Miami Marlins List 38 Million Stadium Spending But Not For Construction Or Rent
By Ashley Hopkins
As opening day quickly approaches, the Miami Marlins have paid vendors about $38 million toward creation of their $515 million baseball stadium, but team owners will not begin making rent payments to the county until construction is complete.
The team is to make no direct payment to the county for direct construction costs other than its future rent under the contract it signed with government. That rent also is to repay $35 million the county has advanced the Marlins.
When Miami-Dade OK’d a three-way contract with the City of Miami and the Florida Marlins, it was with the belief that the team was cash-strapped and struggling to stay afloat. A 2003 pro-forma attributed to team ownership estimated the Marlins to be $141 million in debt, with equity declining.
Copies of Marlins financials that emerged online afterward, however, showed that in 2008 and 2009 the team had a net income of roughly $33.3 million.
According to officials with the county attorney’s office, in order to amend agreements after that profitability became known all three parties would have had to agree to discuss contract terms. While the commission asked then-mayor Carlos Alvarez to reach out to the city and the team, negotiations never took place.
As the stadium contract states that the county would have to cover any cost overruns associated with governmental delay, last July new Mayor Carlos Gimenez urged the commission to authorize a $42 million bond issuance to ward off potential penalties. The purpose of the bonding was to lend the Marlins $35 million interest free to cover part of their share of the stadium costs.
According to construction agreements, Miami-Dade is set to contribute $347.5 million to the $515 million project, while the city is to provide $13.5 million and fund parking construction.
The Marlins are to put $155 million into the deal — $154 million for the ballpark and $1 million for public infrastructure improvement design.
According to Jennifer Glazer Moon, director of the Management and Budget Department, the team is expected to contribute $2.3 million each year in stadium rent rising at 2% annually. Annual rent payments are not due until construction is complete. Those rent payments include the $35 million the team owes the county for its $42 million bond sale.
Jose Galan, program legislation chief for the county’s Internal Services Department, said that as of last December the Marlins have paid vendors about $38 million. The team will begin paying rent to the county once the stadium is complete.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.