Jeffrey Loria to the citizens of Miami: thanks for the new stadium, ya filthy animals!
For our members who don't follow/care about US politics that don't revolve around the presidential elections, in Florida, Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the baseball team for South Florida, the Marlins, pressured the government of Florida and Miami to pass bond measures to finance the building of a new baseball stadium for the team. Loria and crew contended that the team playing in a converted football stadium was hurting the club's ability to pay for a team that would be a contender. So over much rankling and legal issues, the governments of Miami and Miami-Dade counties decided to fund roughly 80% of the costs of the bonds that will pay for the construction of the new stadium: 649 million dollars, though the actual cost of the stadium will most likely balloon to over 2 billion dollars due to the 40 years of compounding interest.
The offseason before the team was to move into the new stadium, the Marlins management made several high-profile free agent acquisitions, as well as a new manager (Ozzie Guillien, who upset many ex-pat Cubans over his friendly words concerning Fidel Castro, was a pretender of the future of his relationship with the team), which fans hoped would make the team a contender for the playoffs. As it was, the team finished dead last in the East division, and the Marlin brass over the summer and recently, has been in the process of dismantling the team's star players to other teams, to save money and to get back prospect players for the future.
Long story short, the governments of Miami and Miami-Dade counties and probably Florida as well will be saddled with potentially billions of dollars of debt because a millionaire art-dealer wanted a new shiny toy to make more money off of, while shifting the cost of said toy to the tax payers. This isn't a liberal/conservative issue, but when politicians are looking to use government resources to fund private projects, they need to be heavily scrutinized and safeguards put into place to protect the tax payers. I wish this was just a Miami issue, but my own hometown of Atlanta, the billionaire owner of the local football team is teaming up with the mayor to get a billion dollar stadium built in town as well, paid for by new taxes on visitors and most likely tax payer supported bonds.