Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Florida Marlins Baseball Stadium: You can build it, but Miami won't come if it's in a cornfield

Today's Miami Herald reports the county is ratcheting up the pressure on the Florida Marlins and MLB to accept their offer to build a new stadium on the old Orange Bowl site. According to team president David Sampson, the next 10 days are "critical." If a deal can be brokered, he says, for the first time, that the team will play at the Orange Bowl site.

How disappointing to hear. That site sucks big time. In our continuing quest to push for the better site, we took it upon ourselves to email Irwin Raij, an MLB attorney the following:

  • Dear Mr. Raij,

    Please pass on the Orange Bowl site. MLB can do better. It's a terrible location in a rundown part of town with no easy access to the Interstate which will hamper any ticket sales. Instead, push the county and the city for this location: Grand Central Station of the American Pastime. It envisions the stadium built over three forms of mass transit (two are already existing-- the third is a proposed BayLink from Miami to Miami Beach). It's called the "Grand Central Station of the American Pastime." It's here where the Marlins will find its fan base-- through the thousands of people moving into the new condos opening in the central business district (over 40,000 units planned or being built). It's also where fans from as far away as Palm Beach will come because it will be so easy. All they have to do is hop on an FEC train and ride it to the stadium. With the stadium attached to the existing Miami Arena, both should be able to benefit from the other. Don't settle for less because it's one thing to build it, but if you want them to come in Miami, cornfields won't cut it.
    Thank you,
    The Boys at MVB

It was the least we could do for this community we love so much. Hopefully you'll do the same.

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.

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