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August 27, 2010
MLBleakgate Watch: Miami mayor threatens Marlins garage money
Okay, now it's the mayor of Miami (not to be confused with the mayor of Miami-Dade County — that wacky Florida!) who wants to see about getting money back from the Florida Marlins on their stadium deal, now that it's official that the team has been earning big profits. And Mayor Tomas Regalado knows just what money he wants to recoup: the $100 million Miami is set to spend on parking garages for the new stadium.
Regalado asked city attorney Julie Bru whether the city -- which recently declared a state of "fiscal urgency" amid dwindling revenues and a gaping budget hole -- has authority to reopen the parking contract. ...
As a commissioner, Regalado voted against the stadium deal.
Now, citing leaked financial reports showing the team turned a $49 million profit the past two years, the mayor wants the city to receive 100 percent of the advertising revenues from signs that would adorn the garages. The deal now calls for a split.
"If the answer is in the positive, I would like to bring this issue to the city commission in September or October," Regalado wrote to Bru. "If the answer is in the negative, what recourse do we have to expose those who misinformed the commission and public during a public hearing?"
It seems pretty unlikely that Miami will be able to wriggle out of its garage commitment, but it'll sure be interesting to see Regalado try. If nothing else, Jeffrey Loria and David Samson can expect to be beat up plenty more in the local media so long as they insist on sticking to the original terms of the deal — but somehow I think they'd rather pay that price than one with dollar signs attached.