Sunday, October 24, 2004

[Marlins] Stadium deal and Lowell in limbo

The Miami Herald

The Marlins continue to have trouble completing their stadium deal, leaving Mike Lowell on the cusp of free agency and creating uncertainty about the franchise's long-term future.

Unless Lowell is traded in the next week, he will very likely be in position to declare for free agency in the first week of November. With a stadium deal unlikely to be completed by Nov. 1, the 2006 and 2007 seasons of Lowell's contract (worth $18 million combined) would be voided.


Does Lowell's situation create urgency to complete a stadium deal?

''The future of the franchise depends on a stadium,'' Marlins president David Samson said, ``and that is far greater than how it impacts one player.

''The Marlins and local government officials are no longer even discussing how to bridge the $30 million funding gap. With the Marlins, city and county not willing to put in the missing piece, the parties will try to get the money from the state legislature in March and deal with it later if the state doesn't deliver.

The biggest remaining issue, the county says, is that the Marlins have not provided a $100 million letter of credit from a bank, or other firm revenue sources, to guarantee they would pay for cost overruns beyond the $367 million price tag for the project.

Read the entire article here on the Miami Herald website.