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The Marlins new ballpark is on schedule and on budget

Jul 16, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

Costs are down, revenues are up, and our stock has never been

“We are exactly on budget,” Marlins President David Samson told a
pack of reporters during a media tour of the construction site
Thursday. “There will be no overruns.”

The surrounding neighborhood has yet to feel the domino effect
of the new construction. Yet with the stadium about 40 percent complete,
Samson insisted the neighborhood around the former Orange Bowl will get
a much-needed shot in the arm.

“This will be an area that
will have people every single day,” Samson said. “What I really want
to build is a neighborhood.”

Good for the finances of the deal anyway. I still worry about the neighborhood. You’ll recall that Old Gator took me on a tour of the construction site back in March.  His thought then — with which I agreed wholeheartedly — is that if the ballpark draws like people hope it will, the traffic will be a nightmare due to the absence of public transportation and the fact that there really aren’t any major thoroughfares in and out of the neighborhood.

And it is a neighborhood. Houses, small apartment buildings and lots of side streets.  If a ballpark grew up there in 1925 alongside a subway system or something, hey, mazel tov.  Now?  It could be really rough getting in and out.

Of course Gator is convinced no one is going to go anyway, but I’ll let him explain why he thinks that in the comments.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 16, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    I can’t help thinking that when he claims he’s going to “build a neighborhood,” the Chihuahua sounds like some kind of Liliputian Albert Speer. I wonder if it has occurred to him that folks who live in the neighborhood maybe want a little peace and quiet instead? Who wants to bet that this pipsqueak hasn’t taken any opinion surveys in the area about whether these folks – aside from the ones with front yards who used to make them available for Orange Bowl parking at a slight fee, but are about to discover that the parking facility at the new stadium is already too capacious for the traffic it will generate – even want more noise, cars and pedestrians peering in through their bedroom windows in the first place?
    When the Chihuahua promises that there will be no cost overruns, it’s one of those rare occasions when you can take one of his blitherings at face value. What he means is, my boss Scrooge McLoria, one of the few guys around whose anality actually registers an event horizon, isn’t going to spend one goddamned penny more than he absolutely has to, and if we hit our budget when there was nothing left to put up but glass sliding doors he’d use Vistaqueen instead. Oh yeah, and by the way those two insipid feesh tanks behind home plate (a stroke of logistical genius worthy of the Chihuahua himself) used up whatever budget slack there was. At least there’ll be someone watching the game, even if they’re feesh.
    The parking and traffic flow. Yes. I propounded the simulacrum of logic whereby I predict that after year one (if not during it) the fans will kinda shrug and watch the games on television in the March 8 post to which Craig linked above, so I won’t go back into it here. However, I periodically check the FDOT and Miami-Dade County web sites to see if there’s any indication that someone plans to widen, realign or otherwise in any way modify what would be a gridlock situation anyplace else. Nope. What does it tell you about how many people the city, county and, indeed, the team itself expect to show up for these games that they’re not doing doodly squat about the inadequate road situation?

  2. JBerardi - Jul 16, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    ” If a ballpark grew up there in 1925 alongside a subway system or something, hey, mazel tov. Now? It could be really rough getting in and out.”

    Fenway Park is probably the gold standard for the type of park you’re talking about, and even then, the city-integrated ballpark isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I used to live in the Fenway and work in Kenmore square, and let me tell you, everyone who lives and/or works around Fenway absolutely loathes gameday, and for good reason. You can’t park anywhere, the public transportation gets totally overwhelmed, the automotive traffic is terrible. Hell, even the pedestrian traffic is an issue. And, for all the talk of the ballpark crowd bringing business to the area, I never really saw it. The suburban imports who show up for Sox games don’t pack the local bars and restaurants post-game, they pack Kenmore Station. Not surprisingly, the surrounding neighborhood is pretty run down relative to most of the city (Boylston st. is downright trashy, Kenmore square isn’t a whole lot better).

    Not that I don’t love Fenway (I certainly don’t make a beeline for the green line after a game), but the whole concept of a ballpark being a boon to whatever surrounds it is mainly a fallacy created by owners looking to build their stadiums on the taxpayer’s dime. But then, we all knew that… right?

  3. Old Gator - Jul 17, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Oddly enough, yes we did. The polls regarding whether or not the voters of Macondo would approve an expenditure, or even a bond issue, for this increasingly bizarre looking edifice were uniformly and lopsidedly negative. So, as I mentioned in the linked post, the county commission just went around us and found some odd little statute about being able to vote as a select bunch of whores to to commit “tourist tax” money to the boondoggle. In response to the public outcry about that, the county mayor pointed out that tourist tax money could, by statute, only be used for tourist-related projects – like, for example, a baseball stadium that would only be used during the time of year when tourism in south Florida was at its lowest point of the year. You have to love the logic. Nawww, let’s not got to Europe this year; let’s fly down to Macondo instead and watch a baseball game. R-r-right. Macondo Banana Massacre Field is going to be the biggest white elephant since Moby Dick grew legs.

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