By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
But for the local economy, spending on baseball is much worse than spending at a neighborhood joint. Why? Because it ultimately goes to either Jeffrey Loria or the players, none of whom really lives in Miami or spends much money here. So instead of circulating cash in Little Havana, most of the dollars spent at the stadium will be sent off to Loria's Southampton bank vault.
In fact, when cities build new stadiums, residents' wages drop and retail and service sectors lose jobs, a 1999 University of Maryland, Baltimore County study showed. That includes data from every city with an NFL, MLB, or NBA team from the late '60s until the late '90s.
Unlike other towns that recently built stadiums — notably St. Louis and San Diego — Miami extracted no promises from the Marlins that they'd invest in housing or commercial space around their new ballpark. The deal rests, instead, on the strong "hope" that businesses will spring up. "Everyone's hoping the neighborhood will change, but there're no concrete plans," Robert Fenton, the city's stadium manager, admitted to the Herald last year.
That's not good enough for Yvonne Bayona, a longtime Little Havana activist who lives a few miles south of the new ballpark.
"This is still a neighborhood full of very low-income residents," she says. "They're not going to be able to afford to go to these games, and as far as I can tell, having that stadium in their back yard isn't going to improve their lives one bit."
BIG FAT LIE NUMBER 6
It's too late to change the deal.
"No... A contract is a contract." — Samson, asked by the Herald if the Marlins would renegotiate after Deadspin's leak.
The Ugly Truth: True, Braman's well-financed court battle against the Marlins stadium died in 2008 when Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen tossed his argument that the county should have held a public vote on the deal.
But there's another legal challenge facing the ballpark that's still very much alive. It's being waged by grassroots organizers who are passionate, well informed, and committed to fighting to the bitter end.
The 40-page complaint filed last November by Grace Solares, a longtime Miami activist, contends the City of Miami broke Sunshine Laws, illegally gave the team tax-free land, and improperly tied public money to the project. "If the judge looks at the facts in this case, there's no question the team and the city broke the law," Solares says.
A stern, grandmotherly figure sporting a permed pouf of hair, she filed the challenge with the help of Linda Carroll, a former federal prosecutor with a thick Boston accent. Their first argument — a claim that leaves Solares so angry she gesticulates wildly while talking about it in Carroll's downtown office — is that the agreement should have been hashed out in public meetings, not by Alvarez, County Manager George Burgess, Samson, and then-Miami Mayor Manny Diaz in closed conference rooms.
Solares believes a public negotiation wouldn't have left voters holding a turkey that will eventually cost $2.4 billion including financing and other costs. "You can't have a major, publicly financed deal like this done behind lock and key with no citizen input," Solares says.
What's more, the pair argues, commissioners broke Miami's charter by crafting a "convoluted Rube Goldberg-style legal transaction solely for the purpose of sparing the [Marlins] from the payment of... taxes" on 17 acres used for parking garages.
Finally, the county had no right to use its credit to guarantee the bonds paying for the stadium project, they say.
They're all sound arguments, Carroll says, and they haven't yet been hashed out in court.
"Braman's suit was about whether there should have been a public vote," she says. "We disagreed with the result, but he didn't argue any of these problems with the deal."
The Marlins, though, say Solares lacks standing to challenge the deal. In January, they filed a motion to dismiss the case. Judge Lawrence A. Schwartz hasn't yet set a date to consider both sides' arguments.
Solares says voters shouldn't let the team off the hook just because the politicians behind the deal have been fired.
"There's no reason to stop fighting," she says. "My granddaughter will be paying for this until she's middle-aged, and the team is making an incredible profit. How can we just ignore that?"
The Absolute Worst
Ask an economist whether the Marlins stadium deal is the worst in baseball history for taxpayers, and he or she will pussyfoot around and then tell you it's hard to say. Comparing complex stadium deals is like trying to stack Mark McGwire's juiced home run stats against the skills of the Babe.
Baloney. We'll go right ahead. It's the worst flipping deal ever.
First off, most cities have extracted far more funds from their teams to build a new park than Miami, where owner Jeffrey Loria will front just short of 30 percent of the $515 million cost. Take baseball-mad St. Louis, where the Cardinals and private investors eventually covered 88 percent of financing for the new Busch Stadium. Or San Diego (43 percent privately financed). Or Detroit (37 percent private).
You are against taxpayer dollars for rich sports team owners but for Taxpayer dollars for other types of cronyism like the Fillmore East?
