Marlins Park
11:00 am
Mon April 1, 2013

How The Marlins Stadium Deal Has Changed South Florida

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The public funding in the Marlins stadium deal has been called one of the biggest boondoggles in sports history. But hardly any stadium now is built with only private funds. Why do governments fund these facilities?

On April 1, opening day of Marlins' season, Rick Horrow with WLRN-Miami Herald News hosted a special roundtable, Foul Ball! The Future of the Marlins in Miami, a two-hour radio special on the impact of the Marlins stadium deal. Some of the guests included:

Was it the Marlins stadium deal alone or the combination with the player purge that damaged the team's relationship with South Florida?
Credit Junior Henry / Flickr, Creative Commons

  • Activist billionaire Norman Braman
  • Marlins team president David Samson
  • The Miami Herald's Rick Hirsch and
  • Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist.

We sort fact from fiction about the deal, and we examine the political fallout. Plus, we look at the effect the Marlins stadium deal has had on Dolphins stadium negotiations and what ticket sales say about our level of civic pride.

Need a refresher on the events leading to the deal?  Check out the interactive timeline below.  

Disclosure: Rick Horrow was in the business of doing stadium deals. He developed South Florida sports facilities through the early 80s and coordinated national public-private partnerships for the 20 years after that. He is no longer in that business and has not worked on the Marlins stadium deal. This special aims at offering a balanced look at various perspectives on the Marlins stadium deal, but inevitably, his experience will inform how he moderates this conversation.