A Miami-Dade County bond advisory panel approved using $50 million in bond money earmarked for renovating the Orange Bowl to build the new ballpark for the Marlins. Estimates to ease arterial traffic congestion should the stadium get built in the old Little Havana neighborhood will be more than $12 million. That's $62 million that could have been spent on a downtown stadium that sits at the nexus of a proposed transportation hub that encourages the "New Millennium pioneers" living downtown to take in a game and those living outside of downtown to leave their car behind to catch a train from Palm Beach, Metrorail from Dadeland, and a monorail from the beach.
Too bad for us. And still we beat our drum...
UpDate (10/26): The Marlins are having second thoughts about moving into the soon to be vacant Orange Bowl spot. By not being in their preferred downtown location, they believe they will ultimately lose money. Because of that, they want to renegotiate the lease and reduce their contribution to building the new baseball stadium. Frustrated City of Miami commissioners have given the team until December 13th to put up or shut up. If a stadium plan isn't set by that date, "we move on," according to Commission Vice Chairman Joe Sanchez. Too bad someone in the city doesn't have enough foresight-- vision-- to offer them the MVB downtown site as an alternative.
UpDate (7/27/08): Glenn Straub, owner of the Miami Arena, announces he will tear it down to build a baseball stadium-- if he can strike a deal with the City of Miami and the Florida Marlins. Part of the deal he wants is to gain title to the Orange Bowl site (now torn down) to build affordable housing. Initial reaction from the Marlins and the city: not interested. Typical. And surprising since at one time the Marlins insisted on a downtown site.