Tell me New Times. What is it like being such a huge, bulbous, engorged HYPOCRITE!
This deal stinks on a number of fronts, but but backroom deal making was prevalent in many phases of the construction. A company called B-R Carts solicitied bid information from insiders even though they maintained it was a "sealed bid" project. What a joke. B-R Carts did not win the job for vending carts (even with inside information" but was then "gifted" the merchandising carts and kiosk in a non-competitive bid situation. I feel sorry for the people of Miami
Bond holders will take a huge haircut on this turkey when the city defaults. Paid attendance was around 24,500 last night, with maybe 20k actually in seats. Loria will start dumping some of that $118 million payroll by mid season. He is raping Miami, just like he raped Montreal.
Come on lets be honest is there an honest politision, i have never seen one yet. The stadium will help the economy by hiring people to work during the events. That it makes the skyline look bad, please... I personaly hate seing all the building going on everywhere in south Florida, but if there is grass someone wants to build something there. The stadium is great, and i think it will help the communitee in the futre
Look, all you people are being true-blooded haters. The stadium is absolutely beautiful, and fans WILL flock to see the Marlins. (I'm a Yankee fan living in St. Louis, fans of the Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs, Red Sox and such teams are generally REALLY loyal!) You just get brain-washed by the media into what you should think. Life is too short to think negative (studies show people who are negative don't live as long as positive thinking people, how do you like that?), it's a beautiful world out there. If you don't like where you live, then move somewhere else.
Its so easy for someone who doesn't live in the city to dismiss this article and call whoever is against the stadium a crybaby. If you actually lived there and had to pay taxes on a ugly stadium for a team nobody supports you'd think the same way to damn fool.
As a Montréal Expos fan, who saw the greasy, greedy Loria and his stumpy stepson sidekick Sampson go from a tiny percentage to 92% ownership through their larceny, destroy the franchise then literally steal its assets to take to Florida with the underhanded help of MLB, I pity the taxpayers of Dade and Miami. Not that anybody would listen to me, or even New Times and other experts, probably thinking a swindle like this could never go through. "Why, our elected officials would stop it, right?" Dead wrong.
Well, this superb article shows you nothing-but-the-truth, and those two slimeballs are getting away with multi-millions of dollars of the people's money. And the people will get nothing, NOTHING, in return. Taxpayers won't come close to covering the debt with the tiny stadium rent payments.
Hell is not hot enough for Loria and Mini-Me Sampson and everyone they got paid off to waste public money on a terrible stadium in an awful location for a lousy team that no one will go to see. The money would have been put to better use burned in a power plant to provide air conditioning to one home for fifteen minutes than to see it go to the Greedies, Loria and shorty Sampson. But they have zero morals or ethics to care, and are richer than ever thanks to the public not understanding or paying attention to the scam, and politicians happy to keep it that way.
I do not have all the facts and figures regarding the new ballpark, but I have common sense. The Marlins have one of the worst attendance figures in the MLB and it does not take an econ major to figure out a simple supply and demand curve. The stadium seats 33k and the MArlins attract 15k (so they say), and a new stadium is going to change things? Not a chance! The fact that public dollars are contributing to this stadium is outrageous. Please ask the small business owners that need space and capital equipment if they receive any money from the government. Baseball is a business and should be treated that way. If I manufacture a product, I need space to do that, and I will pay for it, why is it any different?
This guy is an idiot and clearly knows nothing about baseball. He said that a new ballpark won't attract more fans because the Nationals had low attendance in '06, the Reds drew a low attendance in '09, and the Pirates had low attendance in '10. Lets look at the records of the teams at each of those times; '06 Nationals: 71-91. '09 Reds: 78-84, after going 74-88, 72-90, 80-82, 73-89, 76-86, and 63-99 in all their previous years at Great American Ball Park. '10 Pirates: 57-105, after going 62-99, 67-85, 68-94, 67-95, 67-95, 72-89, 75-87, 72-89, and 62-100 in all of their years at PNC Park. The low attendance is not because fans are not attracted to the stadium, but because their team is struggling. The '10 Reds, who went 91-71, drew almost double the attendance of '09. Now, halfway through the '11 season, they already have had more attendance than all of '09. The '11 Pirates, who are 47-43 thus far, are selling out. Oh, and did he also forget to mention that the Phillies have the highest attendance thus far in their six year old ballpark? Or the Giants, Twins, Cardinals, Brewers, Yankees, Mets, and Tigers all have parks built 2000 or later, and all are in the top 12 in attendance? May I remind you that the Twins ballpark, Target Field, opened in 2010, and they have the 4th best attendance, and they have been in last place most of the year?
