The Florida Marlins got a big boost yesterday in their efforts to build a baseball-only facility on the site of the Orange Bowl. The ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jeri Beth Cohen stated that funding with public tax dollars ‚Äúserves the public good.‚ÄĚ
With the ruling the Marlins and Miami-Dade County will move forward on the construction of a $515 million, 37,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium in Little Havana. As reported by the Miami Herald:
''This is the one we've been waiting for,'' said Marlins President David Samson. "It's a complete victory. It took a long time.''
County Mayor Carlos Alvarez on Tuesday restated what he told the court during his deposition: Building the ballpark will revitalize the neighborhood and create much-needed jobs.
''When the economy is hurting, it means thousands of jobs -- good-paying construction jobs -- for people who need them now,'' he said.
Legal challenges are not yet down for the project, even as updated stadium renderings are to be unveiled shortly (see current renderings of the proposed stadium). Billionaire auto magnate Norman Braman has seven outstanding lawsuits that have yet to be adjudged.
''It reminds me of a football game that you lose when all the statistics are on your side,'' Braman said after the ruling. "It's not what we believe the constitution of the state of Florida states, and we will appeal the judge's decision to the Supreme Court.''
Replied Samson: "Let's cut right through it. The trial court's job is to apply the law -- not to make the law.''