Marlins finalizing proposal for new ballpark

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MIAMI - The Florida Marlins and two local governments have ironed out the financial details of a $515 million proposal that would give the team a new 37,000-seat ballpark on the site of the Orange Bowl.

The newest version of the stadium proposal requires that Miami-Dade County contribute $347 million in funding, including $297 million in tourist tax dollars, according to a memorandum from county manager George Burgess that was sent to county commissioners.

The 94-page document states that the city of Miami would be required to pay $13 million, which does not include an additional $10 million for the Orange Bowl's demolition.

The Marlins would contribute $155 million for the stadium, which is projected to open in 2011.

City commissioners were scheduled to consider the proposal Thursday morning. County commissioners were expected to discuss the plan later Thursday. Both bodies must vote on the deal for its funding to be approved.

"We have reached agreement among all the parties and have a baseball stadium agreement we're all comfortable with that we're distributing and briefing commissioners on over the weekend and early next week in advance of a special meeting," Burgess said.

The Marlins - who have said they cannot survive in South Florida without a new ballpark - have played in Dolphin Stadium since the team was founded in 1993. They have been pushing for a new stadium for years.

In May, the Florida Legislature failed to approve a $60 million subsidy to help build a $490 million, retractable-roof stadium for the team.

The Orange Bowl was left without a primary tenant last year, when the University of Miami announced its football team would leave the historic stadium.

The Marlins did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


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