Marlins Stadium Groundbreaking Postponed Until May Club Officials Pin Blame On Bramans Lawsuit
Written by Risa Polansky on November 27, 2008
By Risa Polansky
The Marlins stadium groundbreaking once set for this month is expected now in May, club President David Samson says.
Officials have pushed the $515 million ballpark’s planned April 2011 opening to the first home game of the 2012 season.
The new plans come days after civic leader Norman Braman struck out on the last count in his legal battle against the publicly funded stadium. He vows to appeal.
Officials are pinning delays on the lawsuit, which Mr. Braman filed in January after Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami inked a $3 billion "global" deal of projects, including the stadium.
Between now and the groundbreaking, the governments and team are working toward "the final vote of the definitive [stadium agreement] documents, the pulling of permits and the continuing of the design process," Mr. Samson said.
Commissioners should receive copies of the agreements next month in time to review for a January vote, he said, declining to reveal what’s left to negotiate.
The Marlins now share Dolphin Stadium with the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Hurricanes, but their lease is set to expire before the 2011 baseball season.
The plan is to extend it, Mr. Samson said.
"We’ve had preliminary conversations with [anticipated new Dolphins owner] Stephen Ross, and we expect we would be able to reach an agreement when required," he said.
He would not speculate where the team would play if the lease extension fell through.
Dolphin Stadium spokesman George Torres said none of the stadium’s management could comment on whether officials would OK stretching the lease.
University of Miami Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt, through a spokesman, declined to say whether an extended Marlins stay would affect Hurricanes scheduling or recruiting.