The shovels are in the ground as site preparation is underway for the long-lobbied-for 37,000-seat ballpark to be constructed for the Florida Marlins.
The project almost got hung up after a bit of confusion and muddling through the project finances, but Marlins president David Samson said the team would make up an approximately $6 million shortfall. Miami-Dade county manager George Burgess reported that the bond sale fell $6.2 million short of the needed $306 million, causing questions and concerns, and leading county commissioner Dorrin Rolle to say as things were being hammered out yesterday: “I love baseball, but I don’t love it so much that I’ll be here all night.” Samson said the team would pick up the $6.2 million difference, but some skeptics suggested the team would pull back from full construction plans, trimming back the total cost of the project. Samson denies that will happen.
The project is scheduled for completion at the start of the 2012 season. Since the Marlins lease expires in 2010, some Marlins fans may be concerned that the entire 2011 season may have to be played in a nearby parking lot. My guess is that something will be worked out.