The historic compact the Marlins struck with the NAACP and Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce on Friday to ensure 15 percent of stadium construction and operation contracts go to black-owned businesses was rescinded Tuesday.
The team, NAACP and chamber made the decision to kill the compact after Miami-Dade County attorneys warned the agreement could be unconstitutional and subject the county to lawsuits. Representatives of all three organizations said they were disappointed in the county’s interpretation. However, they did not want to interfere with passage of the ballpark plan.
“We carefully constructed this Compact so as not to violate any existing law,” Bishop Victor T. Curry, President, Miami-Dade County Chapter of the NAACP, said in a statement. “Any time one of our corporate citizens attempts to provide opportunities for all races in this County, I believe the County Attorney's Office should embrace the concept and not obstruct it. We had several attorneys research this issue, and they reached a different conclusion … I look forward to working with the Marlins without political interference to ensure that this community is a place where all people can prosper.”
“We have always believed, and continue to believe, that the Community Compact between three private parties does not conflict with Federal law,” Marlins President David Samson said in a statement. “However, at the urging of the County Attorney, we have agreed to rescind the Compact. The result of this action does not change our commitment to work with the NAACP, the Miami-Dade Chamber and other community organizations to ensure that the ballpark project provides a benefit to all members of our community.”
The Miami City Commission is to vote on the plan to finance the $515 million ballpark at the former site of the Orange Bowl at 9 a.m. Thursday. Miami-Dade County Commissioners are scheduled to consider the plan at 1 p.m. Monday.