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Marlins meet with city of Hialeah


marlinfan

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MIAMI (AP) Florida Marlins officials met Monday with Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina to discuss two sites for a potential baseball stadium that could keep the team from moving out of South Florida.

Marlins President David Samson told reporters that the talks, although preliminary, demonstrated the team's desire to stay in the region. Hialeah is located northwest of downtown Miami.

"We've discovered now that our best chance, and the best chance for baseball in South Florida, is to get a building built somewhere and making it work,'' Samson said. "The important thing is keeping the team here.''

The Marlins announced in November that Major League Baseball has granted the team permission to seek relocation.

That followed the collapse of a deal to build a retractable-roof, 38,000-seat stadium next to the Orange Bowl in downtown Miami.

The Marlins have played in Dolphins Stadium since their inception in 1993. Their lease ends in 2007, but the team could stay there through the 2010 season using a series of one-year options.

In Hialeah, Samson said the two potential sites are the Hialeah Park horse track, which hasn't had live racing since 2001, and a tract along Interstate 75. He said there will be feasibility and traffic studies done to gauge the suitability of the sites, both of which are privately owned.

"We promised we would explore all areas and all possible sites,'' Samson said.

Samson has met with officials in Portland, Ore., and San Antonio in recent weeks and has visits scheduled soon in two other cities he would not identify. He also said the team will meet with officials in Homestead, located south of Miami.

The site by I-75 is the best shot at keeping this team in South Florida. The site was scheduled to become a high income neighborhood, now it has a shot at becoming a yuppie ballpark village. Although it is still early a second meeting is planned.

This is just what the city of Hialeah (which is the 5th most populous city in the state) needs to put themselves on the map.

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marlinfan, what's the consensus in South Florida about the Marlins situation?  Do people want them to stay, or does apathy abound?

I wouldn't say apathy abound but you'll find a lot of that. I think being screwed over twice by three ownerships has begun to wear on the fanbase and population in general. If the team left I don't think most of the city would care.

BUT...

I live and go to school in Hialeah and this is one of the few cities in the tri-county area where the majority of the citizens really want this team to stay. The citizens and government of Hialeah are really showing something the city of Miami didn't. The stakes are pretty high for Hialeah as I mentioned earlier. If Hialeah failed to secure a stadium they will lose a lot more than Miami would ever dream of losing. This would change the course of Hialeah's history forever.

The site being considered is 2000 acre piece of land the city annexed last year. Talk is Hialeah could bring in developers to create an entire ballpark village surrounding a possible stadium. But that's a ways away. First we need to see what the studies say, but I am confident they will be positive. The Marlins recognized today that there is no perfect site in South Florida because the metropolitain area is so spread out and the lack of public transportation. It woiuld allow the team to keep the Broward fan-base via I-75 and allow it to tap the latin community in SW Miami-Dade via the Turnpike for the first time.

This thread here pretty much sums up Hialeah:

http://www.marlinbaseball.com/forums/index...pic=55796&st=75

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Just looking at Google Earth, that racetrack looks to be right in the midst of a residential area (but then again, they could be shops - I can't zoom in that far).

If this is true, how would that work? There's absolutely no room for parking anywhere near there. I also saw a large plot of land near I-75 and assumed that's what you're talking about, but the parking loss seems to be a problem there.

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Hialeah, the Floridian Brooklyn (in the sense of the civic identification with the borough)... I like it.

Hope stuff will be resolved between Hialeah and the Marlins.

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Just looking at Google Earth, that racetrack looks to be right in the midst of a residential area (but then again, they could be shops - I can't zoom in that far).

If this is true, how would that work? There's absolutely no room for parking anywhere near there. I also saw a large plot of land near I-75 and assumed that's what you're talking about, but the parking loss seems to be a problem there.

Hialeah Race Track is a 200 acre site, so building a stadium there wouldn't be a problem. The problem with the site is the lack of proper infrastructure and the fact that the track is a historical landmark.

Here are some maps I put together when I first proposed the site 2 months ago on MarlinsBaseball.com.

hialeahheights2xq.png

sites4ak.png

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