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Front Page » Top Stories » Homesteads Vacant Ballpark A Hit To Host Baseball Wives Tv Show

Homesteads Vacant Ballpark A Hit To Host Baseball Wives Tv Show

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Written by on June 6, 2002

By Frank Norton
government job growth outpaces private sector in miami-dade businesses finding economic recovery slow, but expect revenues to rise developers target biscayne, north of omni, for next boom homestead’s vacant ballpark a hit to host baseball wives tv show legislative leaders target top state jobs to win power for region miami-dade hotel sales slow as prices remain high, demand low grocery anchors are hot properties in shopping centers calendar of events fyi miami filming in miami front page about miami today put your message in miami today contact miami today job opportunities research our files the online archive order reprints homestead’s vacant ballpark a hit to host baseball wives tv showBy Frank Norton

New York-based Levinson Fontana Co., producers of the HBO series Oz, is negotiating a one-year lease with the City of Homestead to shoot 13 episodes of a drama called Baseball Wives in its unused stadium.

Officials would not disclose the asking rent, but city information officer Charles LaPradd said it would be upward of $200,000.

Baseball Wives producer Jim Finnerty, who lives part of the year in Old Cutler Bay on the Coral Gables shoreline, said he has already resisted pressure from management to move production to Orlando or possibly Houston.

"I don’t want to go to Orlando," Mr. Finnerty said. "That’s Disney World. The show takes place in Miami. I want to be down there."

He said the unused stadium was attractive in part because it has no tenant and no scheduled games to work around.

Mr. Finnerty said benefits from the television series would spill into neighboring communities as casting, set construction, design, location scouting, lodging, transportation and other services would all be provided for locally.

Homestead Councilman Steven Bateman said the city’s lease price would pale in comparison to the show’s potential economic spillover into the community. He and Mr. LaPradd also said the show could prove the high-profile runway the city needs to secure a permanent tenant or buyer for the Homestead ball field in the future.

Homestead spends about $350,000 and employs five people to maintain the unused facility, originally built for the Cleveland Indians spring training camp. That deal was aborted in 1992 after damage from Hurricane Andrew sent the team looking elsewhere for a spring home.

Until recently, Homestead officials have failed to attract a long-term suitor to the stadium.

Baseball Wives is set in South Florida around the fictional Miami Kings, a major league team.

Mr. Finnerty said elegant locations in Coral Gables and the Brickell area would also feature prominently as the story and setting develop beyond stadium bleachers.

"This," he said, "is about wealthy women who are very attractive and very beautiful. The show needs to look exactly like that."

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