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Wednesday, February 20, 2008
State Law Barrier to the Marlins New Stadium?

Marc Edelman, a guest here and now the perma-sports-blogger at the always-entertaining Above the Law, yesterday wrote that the new deal among the Florida Marlins, the City of Miami, and Miami-Dade County to build a ballpark for the Marlins might violate the Florida Constitution. (H/T: My FIU colleague Thomas Baker).

Marc focuses on two provisions: one of which prohibits state and local governments from becoming a joint owner or from using the tax power to aid any person or private entity, the other which requires that local governments may levy taxes only for "municipal purposes" (and a 1966 Supreme Court of Florida decision holds that building a sports stadium is not a municipal purpose). This rule generally is ignored, as evidence by the many municipalities that build facilities--permanent and spring training--for teams. As Marc notes, Miami fans (and non-fans) do not like Jeffrey Loria, so if there is anyone who might prompt anti-stadium litigation, it would be him.

The more interesting question will be whether Field of Dreams holds true for Miami. Will a domed stadium and hopefully an owner now willing to spend some money once the park is in place, enable the team to draw fans? Even if a World Championship just five years ago did not? Stay tuned. And real the whole of Marc's post--a very good read.


I think that you pose a very interesting question. I don't think that a new stadium will draw fans if a World Championship did not. Florida has so many sports teams that support is hard to maintain, no matter how nice your stadium is.

Anonymous Tim Williams -- 2/20/2008 6:39 PM  

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