This article is filled with twisted truths and opinions masquerading as fact in the eyes of the writer. All you need to know is that without a new stadium, the Marlins would have moved out of the Miami area - and that would not be a good thing. Period. The disgraceful writing begins in the very first paragraph, saying this "ugly silver blah blah blah rises above the skyline"....well, it doesn't rise above any "skyline" because it's a STADIUM. Additionally, it is a truly beautiful ballpark, as many new ones are. This ballpark is in fact, more beautiful than the new Mets park, which cost hundreds of millions more.
As far as the quote from the random woman - literally random - she is truly wrong. A new stadium that is indoors in the Miami climate will guarantee a much greater attendance for decades. Additionally, while adults may be transported from other cities, there are plenty of young Miami fans who will remain that way with a stadium and team to go see - which there wouldn't be if they were supposed to continue playing in the old football stadium
omg you really believe that in Miami we only use tax $$$$ for what they are allocated for? what a joke, and as far as a better stadium improving tourism, I would not bet on it. I hope you don't spend all your $$ on Marlins tix and save some for when your 1 yr old is ready for college, because with our tax $$$ being used for ridiculous things like this stadium, while we are cutting from education and other more important places, your kid will not be able to get financial aid.
U said we alot in this article. U do understand that the money being used is tourist tax money that can only be used for something like this. Is it the best deal? No but would u rather have the team move? I will be there opening day 2012 with my 1 year old! While u sit here and complain about something that gives u a story to write.
Google in the input: = tntn.us ==you can find many brand names, even more surprising is that he will sell you the unexpected o(∩_∩)o
Yes, half of these are valid reasons of how the Marlins are liars, but I can say 1 thing and I for one am actually buying season tickets to the first year (2012). Mostly because i've been a fan of the marlins for a decade and I belive it will help out Little Havana, just like the Orange Bowl brought many fans from near and far, however I do not agree with the handling of getting the deal done or the idiot mayor that was ousted. Basically: Go Marlins! I've always wanted a closer stadium than having to drive all the way to Miami Gardens! Carlos Alvarez is an idiot and so is David Samson and Jeffrey Loria, for taking taxpayer money and putting it in their pockets.
Build a winning tradition? Seems like you're unaware that this far too evident of the back-door, dealing and corruption that's been the norm in Miami since it's inception. The copious amounts NOT pennies of taxes residents have to fork over for the next forty years IS NOT WORTH IT considering that your beloved fish will pocket all profits and pay no land taxes and none it going back to the community. You're a moron if you believe this money came entirely form tourist taxes: this came off the blood of every single resident who paid property taxes in Dade county, every laid-off employee, and every public safety projects whose monies were diverted for this stadium. So while the water mains keep breaking, the sewer pump stations overflow, anhydrous chlorine railcars ride our rails and the roads have sinkholes because there all funds are here (and they are) ask your positive buddy Loria to save you
Oh deal with it... The park is being made, and I for one am happy they finally got that issue out of the way, and now we could see our team simply play ball, and grow with the community, and build a winning tradition here.
Sometimes the ends justifies the means, and in this case yes it might be a bad deal now for the taxpayers because we're going to have to fork over a few pennies more a year in taxes or whatever the deal is but I as a fan think it's worth it, and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.
Your life is short so enjoy it people, and stop being so god damn negative... GO FISH!
Awesome article, and great news-gathering.
It is more than obvious that people here in Miami-Dade County have been ripped off by Loria, his midget son-in-law David Samson; and, their crooked politician cronies. I hope the lawsuit pending succeeds so justice prevails!
Awesome article. It is more than obvious that people in Miami-Dade County have been fleeced to the max by Loria and his midget son-in-law Samson.
Anyone with the ability to read knows the lyes concocted by the friends of Loria, thats how this group should be called, but what I want to know is does the district attorney of this county see how this criminal element stole from the citizens of this county or her being so close to crime (her Sons being that crime wave) just made her to turn a blind eye to what has been going on under her nose, if Jefrrey lorias paying the bills of the attorneys handling Carlos alvarez case is not a case of conflict of interest; I just don't know maybe the only way we can tell crime in this county is if a blackman is standing in a corner making a few bucks while at city hall millions dissapear and she does not even blink an eye or maybe she did.
