Leave it to the County Commission to screw things up but then again, why should this surprise me, they’ve always had the knack for such dreadful decision making skills. Major League Baseball has been working closely with all parties to create a new home for the Marlins in downtown, in the heart of the city- where it belongs. Like I’ve stated before, Baseball is an urban sport. With the grueling 82 home game schedule, baseball stadiums have to be placed within the densest populations of any city in order for them to succeed. Downtown is the obvious choice for MLB to seek for a new home for the Marlins because it follows the model used in nearly every other circumstance across the country. Marlins games are so poorly attended now because of the stadium location (on the way home for Broward residents who work in Miami-Dade and too far out of everyone else’s way to make the daily trip, regardless of how good or bad the team is playing and once the novelty of the idea wore off after 1993.) Baseball would thirve in the CBD, not out in Pompano, Hialeah, or out by the Orange Bowl. The public transportation already exists; coupled with the downtown daytime population, makes the Government Center site ideal for the needs of Marlins, MLB, and all of us Miami residents.

Just as we thought the pieces were starting to come together, our urban planning geniuses over at the county commission step in to screw things up. Their three reasons to oppose the downtown location include: loss of parking, new site for the children’s courthouse, and the closing of a couple of minor streets. I think they are against losing their cushy surface parking lot spaces just outside the 500 ft Stephen P. Clark Center. Instead they propose reverting to last year’s failed plan of placing a stadium next to the Miami Orange Bowl. No current or future plans to link this area with public transit exist. The immediate area lacks parking and necessary entertainment infrastructure. No easy highway link. What exactly is it that the commission sees in this alternative location for the stadium? Is it that Mayor Alvarez spoke in favor of the downtown location and they are still pouting about his recent power surge and are just choosing to go against his every thought?

Seriously, this is why we have issues in this County. This is why projects are never completed on time. Everything is a disaster when the fab 13 on the county commission step in to make a decision. Placing the public funding issue aside, why not place the stadium in a location which has been proven to work for Major League Baseball since the early 1900’s- in downtown, urban parks. Any venue outside the CBD and without convenient access to highways and existing public transportation will be destined to be a failure and will serve as the next “white elephant” to further remind us of the injustices caused by the members of the County Commission

Update: Benji and BOB share their thoughts…

4 Responses to Miami-Dade County Commssion; Dropping the Ball, as Usual…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay a dime for a baseball stadium ANYWHERE! This is a private biz, let them pay for their own stadium or let them leave. We need to spend taxpayer money on projects that will benefit the public as a whole. I don’t want my government to be spending money on sports when the players, like the miami heat guy, get big bucks to spew their homophobic bigotry. Let’s use the money to fund more transit, not sports stadiums that only the rich, elite will be able to make use of.

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  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    You missed the point where I said to place the funding issue aside…I’m looking at it from an Urban Planning/Infrastructure point of view regardless if where the funding is coming from…

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I have mixed feelings on the stadium. Not so sure that it will be as beneficial as the proponents think. I believe that it would close some important streets such as 2nd Ave which would block Police and Fire stations in the neighborhood creating service problems. Also, there is already so much traffic being generated from the PAC, and the Arena, there has been no realistic plan to move traffic out of downtown after these events. Maybe Watson Island can provide a location?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    there will at the minimum be a 100 million contribution in tourist tax dollars from the city of miami… you can’t just brush that aside. infrastructure costs money. other, more utilitarian infrastructure could be built with the money that will be spent on the stadium.

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