Financing Structure For Marlins Ballpark Missing As Commissioners Prepare To Vote
Written by Risa Polansky on February 12, 2009
By Risa Polansky
A $609 million-plus deal for a Marlins stadium may come before Miami-Dade and Miami commissioners for a vote Friday without details on a financing structure.
In a memo to commissioners at the close of business last week, County Manager George Burgess wrote that at the meeting, "ordinances may be submitted for issuance of debt related to the stadium." The memo has no specifics, as "administration staff and the County Attorney’s Office are still working on these items."
Finance Director Carter Hammer said in an interview late Tuesday it would be "premature" to say how financing would be structured.
"We’re taking a look at a couple different scenarios to place it best for all of the taxpayers," he said.
Asked whether a plan would be ready by Friday’s meeting, he said "the financing structure should be set by then."
But debt issuance measures may come up for a vote the first week of March instead, said Bond Administration Division Director Lidia Monzon, who participated in the interview.
Officials are considering three financing scenarios for the stadium depending on market rates, Mr. Hammer said.
A reflection of recent market conditions, the county in December sold only $146 million of a planned $350 million in general obligation bonds, choosing to wait out troubled markets to sell the rest.
Troubled markets led officials in late January to delay a $600 million aviation revenue bond issuance set for this month.
Mr. Burgess in his memo said he’d provide commissioners early this week with "a formal agenda package" for Friday’s meeting.
End of day Tuesday, commissioners had yet to receive it.
Mr. Burgess did not respond to repeated requests for interviews over two weeks.