Someone needs to go to prison for this. Seriously, why isn't someone being prosecuted? I guess the people in office are still corrupt. Just terrible.
It is a shame that our money is being wasted to fund a rich mans hobby when he has millions of dollars in painting around the world, as for Samson he is a a bottom feeder he wants to all thes things off the tax payers backs, let the Marlins go because they will only still draw around 10.000 people to the games once everybody gets a taste of the new stadium.if the marlins would leave let them take the Dolphins with them.
This should be on the ballot for a vote. Stop the construction. Fine the ball team owners $150-Million and take their franchise license. That will be justice in a box. In fact, right after Miami would own the team, rather than some owner.
The next professional team, owner get no subsidies, land or tax concessions or any other type of give a way, make it law. Its simple, just put it on a ballot. This way we stop getting ripped off. Once you make these franchise-owners build their own stadium without tax payers money and other subsidies, then they will have to perform. Sunshine laws, mean full transparency,and accountability, why are these guys not in jail? See thats the problem in Dade and the State of Florida, we have to stop crime at the Top. Screw the Leagues secrecy laws. Have the legislators pass a law that says; Screw your secrecy law-let see your books. Call it amendment "SYS" What about the IRS and 10K filings and or just corporate filings. One company no subsidiaries or get your booty out of town, and do not let the door hit you in booty. Will someone wake upthe voters!
Just don't go to any games and see what happens to these Azzholes pockets. I dare real citizens to stand up and not support these thieves.
This article just sounds angry. Reality is that is was probably the not best deal for Miami-Dade, but a nice baseball staduim near d,owntown is the right thing for a well recognized city. It will bring jobs during construction and during games and concerts and that is what Miami-Dade needs. Who cares you is making what? The writer just sounds bitter that he isn't getting a cut of the pie. Maybe he should start his own construction company and bid for a contract and forget writting if he wants to make more $.Here is six truths on why its a good idea: 1) Current stadium is a dump. 2) More jobs in Miami-Dade. 3) Business travellers and turists get to catch a game without drivings an hour away from their hotels. 4) People can catch a game after work during the week a lot easier. 5) Easy to go to Brickell, Gables or Beach after the game during the weekends for drinks afterwards. 6) At least we can enjoy what we are paying for instead of all the other bad government deals that we have nothing to show for it.
yeah well Miami is one of the poorest metropolis out there.. and with the dolphins & canes being the historic franchises, and the Heat being the new Fad, It only leaves the fish fighting for scraps..pardon the pun. The fish are relatively new. I'm only 30 and i can easily remember the days before we had a baseball team. The stadium was needed, but it was built on lies and its only gonna be a welfare for the rich & famous. Those who can afford the luxury boxes are gonna love the new stadium while the city goes.... wow, i cant believe i got drunk and spent this much money. If we average about 18K fans a game i will be surprised
so you don't like to hear the truth? Us taxpayers have to live with this sh**. We were lied to COUNTLESS times. They forced this upon us. Ever been to a game? you could sit and count the fans. Horrible. Waste of money. And destruction of a landmark. Good luck cleaning up the area and bringing in all these new fans. Ehh cubsfan. you're a joke
yeah tourism! ha! funny! The only time I went to a city just to see a baseball game was to watch the World Series. A once in a lifetime Mets V Yankees series. And im still regretting it. The stadium is not gonna bring any tourism. I tell you what will bring tourism.. clean the effing streets and reduce crime. South beach gets worse and worse every year.
Go marlins!!!! Unfortunately...your season tix will go straight into Loria's pocket and if we ever win another world series he will sell off our players to buy another Hampton home...
The stadium will be built but we shouldn't have to pay for it when the marlins are making sooooo much money...
$2.4 billion that will be spent on the stadium divided by the counties 2.4 million residents = $1,000 per resident. FUCK THE FISH!!!
"oh deal with it"? I don't even like baseball and yet this stupid stadium will ultimately cost my family and every other family in Miami-Dade a whopping FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. You're right, life is short.. too short for us to just sit back and let our nasty politicians take advantage of us for their own personal gain. The Marlins should have paid for this out of their own pocket and should be forced to fork over a bigger chunk of the pie now that it's been revealed that they lied about their grim financial status and now that the project is coming in over budget! When all is said and done this stupid stadium has a $2.4 Billion dollar price tag and that, quite frankly, pisses me off.
stopping construction on a stadium thats more than halfway done is a bigger waste of money than anything
You are not for real?? How much did you invest in this deal and more important, how much will you/did you get out of it??