Like any dim-witted crook, the Marlins will get busted for their crimes because they can’t help bragging about it. With the new stadium nearing completion, the Fish welcomed local media into their half-finished tank for a walkabout and tour.

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Clear glass batting cages so fans can watch players take their warm-up cuts? Not very Zen but sounds good to me. This ballpark is off to a roaring start.

On the surface, yes. But trouble lurks below…

Like nearly everything the Marlins touch, the stadium is starting to stink. Reports out from CBS 4 in Miami indicate numerous examples of corners cut to reduce costs in the construction of the facility. Shocking stuff from such an upstanding ownership group.

specifically cited problems surrounding the weld inspections conducted by Mike Garcia on the project. “It has been determined that Mr. Garcia falsified some welding inspection documents and expense reports resulting in Mr. Garcia’s termination,” Mazzella noted.

The Marlins now admit Garcia was fired back in September 2010 for falsifying inspection reports. But even though the Marlins knew more than a year ago that Garcia wasn’t properly inspecting roof welds, they only recently agreed to go back and re-test all of the welds he supposedly examined.

So the team did agree to go back and re-examine some trouble spots but only after a twist of their collective arm. So long as the construction is on the up-and-up, the stadium will be fine.

The Marlins built their new home in a less-than-desirable area of Miami with promise of rejuvenating the area with jobs in the stadium and surrounding bars & restaurants. Which is sure to happen, once the city of Miami actually gets around to leasing some of the space.

Hampered by staff turnover, infighting, indecision and the lack of a cogent economic strategy, the city administration’s effort to fill 53,000 square feet of commercial space in the publicly owned parking garages flanking the stadium has barely gotten off the ground.

This is sure to end well. But why? WHY?

nitial efforts to gauge interest from restaurant and retail operators suggest the hoped-for entertainment and retail stadium “district” faces even taller hurdles than bureaucratic foot-dragging including poor neighborhood demographics, doubts about the site’s ability to draw customers outside game days, and design issues that could make restaurant build-outs costlier than normal.

Exciting! Not only did Loria and friends swindle the town into dumping money into the park, the pie-in-the-sky promise of gentrification and wonderment is falling flat.

This is not exactly the kind of news the city of Miami needs. While getting a decent return on this investment was a long shot at best, the already struggling economy of Miami takes another hit. A disappearing middle class is bad for Miami sports and the lack of promised work is bad for the lower ends of economic strata. This is all very shocking, seeing how well these types of deals typically work out. A black eye for the slumlord industry, once and for all.

Comments (13)

  1. What a shock. No one builds half billion dollar stadiums and manages to stay under budget.

  2. Justice will come to Loria for what he did to the Expos. It’s taken awhile but it’s clearly coming. His empire will sink and Canadian baseball fans can laugh and laugh and bask in all our “We were right” glory!

  3. Looks like Skydome with more glass. Ugh

  4. Let me get this straight….there building a new stadium in Miami, and it has a roof??? Miami??? Roof??? Really? We need more stadiums like Wrigley…open air stadiums, the way the game was meant to be played. Even Minnesota has an open air stadium…

    • It tends to rain a lot in Miami. This isn’t a bad idea.

    • 1) The roof retracts
      2) Florida has a lot of rain. A LOT.
      3) Minnesota made a mistake not putting a roof on their yard.

      Retractable roof is a fantastic idea and more teams need to build them. Especially now since they can do it on non-cookie-cutter stadiums. When the roof pulls back on this one, it looks like a completely open air ballpark.

      • 3) Minnesota made a mistake not putting a roof on their yard.

        You could not be more wrong. Minneapolis is beautiful in the summertime. When it is “cold” we wear things called “jackets”.

        Every single ballpark is aesthetically compromised when you try to slap a retractable roof on them. You end up with goofy airplane hangers instead of ballparks. Baseball wasn’t meant to be played in a warehouse with a flip top lid. I”ll take gorgeous Target Field with sunshine and a chance of rain over ANY retractable roof monstrosity yet devised.

    • Hurricanes, tropical storms etc etc etc

  5. What’s worse is the monstrosity being built in CF. You can see the structure in your video.

    Here’s what happens the next time a Marlin homers, hint: good taste dies.

  6. The whole weld inspection angle is an unimportant one. Contractors make their money trying to do things poorly. Catching them is the important part.

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