Marlins, county set to commit $210 million toward new ballpark
By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer October 28, 2003 MIAMI (AP) -- The World Series champion Florida Marlins and Miami-Dade County announced a plan Tuesday night to fund $210 million toward a new ballpark that would open in 2007.
The 38,000-seat ballpark, which would have a retractable roof, is projected to cost $325 million, not including land for the new facility. The Marlins will commit $137 million and the county $73 million, which would come from convention development tax proceeds and professional sports franchise facility tax money.
``Obviously that leaves a gap,'' County Mayor Alex Penelas said. ``We don't have answers on how to fill that gap today. I'll be very honest. This is only the beginning, a first step.''
Penelas said it was largely coincidental that Tuesday's announcement was made only about an hour after a daylong South Florida celebration of the Marlins' World Series championship concluded. The county commission will vote on the resolution on Nov. 4; Penelas said the matter had to be made public one week before that meeting to be on the agenda.
``Time was of the essence,'' he said.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig praised the announcement.
``I am extremely pleased and excited that the Florida Marlins have been able to transform their success, both on and off the field, to renewed interest among their fan base and significant movement toward the possibility of building a new ballpark in South Florida,'' he said.
Updated on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2003 8:50 pm EST
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