03/27/14 - Thursday's Topical Currents looks at the history of the “Triple A” minor league baseball team named the Miami Marlins. Their home was the friendly confines of the old Miami Stadium from 1956 through 1960. There were colorful characters involved . . . including maverick promoter Bill Veeck, Manager Pepper Martin, even ageless pitching wonder, Satchel Paige.
I moved to South Florida in '82 from Canada and immediately became a Dolphin fan and season ticket holder up until 2009. Through that time I saw the privately funded Joe Robbie Stadium get built, and then renovated and subsequently host a couple Super Bowls, which brought great benefits to the local community. I owned a print shop and design firm in Tamarac at the time, and you could literally feel the benefit to the community from there. It seemed that everyone was busy and profitable in and around those Super Bowls with the massive influx of revenue these events brought in.
We're a little over two weeks away from the scheduled Miami-Dade County referendum on proposed upgrades to the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium.
State lawmakers still need to approve a local hotel tax increase and a Dolphins subsidy that would help pay for the renovations. If that happens, the public will have a chance to officially vote on the upgrades on May 14th.
Until then, we figured we'd give our audience a different way to express their feelings on the issue:
SunLife Stadium, which I will forever lovingly call Joe Robbie Stadium, in honor of the man who built it, on his own, with no public funding, is in need of some sprucing up. The current owner is asking for public money to help in this endeavor. A public that is very wary of rich team owners asking for financial help—think Marlins.
A small group of fans recently gathered at the Marlins' new half-billion dollar stadium in Miami's Little Havana to protest in both in Spanish and in English. They want new owners after the team's latest purge: the trade of All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays in return for seven mostly unknown players.
The move, which came after the team finished in last place, will save the Marlins more than $160 million in future payroll obligations. It comes within a year of the Marlins' move into their new, mostly taxpayer-funded stadium.
The Florida Marlins have dumped much of their starting line-up, engineering a huge trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The players include high-priced free agents the team pursued for its inaugural season in its new stadium.