Mayor Wants Payback From Marlins

Regalado wants to take second look at parking contract

By Brian Hamacher
|  Friday, Aug 27, 2010  |  Updated 7:53 PM EDT
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Marlins' Prez Samson: A Contract is a Contract

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Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado

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It's not just Marlins fans who feel they're getting a raw deal through the team's cheap ways.

In the wake of this week's revelations that the team has made tens of millions while crying poor the past couple years, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado wants to take a second look at the city's deal to build $100 million worth of parking facilities at the team's new Little Havana stadium.  "It's one of the worst deals that the city of Miami has done," said the Mayor.

Regalado is joining other local politicians who are angry that the team kept quiet about its $49 million profit over the past two years while it was trying to secure public funding for the $642 million ballpark slated to open Spring of 2012.

On Thursday, Regalado inquired with city attorney Julie Bru as to what the city's options are in reopening the parking contract. As payback, Regalado wants the city to get all the advertising revenue from advertising signs throughout the garages, instead of the 50-50 split with the team that the current deal calls for.

The furor over the Marlins stadium deal began earlier this week when 40 pages of leaked team financial documents were posted on the website deadspin.com

Several Miami-Dade County Commissioners, including Rebecca Sosa, who voted for the stadium deal, voiced their displeasure over the team's dealings.

Sosa sent a memo Wednesday to county administrators that concluded the Marlins had more money on hand than they declared during negotiations. "I hereby request that you explore,” said her memo, “the possibility of securing a greater financial contribution from the Marlins towards the stadium construction."

Team President David Samson, appearing on the Dan LeBatard radio show Wednesday, said the team would be giving no more money to Miami-Dade, and that team owner Jeffrey Loria didn't actually pocket any money.

“A contract is a contract,” said Samson. "At the end of the day, Commissioner Sosa is a politician. And is doing things a politician would do."

Regalado voted against stadium deal as a commissioner.  "We do not want to stop the project, we do not want to derail anything," said Regalado.  "We just think that the City deserves more money."

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