The Miami city and county commissions both had hearings scheduled today to vote on approving the Florida Marlins stadium deal, but that’s now in doubt after the city hearing erupted in chaos after two of its four members balked at approving the deal.
The resistance was led by commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who said he would only vote for the deal if the Marlins: 1) agreed to pay cost overruns on stadium parking garages, 2) gave the city a cut of naming-rights revenue, which is currently slated to go only to the Marlins, and 3) promised to use any proceeds from the sale of the team to pay back the public’s costs before pocketing any profits. After a nearly one-hour recess, Marlins president David Samson said he’d work on capping garage costs, but wouldn’t budge on naming rights or sale proceeds. Sarnoff and commissioner Tomas Regalado said they’d only approve the deal with Sarnoff’s amendments, at which point meeting chair Joe Sanchez - a backer of the Marlins proposal - declared, “This deal is dead.”
You can read the play-by-play of the mayhem here, or follow along yourself via webcast here. The city commission is currently in recess, in hopes that Samson and the two dissident commissioners can somehow work out a deal in the hallway, but it seems likely that the Marlins mess is going back to the drawing board, at least for the time being.