But there still is hope…
The Florida Marlins were tossed back, once again, by the Florida state legislature. On the table, a bill that would allow the Orlando Magic a $2M tax break for 30 seasons, along with money to be allocated to various facilities in the state of Florida to improve spring training complexes.
Both pieces of this bill will benefit professional franchises with public money, yet for some reason the legislature couldn’t find it to be a ‘prudent’ gesture to do so for the home town Marlins. A franchise that has brought the state two world championships in less than 10 years.
On Wednesday, the Marlins scored as some Miami politicians grouped together and attached the Marlins’ interest to the original Orlando bill. But a representative from Tampa, Fasano, decided he was going to squash this possibility by creating a seperate bill that would contain the original components on it in order to side-step the Marlins hopes.
This happened, and the bill was passed while the bill containing the Marlins’ tax break, HB615, was essentially voted down as the legislature let time pass. And once again, Tallahassee crushed the hopes of its South Florida consituents.
There does seem to be hope, however, for the Marlins to build this new stadium in the Hialeah area. The politicians from Hialeah are highly motivated and supportive of securing the Marlins in their area. Also, outgoing governor Jeb Bush seems open to the idea of helping the Marlins efforts this time around. To get the Marlins in the Hialeah area would only help the economic development of the area and re-establish its identity within the South Florida communities.
The Marlins and Hialeah estimate to be about $100M short of the $430M it will take to build a home for the franchise. The Marlins are ponying up $212M and Hialeah is going to donate the land for the venture as well as about $100M for the project from Miami-Dade County. The $60M tax break could have helped relieve the franchise as it seeks the final lump sum. As it stands, the Marlins, with a $15M payroll, look to get an estimated $30M in revenue sharing and including profits from over the course of the season (TV revenue, advertising, etc.) could see some of that money set aside in order to help finance the new stadium.