San Antonio Hit With Another Blow�Miami Dade Looking At New Funding For Stadium

By Gregory Moore
Updated: May 2, 2006

SAN ANTONIO — It is beginning to look like Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff might be out of his league in his attempt to lure the Florida Marlins to South Texas. In the Monday morning addition of �Sports Business News� Daily, an article that first appeared in the Miami Herald says that Miami Dade County is flirting with the idea of using the property taxes of an industrial park located in the city of Hialeah.

�It�s a viable alternative,�� Miami-Dad County Manager Burgess said of the plan, which would need the county commission�s approval. “It�s an approach we have . . . agreed makes sense. We�re moving quickly.�� The plan also would need approval of the Hialeah city council as well.

So what does that mean for this city and the county�s plans at luring the Marlins? In the tone of a major league umpire, �foul ball, strike one�.

What this community is failing to realize is that it is competing in an area that they will not be able to win with hard nose tactics and little bat power to compensate for the fast balls coming at them. First of all the city of Hialeah has about 230,000 residents and is about five minutes north of the Miami International Airport and has an area of about twenty square miles.

The mere fact that this incorporated city is in close proximity to the city of Miami doesn�t help San Antonio�s chances either. There are three to four entities working on the Florida end of keeping the Marlins in South Florida versus just one or two of the same entities working to bring the Marlins here.

�Strike two.� Hialeah Council President Steve Bovo called the idea of pledging property-tax money in the area “very enticing. We�re almost done with the conversation part. We�re about to start negotiations with the county and the Marlins.�� �Strike three�you�re out.� Whether the baseball factions here want to believe this report or not isn�t the case. The facts of the deal are this: Bexar County is offering up $130 million short of the $400 million that the Marlins are asking for in a new stadium and with this recent development of a joint partnership in tax redistribution in Miami-Dade.

If this plan goes through in Miami-Dade and the city of Hialeah, the new property taxes from this industrial park will give the Marlins and the cities involved in Miami-Dade the revenue to construct the new stadium WITHOUT touching homeowner property taxes.

For those who aren�t following the bouncing ball, the writing is on the wall; San Antonio has gotten played once again by a professional sports team and the leaders who wanted that particular sport took the first pitch coming in the county.

This deal was bad from the beginning for Judge Wolff and his supporters. San Antonio isn�t in the market to get somebody�s hand me down team. If the Marlins want to come here, they need to do so in good faith and stop playing games thinking that this Podunk, Oklahoma and that anything can get by the city leaders here.


I was reading ESPN�s Michael Smith�s column the other day in which he interviewed former Virginia Tech QB Marcus Vick. Smith spent time with Vick and in his piece, he eloquently got the former Hokie player to open up and admit some things about his character and why he may not be picked in the 2006 NFL draft. Well let�s fast forward for a moment.

Since the draft was this past weekend and Vick wasn�t selected, he has been invited to a mini camp that the Miami Dolphins are holding. He�s been invited for a try out for the team. He doesn�t have a contract and there aren�t any strings attached. So it seems that Vick is going to at least get an opportunity to try and get into the NFL and that�s good for him.

Maybe this will be the catalyst necessary to get his life on track. Yet does he actually get why his life took the turn that it did? I seriously doubt that.

It seems that Vick has the illusion that he is some spectacular specimen of a football player. Playing one full season at Tech doesn�t make him the kind of player he thinks he is. Now had he had the mindset to be there and work hard at having a successful 2006 season, then maybe we would all have a different opinions on Michael�s kid brother.

But the reality of the situation is that Marcus is what he is; a so-so football player who is still trying to live up to the hype of his big brother. He�s fighting ghosts of his own doing and there is no telling whether he can defeat these ghosts and go out to the NFL world to prove that he has what it takes to be in the league?

Hopefully Vick is finally getting this message about his place in sports. This weekend he has a golden opportunity to try and impress Nick Sabon and the Dolphins� staff at this mini camp. Hopefully Vick has been working out and improving on his mechanics of being a quarterback with athletic ability and not just an athlete who happens to have a good arm.

If Vick is expecting greatness from himself then this is the weekend that he needs to put that dream into motion. If Vick not only gets and accepts the position life has now dealt him, he could come out of this a winner. Hopefully he gets the message loud and crystal clear now since no one can bail him out of any more mistakes in his life.

HOUSTON GOT IT RIGHT AND IT WAS THEIR CHOICE I�m not a big NFL guy but I do like watching the draft and debating the issues with people. It still amazes me how fans, including season ticket holders, figure they can tell a general manager whom to pick. For the Houston Texans it seemed that everybody in that city was trying to be Charley Casserly and it was down right comical.

So when the Texans decided to take Mario Williams as the first pick in the draft instead of USC�s Reggie Bush, I just begun to wonder how many fans were going to tell the Texans they didn�t know what they were doing. Well it didn�t take long for talking heads to do so. Both ESPN�s Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson said that the Texans were wrong in their selection. Chris Mortenson and Mel Kiper, Jr. didn�t say a thing. Gee I wonder why?

Maybe because they understood what the Texans were doing and the two former players had no clue. Well that�s why Irvin and Jackson aren�t in anyone�s front office. When it comes to bright personnel decisions, neither one of these guys can make them. In the case of the Texans, they had a perfectly logical reason for going the route they did. It was their prerogative.

Williams is going to be a heck of a player for Gary Kubiak and he shouldn�t worry about the knee jerk reactions of Texan fans. They�ll be back. As soon as the team starts winning games, these fair weather fans will be clamoring about how great a move the Texans� made. Yeah okay.

But seriously, if anyone really wants to look at the situation it just came down to dollars and cents. The same deal that Williams got on Friday was the same deal that Reggie would have gotten had he signed. No more and no less. Bush�s problem is that he thinks he�s all world and he needs to realize something; all the great running backs are retired and in the Hall of Fame.

One more thing on Williams. I�m glad the young man signed on the dotted line and the rest of the draftees need to take note. Mommy and daddy can�t hold your hand anymore now. From the second pick overall all the way down to the very last pick in the draft, they need to sign their contracts and quit trying to jockey for position. Where else can any of these young men get this kind of opportunity in life?

Nowhere and they need to treat it as such. Sure it�s a business but this first contract is based of potential and not what you did during your college days. At least with Williams signed, he won�t see his name in the headlines as one of the guys who held out.

I�m quite sure almost all of the players in the first round will be holding out for something that they really aren�t entitled to get based off of �potential�.