Thursday, July 24, 2008

Following the Marlins' Stadium Battle

I've been pretty negligent following the litigation regarding the Florida Marlins' new stadium going on in Miami right now. Thankfully, there's a guy like Jorge Costales, a Miami CPA who knows it backwards, forwards, and sideways. His blog about it all is here, and if you want detail, he's got it.

I've not gotten through all of it, but I think the best takeaway from it -- even if you don't care about the minutiae -- is Costales' assessment of where this should end up: compromise. In this particular case it makes so much sense for everyone. More generally, however, is the fact that a compromise along the lines Costales advocates (i.e. increasing public access to the facility, some modest increase in public-private revenue sharing, and greater disclosure regarding the nuts and bolts of cost allocation) would set a great precedent for these kinds of projects going forward.

Look, I hate public financing and wish it never happened. People who think like me have largely lost that battle, however, and it's probably time to accept that stadium and arena projects are almost always going to have a large public component. But local governments don't have to bend over like they so often do, and if Norman Braman's lawsuit forces the Miami government to stand up to and demand a bit more from the Marlins in this case, maybe other governments will do so in the future.

Again, check out Costales' blog. He's a great example of what's great about blogs in that he's a smart guy with an extreme depth of knowledge about a particular subject and is willing and able to share it with the rest of us. Schmuck generalists like me and MSM columnists will never be able to match that kind of thing, and without him, no one outside of some die hards would ever know what goes on in this world.

(thanks to Pete Toms -- a guy who should totally be blogging but won't let himself because he's a fraidy cat -- for the link)


Pete Toms said...

Too stoned and too lazy.

sean b said...

been reading a very small amount on stadiums and communities and i have to say i agree with craig, with the caveat that some minor league stadiums actually deliver on some of their promises, act as anchors to development and revitalization, and so forth.

major league stadiums, not so much.

i know that i would never (with the right to backtrack... i live in a AAA town after all) vote for public funding for a stadium.

i look forward to checking out that blog... thanks for the heads up.

matt said...

I'm usually against publicly financed stadiums too, but it just feels wrong for me to be on the same side as Norman Braman in any argument.