Friday, March 16, 2007

The height of hypocrisy - UPDATED

I was reading FishStripes today and saw a note about State Senators from Broward county grousing about the two proposed locations for the Marlins stadium.
Broward senators also say it's time for Miami-Dade County and Miami officials to settle on a site, preferably closer to the county line. But the two options being considered are in downtown Miami and at the Orange Bowl. The Marlins currently play at Dolphin Stadium, near the county line.

''As unhappy as my constituents are now, when I tell them that I've helped fund something that will be less convenient for them, they will be even less happy,'' said Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller, a Hallandale Beach Democrat, who muttered ''grumble, grumble'' before voting in favor of the Marlins bill.
Man, this guy has a set fucking balls the size of watermelons to say that. Broward county had its chance to have the ballpark built within its boundaries. It's Broward's leaders and residents that rejected the idea. Now they want to complain because the Dade municipality which is going to provide the land and part of the money to finance construction isn't close to Broward. Cry me a river.

If this guy thinks Broward Marlins fans are going to be upset driving an extra 15 miles, imagine how upset they will be if they had to drive a couple of thousand miles to see the San Antonio Marlins or the Las Vegas Marlins or the Portland Marlins.

If the sales tax rebate goes through, we're talking about $60 million over THIRTY YEARS. That's $2 million a year, from the entire state budget of more than $65 Billion, which is peanuts.

Broward's share of the lost revenue from the rebate is less than peanuts given that there are 67 counties in Florida. Let's assume that Broward county's contribution to the stadium (in terms of lost revenue due to the proposed tax rebate) is proportional to its population (which is 10% of the state's population) then Broward county's residents are putting up $200,000 per year or less than 12 cents per resident per year.

Of coure, if the Marlins move out of state, there's no sales tax revenue from the club anyway so the sales tax rebate would be a moot point.

My message to Steve Geller: beggars can't be choosers, jackass. Your constituents are going to have the benefit of having a major league club within reasonable driving distance and will only be footing a miniscule portion of the bill. You want the Marlins to stay but you don't want to pay for it as a resident of Broward county, then you are going to have to live with the small inconvenience of driving a little farther to go where people put their money where their mouth is.

By his logic, the Marlin Fans in Monroe county should be jumping for joy because the ballpark will be that much closer to them. I seriously doubt it.


Robert said...

Too funny. "We sure as hell don't want the ball park in our county, but please build it close to our county."

Just for that, we should build the damn thing in Key Largo.

Rick said...


The truth of the matter is that by moving the stadium south, the Marlins are going to lose a certain percentage of their fans who refuse to make the trek deep into Miami-Dade County from Broward and Palm Beach. I made that argument over at SotP, and I still believe that the downtown location is the better of the two sites, primarily because it is accessible to mass transit from the north.

What is not clear, at least in my mind, is whether central and south Miami-Dade County will pick up the slack or, better yet, improve attendance. Personally, I don't think it will improve it at all and may even hurt it some. But who knows.

As far as Geller goes, I don't know how he has voted on the issue or if he even had any say in the stadium not being located in Broward. You have to totally expect that he will take the position that will make him look like he's trying to get the stadium closer to his constituents. Doesn't mean it's right. But it's totally expected, don't you think?

I like downtown location. I think it would be good for the city and it would draw a nice mix of fans from the north and the south.

And, Robert, who is "we?" The taxpayers of Florida who are giving the team a tax break, the citizens of the City of Miami or the citizens of Miami-Dade County? Because if you build the thing in Key Largo, and I know you were joking, 2 of those 3 sources of money dry up real quick.


Henry Gomez said...

Rick as a long time Marlin fanatic and a season ticket holder for the last 4 seasons, I have thought about this issue long and hard. The stadium needs to be closer to one of the two population centers in south Florida. The Dolphins Stadium location is not a good fit for baseball because of the number of weeknight games. The Dolphins don't have that problem because the 8 games are major events held on Sunday that people come from as far as Ft. Meyers or the Keys or Jupiter for.

As I said, Broward had its chance and it roundly refused to be in the discussion for a ballpark built partially with public funds on public land. For a broward politician to complain now about the tax rebate seems ridiculous to me. As I outlined in the post, Broward's share is miniscule.

No matter what, the ballpark looks like it's going to be in the City of Miami because it's the one municipality that has even considered giving public land for it. So regardless it's going to be further for Broward residents.

Now in deciding which of the two locations is best, I'm with you. The downtown location would be better and a vibrant downtown would be a dream come true. In fact, I like bicentennial park. But that's a sacred cow and isn't going to happen.

The government center location has a lot of problems which I outlined in an earlier post here. Relocating other projects that were supposed to built there is just one of the problems.

This is going to be a compromise which means it's never going to be optimal. If they lose some of the broward base they may or may not pick up more from Dade. But let's face it, when they build the brand new park, attendance will initially be at levels as when the team was brand new. Then things will settle down and level off. I believe the mere fact that the park will have a roof will mean higher attendance and if you are coming from further away, you won't think twice if it's threatening rain. In that way a dome brings people from greater distances. It's virtually a 100% guarantee that the game will be played without delay or without the fans getting wet.

The OB location solves a lot of problems for the politicans, starting with what to do with the existing structure. The answer of course is to tear it down and send the canes north for their 6 games.

I'm thinking the OB site is a 3-1 favorite right about now.

Songuacassal said...

As far as I'm concerned Broward had it's chance and blew it. If Broward doesn't want to take the risk and open the ball park in it's own county, then it shouldn't have a say (or even voice an opinion) as to where Miami-Dade county should or should put one. WTF Broward?

As for the OB site, I still think Down Town would be a better location, but I'm not one to complain as long as it's near home.

Oh, and is there anyway we can petition to change the name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins? I'm in a spitting in Broward county's eye mood at the moment.