Miami celebrates at this hour, at least Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria does, because his ballclub soon will begin construction on a new retractable-roof baseball stadium that mostly others will pay for.
• At last, the team that produced World Series champions in 1997 and 2003 and shortly thereafter dismantled each squad shamelessly will work in a home park befitting of such tradition.
• At last, the team that hasn't had a rainout since 2004 will play shielded from Mother Nature's annoyances.
• At last, the team that usually finishes last in attendance will reward its expansive fanbase with a state-of-the-art facility.
After a 9-1/2 hour discussion, the AP reports, Miami-Dade County commissioners approved a new ballpark by a 9-4 vote Monday night. Miami city commissioners gave the OK by a 3-2 score a week ago.
Crockett and Tubbs, big Marlins fans, were for it all along.
The state of Florida refuses to pay for anything, so its name will be stripped from team apparel. Please call them the Miami Marlins.
The park will cost at least $515 million with the Fish throwing in $119 million plus repayment of a $35 million loan from the county (which... the team probably should have paid back regardless, seeing as it's a loan). The rest comes from taxpayers like you and me and probably more like you.
And, as this sketch indicates, the color scheme of the new stadium will be white and off-white.
Big League Stew earlier posted about Miami's proposed stadium plans, with 'Duk noting how much the park looks like a bagel slicer from certain angles.
The Biz of Baseball also has published sketches which show a little more color and a few different slots for your bagels.
The park, to be built in Little Havana on the site of the demolished Orange Bowl, will seat 37,000 (insert Marlins attendance joke here).
A retractable dome does make some sense, considering the sauna-like nature of Miami. And since the park will be a little closer to Miami Beach than the remote Dolphin Stadium, maybe the Del Boca Vista set will get out of a ballgame once in a while.
First they break ranks by signing Hanley Ramirez to a contract extension. Now this. The age of the Marlins might be upon us.