Man I love quotes like that.
For our purposes, however, the meat of the article is the extreme pessimism held by anyone associated with the Marlins' potential new stadium:
Some stadiums themselves are in jeopardy, opposed by taxpayers and public officials who don't think investments in sports facilities are justified in the current climate. In Florida, construction of a new ballpark for Major League Baseball's Marlins that was supposed to start this fall probably will have to wait for better economic times.The question is how long the Marlins can reasonably expect to survive drawing an average of 16,000 a game up in Miami Gardens (and let's be honest; that 16,000 is a misleading number. Many thousands fewer than that show up to drink beer and buy merchandise on any given night in Florida). The retort has always been "well, where else are they gonna play?" And it's a good retort given that there aren't many cities left that are willing to build a new joint for a Major League Baseball team.
Katy Sorensen, one of the commissioners of Florida's Miami-Dade County, said she expects support for the $515 million Marlins ballpark to dissipate. Florida's real-estate market is one of the hotspots in a foreclosure crisis that helped to bring down several major banks and spark a selling frenzy in global markets.
Financing for the proposed stadium relies partly on bonds financed with hotel and tourism taxes. Ms. Sorensen said in the current economy it isn't clear whether the county would have enough money to cover the debt.
"Everybody is a little skittish right now," added Ms. Sorensen, who has always opposed the project. "It's going to be a tough sell to the public to approve something like this."
The Marlins declined to comment. Bruno Barreiro, the county commission's chairman and a supporter of the project, said he hopes to submit a final deal for a vote in coming months, but he acknowledged that securing financing for the project might take a while.
"We have to wait until the market stabilizes," he said.
But desperate times call for desperate measures. Maybe instead of moving to a new publicly financed park, the Marlins can follow in the footsteps of the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Pilots and begin play in a new city's minor league park. PGE Park in Portland holds more fans than the Marlins ever draw. So does Rosenblatt in Omaha and Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo. After that the AAA places get get much smaller, but add in some temporary stands and you're good to go. Certainly good enough to outdraw the crowds in Dolphin Stadium, anyway.
And for the record, I'm only half joking here. Sure, it would never happen. I mean, even assuming you could get around the territory disputes and the fact that, you know, those placed already have tenants, there would certainly be revenue hits as even the best minor league stadiums don't have luxury boxes and other kinds of revenue streams that even the worst major league places do.
But there are way worse ideas out there. Like continuing to play in front of a couple of hundred fans in 90 degree weather and 90 percent humidity in South Florida. Or, say, asking a city to pony up a billion taxpayer bucks to build a stadium for a billionaire team owner in the middle of an unprecedented financial crisis.