exposure as a radio broadcast, one expert said in The Examiner’s piece. “Having a traditional over-the-air radio station relationship is a very valuable promotional tool for a baseball team. There has to be compelling reasons, most of which are probably financial these days, to not do that,” broadcasting executive and consultant David Pearlman says.
I would’ve liked to have heard more on this aspect to the story and how teams can become more creative in marketing and broadcasting online (somewhat similar situation to newspapers and the internet).
After disastrous WBC showing, Taiwan government comes up with a financial plan to help develop players.
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