Friday, February 20, 2009

Marlins Stadium: View from Michael Lewis of Miami Today. By Geniusofdespair

Michael Lewis is doing a bang-up job on the Florida Marlins issue, so I am not forced to do any research. He covers it all pretty well. Here is a sample from his editorial:

Another bad apple is an insurance clause for Mr. Loria. The public is to get a slice of profits if the team is sold within seven years. In year six, if the price was $600 million the public would get $7.5 million and the Marlins, who put in far less, would get $592.5 million.

But as Commissioner Sarnoff pinpointed Friday, if the owner dies in that span the public gets nothing. That wrinkle could give the Loria heirs a $60 million gift from taxpayers the first year, less each year thereafter.

The Burgess memo clarifies for the first time that the Marlins won't use a cent out of their pockets. They're to borrow $35 million interest-free from the county and $120 million elsewhere before construction is done and pay it all off from profits from the public's stadium. They play on credit.


Anonymous said...

Michael Lewis of "Miami Today" has been dead on accurate with his assessment of the No-Money-Down Marlins Bailout. Even the "Miami Herald" journalists have caught on. (Too bad the "Herald" editorial board do not understand the facts).

The Marlins Bailout scam will cost the taxpayers over $2 bil. And that is before the inevitable cost overruns and change orders.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the Herald question that bid wavier for a stadium that hasn't been voted on?

How can the mayor or the county run an advertisement for a public hearing on bids (or NO BIDS) before the stadium is considered?

I do not understand government officials if this is how they treat the voters. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Ever watch the County Commissioners on TV? 8-9 appear brain dead.

Let us all pray for a miracle...

Anonymous said...

This is part of an exclusive series with Marlins president David Samson chronicling the progress and developments of the new retractable-roof stadium that is scheduled to open in 2011. As part of the series, which will run twice monthly, fans are encouraged to e-mail David at The fan who presents the best suggestion for this two week period will receive free tickets to an upcoming Marlins game.

MIAMI — Miami-Dade County residents had their say last week, and they voted in favor of those who support a new stadium for the Marlins.

The Aug. 26 elections in Miami-Dade County had a direct connection to the Marlins efforts to get construction under way on a retractable-roof stadium in the Little Havana section of Miami.

At a time where there is a legal challenge to the project, several local politicians who voted in favor of the baseball park were up for re-election on Aug. 26. All of them won.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez won by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, and several county commissioners also were voted back into office by comfortable margins.

“The night of Aug. 26 was very, very important in the timeline of the stadium project, as well as, really, the success of Miami, which is a great city,” Samson said.

The political process did come into play last Tuesday, because the county residents had their chance to have their voices heard in the voting booths.

Elected back into office were Alvarez, along with Miami-Dade County commissioners Audrey Edmonson, Joe Martinez and Bruno Barreiro.

“There was a referendum, and it was called the Mayoral election,” Samson said. “Mayor Alvarez was convincingly re-elected by the people of Miami-Dade County, thereby showing their support of him, the mayor, and these projects, including our stadium.

“The fact is the people did vote, and the judge can see that these commissioners and this mayor have time and time again supported not only this stadium, but other downtown projects. The people in each district had a chance to review what their commissioners stand for, and how they have voted in the past, and how they have voted on the projects. The people have spoken.”

When the team was in Arizona recently, Samson and representatives for the Marlins park, including Miami-Dade County manager George Burgess, took a tour of two facilities with roofs: Chase Field (Diamondbacks) and University of Phoenix Stadium (NFL’s Arizona Cardinals).

“When we were in Arizona, everyone got a chance to see what a downtown stadium [Chase Field] can offer and a rural stadium, which is what University of Phoenix Stadium is. That helped them see what what a new stadium could be like in Little Havana, which is maybe a mile-and-a-half from downtown Miami.

Anonymous said...

David Samson seduced the dim witted Miami-Dade County staff like George Burgess with baseball.
Someone needs to tell George this is just a business deal and he is the mark.

All George really needs to do is read Michael Lewis's columns. Come to think of it why didn't someone on George's staff read the documents?
Michael Lewis read the documents.

Anonymous said...

GB likes baseball. He goes out of state to see it. This will be closer to home, so he will not burn vacation time.

Anonymous said...

It is really too bad that Michael Lewis never applies his talents to the terrible things the builders have done in South Florida or the role of the county commission on zoning decisions that basically line the pockets of big downtown law firms. Of course, that's all over now.

Anonymous said...

Michael, you rock!