Crappy Florida Teams Get Stadiums

The Florida Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays (I still hate that) have both conned their respective municipalities into building them new stadiums.

The Marlins, who will apparently rebrand themselves into the Miami Marlins at the conclusion of deal, will get a new 37,000 seat, retractable roof stadium in the Little Havana site at the Orange Bowl. The total cost of the project was $619M and will be ready for Opening Day 2011. This keeps the Marlins in Florida for the foreseeable future.

The Rays, a franchise that has yet to crest .500 and currently play in a ballpark finished in 1990, have also conned the city of Tampa into building them a $450M waterfront stadium that looks like Parc D’Olympique. The new stadium features no right field seating, a white tarp instead of a roof that should surely be easy to field fly balls beneath, and an open-air retractable roof. The renderings of this stadium, in all honesty, are gorgeous.

While I don’t know much about the ownership of the Devil Rays, it amazes me that the City of Miami would get in bed with Jeff Loria after watching what he did to Montreal. They’re going to hand this guy $619 million and expect him to do the right thing with his franchise. Meanwhile, his payroll was $15 million last season and is looking to be lower this year. Loria has proven he’s completely untrustworthy with municipal money. The voters probably should have forced their councilmen to sit and have a long talk with people of Montreal to see how well Loria treated them.

I also question giving the owner of the Rays $450M when I don’t think he’s actually spent a combined $450M on Devil Rays players since the team’s inception in 1998

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