August 17, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Marlins to become homeless?

Even though prospects for obtaining land at the Orange Bowl increased recently, the Florida Marlins still have no deal in sight. In June, the Florida State Senate rejected a $60 million appropriation bill to fund a new stadium, even after Miami and Dade County had "stepped up to the plate," and everything is back to square one. You know what that means: The MLB franchise owners are huffing and puffing about a possible relocation if state officials in Florida don't "play ball." (If you ask me, it's odd how the failure by Montreal to pay for a new baseball stadium during the 1990s did not lead to demands for an immediate relocation by the owners. That situation dragged out for years and years.) The issue came up during the owners' quarterly meeting in Toronto. The problem is that an expensive retractable roof would be a virtual necessity, given the frequent summer rains in semi-tropical South Florida. From MLB's standpoint, the problem is that they have been too distracted with similar funding controversies in Washington, Minneapolis, and the Oakland/Fremont area for the past two years, leaving them unable to apply the needed political lobbying. Reflecting the mediocre venue which they currently occupy (Dolphin Stadium), attendance at Marlins' home games has totalled only 1,002,844 this year, next to last in the majors. See Now that two of those three situations are fully resolved, and the third one is slowly moving ahead (really?), you can expect Bob DuPuy and his crack team of shakedown artists to be spending a lot of time in Tallahassee (the capital of Florida) for the next few months. Otherwise, the Marlins' lease at Dolphin Stadium runs out after 2010, and they have nowhere to go at present. Except Portland, Montreal, Monterrey, or perhaps even Buffalo. When you get right down to it, baseball really doesn't belong in Florida during the summer months...

(Preposted to maintain desired blog sequencing.)