Marlins In Scoring Position After Winning City Vote

Miami city commissioners approve new stadium deal

It wasn't a home run, but Marlins officials did enough to get the three votes needed to move forward with a new $639 million stadium for the Fighting Fish.

Call it a bloop single. Or maybe a very expensive double.

Thursday's meeting was the first hurdle for the Marlins, but the biggest vote may come next week when county commissioners weigh in on the landmark deal for sports in this town.

But don't pop that champagne just yet.

There is no guarantee county commissioners will follow suit with the city, especially after County Attorney Robert Cuevas torpedoed a historic effort by the Marlins to steer some of the construction business to blacks just before the pivotal city voted Thursday. For that stance, Cuevas was basically called a racist by NAACP leaders.

It took four hours, about the length of an extra-inning baseball game, and comments from 70 passionate Marlins lovers and haters before the vote to finally come down. Ironically, that's about the turnout for a home game last year.

Marlins 3, Haters 2.

Marlins win! Marlins win!

If approved by the county, the stadium would be built on the site where the Orange Bowl stood.

In essence, Marlins officials took a pay-to-play approach to get the pivotal swing vote it needed. On top of offering new jobs to an area in desperate need of employment opportunities, the Marlins upped the ante on how much money the city would get from profits if the team is sold during the nine years of construction.

Miami and Miami-Dade county would receive as much as 70 percent of the profits if the Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria pulled a hit and run, up from the 18 percent profit-share originally proposed.

And a little added bonus: the city would receive $125,000 in donations from the club over the first few years.

Show me the money. Now let's see if the county shows the Marlins the votes.

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