County in year 3 of tussle with Marlins over ballpark cost
Written by Scott Blake on April 30, 2014
Now in their third season at Marlins Park, Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins are still submitting expenses to the county – more than $110 million to date – to be counted as their share of the stadium’s construction cost.
As in previous dealings with the county over financing the stadium, the Marlins seem to be faring well.
The team so far has claimed $110,519,000 in expenses, according to Jose Galan, director of the Real Estate Development Division of the county’s Internal Service Department, which is reviewing the expenses.
The county is now contesting $4,426,000, or 4%, of the team’s current submitted expenses. Beyond those contested expenses, the Marlins earlier agreed to remove $812,000 more, less than 1% of the total, from the list, Mr. Galan said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, he said, the Marlins are expected to continue to submit expenses through December. When the team is done listing expenses, he said, arbitration will start over contested items.
“The Marlins anticipate closing out the remaining bid package by December 2014 and that will mark the beginning of the arbitration process,” Mr. Galan said.
The county has been reviewing Marlins claims to determine if they comply with the stadium’s construction administration agreement.
The 37,000-seat stadium and its surrounding garages cost more than $640 million to build, most of it financed via the sale of county and city bonds.
However, by the time the bonds are paid off over the next three decades, the cost to taxpayers reportedly will exceed $2 billion, with some calculations as high as $3 billion.
The county owns the stadium and leases it to the Marlins, who keep all stadium-related revenues. The stadium opened in spring 2012 in Little Havana at the former home of the Orange Bowl.