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Baseball: Marlins off to Vegas?

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posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 03:50 PM
We now stand just days away from the Marlins' May 1 deadline for completing plans to finance a new $325 million ballpark in South Florida. We hear that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has been telling people he never has been more optimistic about the chances of having that actually happen. We hope he's right.

But what if he's not?

What if the Florida legislature continues to balk at approving what appears to be the $60 million last piece in the ballpark puzzle a $2 million-a-year sales-tax rebate that would expire after 30 years?

One source, who is locked in on the relocation soap opera, says Loria has "always had his eyes on Washington." Which is, obviously, an easier commute from his New York home than Miami is.

But another source tells us the buzz inside the Marlins' little universe is that Loria views Vegas as "a gold mine."

Both destinations come with all kinds of complications, though. And by now, you probably know those complications by heart.

It's becoming increasingly clear that the biggest obstacle to a move to Washington is Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who is now a member of baseball's powerful executive council. Angelos shows no signs of backing off his never-ending fight to keep another team from plopping down on what he views as his turf.

And Vegas has all those pesky gambling issues. But beyond that, while it may be the fastest-growing metropolis in America, it's still just the No. 53 TV market (compared to No. 16 in South Florida). And it would have a population base (approximately 1.5 million) about the same size as Milwaukee, the smallest market in the big leagues although Vegas, we'd dare say, has more tourists.

Then there are even peskier practical issues. The only ballpark in Las Vegas, Cashman Field, is an unacceptable minor-league facility with 9,500 seats.

There has been talk of building a 40,000-seat ballpark right off the fabled Strip to accommodate the Expos. But the soonest you could envision that park opening is 2007.

So where, exactly, would a big-league team play in the meantime the lobby of Caesar's Palace?

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 05:08 PM
If they go to Vegas, will Pete Rose be allowed back in baseball? Then they would have to play in the lobby at Ceasar's, that's the only place he could keep an eye on them.

I'd love to see a tema move to DC, but I think the name Marlins would have to change. How about stinkin' politicians?

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 08:44 PM
A team in Vegas would be great, putting aside the gambling issue this NL west is starting to die.

The Phillies would enjoy their moving as well it seems

posted on Apr, 27 2004 @ 10:26 PM

Originally posted by Cannon
The Phillies would enjoy their moving as well it seems

If only they would move outta the division, too!

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