Marlins Stadium Agreements Include Escape Clauses For All Parties
Written by Risa Polansky on January 29, 2009
By Risa Polansky
Miami-Dade County, Miami and the Florida Marlins are ready to play ball, with overdue baseball stadium agreements ready for commissions’ votes next month. Still, until June 30 all players could pull out essentially penalty free.
The construction administration agreement among the team and the governments, released Tuesday, includes a "termination for convenience" clause allowing any party to kill the agreement "without cause and/or for the party’s convenience."
The clause is meant as a precaution in light of troubled financial markets.
"Given the current state of the financial markets, the ability to sell the bonds required to provide our funding contribution is being monitored closely," a document accompanying the agreement says.
Though officials recommend moving ahead with the $515 million stadium construction, the clause allows the parties to walk away "if concerns remain regarding the ability of any party to meet its funding obligations."
County Manager George Burgess Tuesday acknowledged the shaky credit markets but said he is confident in the deal’s financing. The clause "just gives us a further ability to pull the plug if we feel we need to." He doesn’t expect to.
He said he’s met with representatives of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan, the four groups competing for the financing, and found "they are extremely hungry to get that business."
Should any party walk away, the agreement does not stipulate a penalty, though there could be reimbursement costs.
Miami-Dade commissioners are to vote on the pacts at 1 p.m. Feb. 13. Mr. Burgess said he expects the city commission to consider the documents that morning.