In what has taken nearly a decade to accomplish; building a brand new stadium in Florida for the Florida Marlins, it looks like the time has arrived.
On Monday the Miami-Dade Commissioners, voted in favor of a roofed ballpark for the Marlins, on the same grounds as the Orange Bowl. Two separate votes were taken; the first was 9-4 the second came back at 10-3. Concerning the vote, the Marlins needed nine of thirteen commissioners to vote in favor. Those commissioners addressed five separate issues; non-relocation, assurance, parking, operating and construction.
Since the Marlins won their first World Championship in 1997, there have been three separate owners that have tried to get this project off and running, largely in part because, since the time the Marlins arrived into the National League, they have shared the stadium with the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.
Now that the vote has passed, the next step is looking to break round on the baseball only facility by July of this year, so that the stadium is ready for opening day; 2012. The team is under lease to remain at Dolphin Stadium through 2010. With the new park scheduled to open in 2012, the team will begin negotiating with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross for a one-year extension. The stadium will hold 37,000, will have a retractable roof and is located on the Orange Bowl grounds of Little Havana section of Miami. Since Major League Baseball has been extensively involved with the stadium process, it is looking more and more like the Marlins will be hosting the All-Star Game in a few years. During the meetings MLB President and COO, Bob DuPuy was in attendance representing league and his outlook on this could not be any better. “Major League Baseball is thrilled over the outcome tonight,” DuPuy said. “This was an extraordinary session, and I thank everybody in the county for their hard work. There is a lot of hard work still to do, but the fun part starts now.”….”When you finally have the All-Star Game, which you deserve here in a new ballpark, it’s a five-day celebration for the community,” DuPuy said to commissioners during the meeting. “When you have the finals of the World Baseball Classic, the World Series, your county will be showcased in 13 languages in 225 countries and over 100 million people. No brochure can bring you that type of exposure.”
The cost of the stadium is looking at approximately $625 million; this includes the stadium and the parking lot. Once construction is complete and the Marlins move into their new home located in Little Havana, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Florida Marlins and their 35-year lease are looking at a name change as well, more than likely, the Miami Marlins.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.