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Marlins Have a New Home

It took 12 years of constant, persistent lobbying, but the Florida Marlins are finally getting the retractable roof home they've lusted after for so long. According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, Miami-Dade County commissioners approved the stadium by a 10-3 vote. And, in a move that's only appropriate for the length of time it took to approve the stadium, deliberations before the final approval lasted more than nine hours.

The new park will be located on the current Orange Bowl grounds, and should open in 2012. The team has an ongoing lease at Dolphins Stadium through 2010, meaning that a one-year patch for 2011 would buy enough time to segue into its new home.

If there's an interesting facet to the approval happening now, it's the role that Major League Baseball played in getting the vote through. MLB has been stressing Miami's importance as a "Gateway to the Caribbean," making the Marlins' stability in Miami of paramount importance to the league's expansion into Central and South America.

Now, with the World Baseball Classic finals being held at the new park in 2013, there's even a signature event in the offing for another park that doesn't yet exist.

So, what do people think about the new digs for the fish? Considering the fact that that Nats will have to play there nine times a year, will anyone plan on making the trips? And does baseball really belong in Miami? How much are Florida's scattershot crowds due to apathy, and how much are they due to having to watch a team play in cavernous Dolphins Stadium?

By Cameron Smith  |  March 24, 2009; 9:59 AM ET
Categories:  Marlins  
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Comments

Glad I don't live in Miami - in todays economy, with so much uncertainty, how does Miami-Dade justify spending precious tax dollars on a playpen for millionaires?

Posted by: boogieman19611 | March 24, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

If DC is any indicator, I would expect the low attendance to return starting with game 2 at their new stadium. In all seriousness though, the level of apathy for baseball in South Florida is at a level that a new stadium is not going to fix a thing. It's been that way since day 1 of the organization (though the front office has done nothing to help despite winning 2 World Series in a relatively short period of time).

Posted by: dugly2ugly | March 24, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I have a lot of friends and family who live in Miami and the Miami area and they all have been telling me the same thing when it comes to marlins attendance: most of the people who would want to go see the marlins have no desire to go out to where Dolphins stadium is at its location a good 20 to 30 minutes outside of downtown Miami. At the end, it has nothing to do with how cavernous or cozy Dolphins stadium is but with where the stadium is located.

Posted by: jamdl01 | March 24, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

There's no legitimate reason for any town/city to give any money to any sports team for any facility. The economic impact has never been proven and it's actually been DISproven in numerous studies.

The only reason to give any team money is if the citizens of the town/city just want to have a team there for their viewing pleasure. But they shouldn't be lied to and told it will spur economic growth, especially with money being tight.

Posted by: adampschroeder | March 24, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Good for the Marlins. Now they will have a nice, pretty new stadium that they can't fill. Sweet. Just like the Nats.

The old formula of a new ballpark equals more revenue, equals free agent dollars, equals a good team - which worked for years - doesn't work anymore. It really won't work in a place like Miami. Nobody is FROM Florida. People relocate there and still root for their home town teams. They won't support the Marlins. Same thing for the Rays.

A new stadium is nice but won't solve their problems. They won't be able to fill the place even if they win another title. It is not a baseball town.

Posted by: PhilliesPhan | March 24, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to the Marlins wresting that "record" for lowest new park attendance in the Camden Yards era away from the Nats. How many games into the 2012 season will it take until the "record" is awarded to them by default?

Posted by: spamcastin | March 25, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

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