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Marlins Park may cost less than expected. But Jeff Loria will benefit, not the taxpayers

Feb 4, 2013, 9:17 AM EDT

The Monstrosity AP

Every time I read some new detail about the financing of Marlins Park I find new reason to be gobsmacked at how thoroughly it screws Miami taxpayers. The latest from Charles Rabin of the Miami Herald:

Building the Miami Marlins’ new stadium may end up costing tens of millions of dollars less than planned. And where would the left-over money go? To a maintenance reserve that would save the Marlins from having to dip into their pockets in the future to maintain and repair the stadium.

As the article notes, the norm in baseball is for teams, even those who play in publicly-funded ballparks, to pay for upgrades and upkeep to the park themselves. The Marlins do too, but rather than dip into their own coffers to pay for future upgrades, they’re getting a windfall worth tens of millions of dollars to cushion the blow. Just incredible.

(thanks to Old Gator for the heads up)

  1. easports82 - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    The irony in this is not that the people knew how lousy the deal was before it was sealed (though everyone already had a good idea), it’s that this is all coming to light because the Dolphins are trying to get public money to update their stadium.

    • Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      And the same cast of characters – at least the ones we didn’t recall and dump after the Macondo Bananan Massacre Field fiasco – are leading the charge to steal our money for Ross and company, led again by the corrupt and despicable Bruno Barriero, who never met a pimp he couldn’t work for. But hey, he hates Castro, you know – which, at least, makes him the un-Slobbering Ozzie. You gotta look for the silver linings down here, since the clouds are so huge.

  2. digbysellers - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    I like the word gobsmacked when dealing with Loria…well done Old Top!

  3. Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    More like a “heads off.” What an appropriate weekend to discover that the remains under the parking lot at the Leicester borough hall really belonged to Richard III – not that the winter of Macondo’s discontent is going to be made glorious summer by those sons of quarks (which are classified by their “spin”) who own or run the Feesh or their twin soul SOBs on the Macondo County Commission.

    Yes, and the excuse that the money to build Macondo Banana Massacre Field was going to be drawn from the so-called “bed tax” was also dispelled by the same article. Turns out that if in any year the bed tax revenues are inadequate to meet bond payments (which escalate annually like one of Scrooge McLoria’s backloaded free agent contracts), the county is obligated to pay the difference from one of its other operating funds.

    It gets uglier and uglier, don’t it?

    • Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      PS – Craig, please don’t make a scapegoat out of Tommy, however inadvertently. Why not just run the photo of Scrooge McLoria with that paranoid, oh-no-I-just-shat-my-pants look in his eyes?

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      I feel like I must be missing something. They do know that the “bed tax” is subject to changing political winds and all sorts of other factors like the possibility of another recession, don’t they? It seems to have created the heady illusion of unending wealth alongside a drunken rush to spend it all. Today. Right Now.

      I’m almost certain that the turista bed tax isn’t made out of magic. And I know for sure it isn’t made out of realism.

      • Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        You are so right. But behind that manic optimism there was another, more insidious narrative operating throughout the so-called “debate” (read: buyout) among the members of the Macondo County Commission. We kept hearing that the bed tax “had to be spent, by law” on projects that benefited tourism in Macondo so the argument that we needed the funds for less important things like our deteriorating schools and infrastructure (like the multi-billion-dollar rescue of the deteriorating sewer main under Biscayne Bay, with the capability of contaminating the bay and offshore waters for years if it failed) couldn’t be applied to funds for the stadium.

        What’s insidious about this? The inference was that the mandated use of the bed tax was as unalterable as some law of nature, like gravity, electromagnetism, plate techtonics or Fudd’s Law. The County Commission postured as helpless about that. In reality, of course, the County Commission had passed the regulations regarding the use of the bed tax in the first place and always had to power to rescind those regulations and make the funds usable for something else – schools and infrastructure, for example.

        Some of us saw through this. Unfortunately, the courts ruled that the Commissioners were doing what the county charter empowered them to do and so we could not sue the commission not to do it. Well, we elected these swine, and sadly, we got what we deserved.

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