Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Marlins President Puts Foot In Mouth, Zombie Victory Court

We should all be grateful that David Samson isn't president of the A's. The Marlins president was recently caught on video seemingly saying that Miamians were not that smart. In the same piece he also talks about the ballpark process and how he played other cities off Miami in order to secure public funds:

Later, he talked about the moves Marlins leadership made to gain leverage while negotiating for the new stadium. He said he made a big show out of his visit to Texas, purposely buying a cowboy hat and making sure a camera saw him.

But, he said, he really didn’t want to move the team to Texas. His actions were just a threat to help with the Miami deal.

“We know for a fact we can make more money in Miami than in San Antonio,” he said.

He did talk about meeting with the mayor of Las Vegas and throwing out the idea of building a ballpark there with just suites. Those suites would have been sold to the casinos, who would want to keep people away from the ballpark and inside the casinos.

In that scenario, he said nobody would come to the Las Vegas ball games, but he wouldn’t care. Because the team in Vegas still would make money.

The Marlins stadium is an interesting one in that it is located in a city with historically low baseball attendance (largely thanks to playing at a football stadium) and in a neighborhood that is considered low-income, as opposed to the recent trend of teams moving to downtown areas. The Marlins built their stadium in Little Havana, an area with an average household income of just $20,103.

Zombie Victory Court

Victory Court is apparently not dead. This is despite the fact that the old Victory Court plan was killed by the city in January citing the lack of redevelopment funds. Mayor Jean Quan's administration formerly promised to "fast-track" the VC environmental impact review (EIR), but never actually followed through with it. Remember, the Oakland Planning Commission pushed forward (and apparently into a great, dead void) the EIR back in December of 2010. Quan seems to lack any discipline regarding speaking points. Her focus should be the Coliseum City plan.

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