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Marlins Stadium vote on track to pass

As expected, it looks like the Marlins have made the right connections to get the buy in of black leaders on their stadium project. Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones got what she wanted for Overtown and the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP will announce an agreement with the Marlins at the Chamber's Annual Luncheon tomorrow, March 13.

What we know now is that the Chamber and the NAACP have structured a Community Compact Agreement with the Marlins that guarantees 15% of all construction contracts that equals the Marlins private participation in the building of the proposed Marlins Stadium be set aside for black businesses only. It also guarantees 15% of the ongoing operations of the stadium is given to black-owned businesses on an annual basis.

OK, I'm willing to learn the details of the agreement before expressing an opinion on it but I'm hoping this agreement doesn't go the way of the Bayside Marketplace project. Let's also hope that black businesses will serve as prime contractors and not only sub-contractors. Unfortunately, most black businesses don't have the capital to be prime contractors on major projects like the Marlins Stadium but that's another story and hopefully a status that will be attained soon. More important, let's hope that black businesses will not be used as pass-through entities because we know that does happen also.

Without actually opining on the agreement itself, when all is said and done, it is still unlikely that the community will sustain the operation of the facility and the Marlins organization. True enough, some folks will have jobs for awhile but in the end the community may be stuck with an expensive monument that will be paid for by us and generations to come.

And finally yet importantly, before an agreement is made regarding construction of the stadium on the former Orange Bowl site in Little Havana, the taxpayers deserve an open and honest vetting of Palm Beach businessman Glen Straub's proposal to finance the construction of the stadium on the old Miami Arena site downtown.

From Miami Today:

  "In August, Marlins President David Samson said the odds of moving downtown from the current Dolphin Stadium site on the Broward County line fall somewhere between "zero and negative," and "the site at Little Havana is the proper site for baseball" — though the team for years sought a downtown site, including the arena land."

So, the Marlins organization wanted a downtown site and now it doesn't; something's just not right about this.


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