Exactly a month after the Marlins ballpark got caught in limbo when Miami City Commissioners deadlocked in a 2-2 vote on financing for the $515 million venue, the team forged a partnership aimed at helping to jumpstart the project.
The Marlins, the NAACP, and the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce signed an agreement today to guarantee 15 percent of stadium construction and operation contracts go to black-owned businesses. The deal provides 15 percent of the team’s contribution to the stadium in construction contracts and 15 percent of its contracts for products and services used in the annual operation of the venue to those businesses.
“This is a great day for black business, not only in Miami, but nation-wide. It shows the strength of collaboration between the NAACP as an advocacy group and the chamber of commerce as an effective economic development organization,” Bill Diggs, President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “This agreement creates a standard for partnerships and how they should work in the Black community across the country.”
"It's important to our organization as a good community partner to guarantee that black owned businesses contribute and share in the ballpark's success," Marlins President David Samson said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing the results of this partnership so that a broad range of people in Miami-Dade County can enjoy the many economic benefits that come from a construction project of this magnitude."
Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Miami City Commission, sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency Board, agreed to expand the boundaries and extend the life of the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA district to raise millions of dollars for city projects. The decision helps ensure dollars will be used to “eliminate slum and blight in Overtown/Park West,” according to a city press release.
Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones has been seeking additional dollars for her district, before agreeing to support the Marlins ballpark project. It was Spence-Jones’ absence – she was on maternity leave – from the Feb. 13 commission meeting that led to the 2-2 vote.
Miami City Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the ballpark financing plan on Thursday. Miami-Dade County Commissioners are to vote on the ballpark on March 23.