Miami Marlins tickets

New Marlins Ballpark

Marlins ballpark will be adjacent to the Orange Bowl

Miami, Florida

Tenant: Miami Marlins
Opening: April 2012
Status: Under construction
Style: Retractable roof
Capacity: 37,000
Surface: Grass

Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City)
Construction: Hunt Construction Group (Scottsdale, AZ)
Owner: Miami-Dade County
Cost: $525 million
Public financing: $347 million from Miami-Dade County, and $23 million from the city of Miami
Private financing: $155 from the Marlins

Miami Marlins tickets:

Location: On the site of the Orange Bowl, which is bound by NW 6th Street to the north, NW 14th Avenue to the east, NW 3rd Street to the south, and NW 16th Avenue to the west.

On February 15, 2008, the Marlins, Miami-Dade County, the city of Miami and Major League Baseball reached an agreement, subject to approval, to finance a $525 million ballpark at the site of the Orange Bowl. The new facility will seat 37,000 and feature a retractable roof. The Marlins hope to break ground by the end of 2008 and complete construction by the beginning of the 2011 season.

The Marlins will contribute $155 million to the project, with $35 million coming in the form of annual rent payments of $2.3 million a year, The city of Miami will contribute $13 million in hotel bed taxes plus $10 million to demolish the Orange Bowl and prepare the site. The city will also oversee the building of a $94 million, 6,000-space parking garage which the Marlins will lease.

Miami-Dade County will own the venue and contribute $347 million. $50 million will come from a general obligation bond approved by voters in 2004 for an earlier ballpark proposal. The remainder will come from hotel bed and professional sports facilities franchise taxes.

The agreement requires the team change its name to the Miami Marlins, and guarantees the team will stay in Miami for 35 years.

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In February 2005, the Marlins reached an agreement in principle with the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County on a plan for a $420 million ballpark adjacent to the Orange Bowl. The deal still needed $60 million from the state. The team asked the Legislature for a $60 million sales tax rebate over 30 years, which would allow the team to borrow $30 million for financing the project. However, the state never approved funds for a ballpark.

At a public meeting with Miami-Dade County commissioners on Wednesday, October 27, 2004, the Marlins increased their input into their stadium project in an attempt to limit overrun costs. The Marlins committed $192 million and the revised projection on the stadium became $420 million. Initially, the team was chipping in $157 million, and the total deal was targeted at $367 million.

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Immediately after taking over the ownership of the Marlins in January 1999, John Henry began appealing to south Florida to build for his team a publicly financed, retractable roof baseball park. The team was sold to Jeffrey Loria in 2002 and the Marlins continued to pursue a new ballpark.

In October 2003, after the Marlins won the World Series, the team and Miami-Dade County announced plans to fund $210 million toward a new ballpark that would open in 2007.

In January 2004, the City of Miami proposed building a baseball only stadium for the Marlins at the site of the Orange Bowl that would adjoin the existing football stadium along its northern flank. In May 2004, the Miami-Dade County commissioners agreed to fund their portion of a new Marlins stadium.

If built, the Marlins would have received all the in-stadium revenue sources (naming rights, signage, concessions and parking revenue from the roughly 4,600 parking spaces on the site) in exchange for their guarantee to cover cost overruns and sign a long term lease.

The twin venues would have shared a premium seating tower, a dividing wall lined with luxury suites and club seats. Concessions, locker rooms and other operations would have been housed at lower levels.

Overview of the Marlins ballpark and Orange Bowl

Since 1999, many sites have been proposed for a new Marlins ballpark. The following are potential sites which have been considered:

DOWNTOWN MIAMI

  • Strengths: Can use existing parking; Desirable location.
  • Weakness: Too far from fans in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

ORANGE BOWL
    About two miles west of downtown Miami

  • Strengths: Familiar location; Close to downtown.
  • Weakness: Inadequate parking; Less desirable than downtown.

DOLPHINS STADIUM
    Off Florida's Turnpike in north Miami-Dade County

  • Strengths: Central location and existing highway and parking would keep overall stadium project cost down.
  • Weakness: Boring site with no existing restaurants, shopping or pedestrian attractions.

NATIONAL CAR RENTAL CENTER
    Off the Sawgrass Expressway in Sunrise

  • Strength: Existing infrastructure.
  • Weakness: It might be too far north for Miami-Dade fans.

ORIOLES SPRING TRAINING COMPLEX
    Off Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale

  • Strength: Central location and proximity to I-95.
  • Weakness: Not enough land because of neighboring executive airport and Lockhart Stadium, renovated home of the Fusion.

I-95 AND BROWARD BOULEVARD
    Fort Lauderdale

  • Strength: Existing highway, parking and rail services.
  • Weakness: Need to move low-income housing and juvenile detention center.

POMPANO PARK RACETRACK
    Off West Atlantic Boulevard and Powerline Road in Pompano Beach

  • Strength: Proximity to I-95 and closer to northern South Florida fans.
  • Weakness: Not enough roads to serve site.

PARKLAND
    North of Coral Springs in northwest Broward

  • Strength: Road access off Sawgrass Expressway.
  • Weakness: Too far north for Miami-Dade fans.

Proposed waterfront ballpark

Recent Articles on the New Marlins Ballpark:

Recommended Reading (bibliography):

  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
  • The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
  • Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard.
  • City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
  • Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit (2nd Edition) by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
  • Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
  • Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.
  • Modern Marvels - Domed Stadiums (VHS).

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IMAGES:

All images courtesy of the Miami Marlins and HOK Sport.

Updated November 2008

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