Mayor, Miami Heat bait and switch to ‘better deal’ for who?

Mayor, Miami Heat bait and switch to ‘better deal’ for who?
  • Sumo

One after the other, Miami-Dade Commissioners who voted in favor of a new agreement with the Miami Heat owners for the arenaoperation and maintenance of the AmericanAirlines Arena downtown said it was better than the last deal they heard about.

It’s become like that other mantra: “It’s better than the Marlins deal.”

Nevermind that the 400+page-agreement seems rushed, since the current contract doesn’t expire until 2030 — that’s 16 years. Nevermind that the deal costs the county somewhere around $42 million, at least, over the course of the next 25 years. Nevermind that the county could potentially be losing out on tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, since the Miami Heat are on the cusp of being extremely profitable and would likely have to start forking over more profit sharing dollars. Nevermind that there are questions about future naming rights and a failure to secure any kind of participation rent, which could be very lucrative. Nevermind that the mayor could have possibly negotiated a better deal through a second round.

Commissioners took the easy route and passed this bone of an agreement because it was oh, so much better than what they Screen shot 2014-06-04 at 5.34.54 PMhad now. Only Commissioners Xavier “Mayor Sir” Suarez, a constant thorn in the mayor’s side,and Lynda Bell, the only incumbent facing a real challenge,voted against it.

“In one year, we’ll see nearly four times the compensation that we did during the entire life of the current contract,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez told commissioners, comparing the new annual $1 million payment to parks to the measly $250,000 profit sharing check they got last year, the first in the 14 years since the arena was built in 1997.

Well, whose fault is that?

The new deal was also so much better than the previously floated “deal,” a pie-in-the-sky scenario that nobody genuinely expected but which Ladra suspects was falsely painted precisely for a bait and switch strategy. After that first ludicrous deal was leaked to the news media — conveniently through an email written by the client of the mayor’s best friend and most influential lobbyist — the stadium-obsessed Gimenez said, “Oh, no, no, noooo. We never meant to give them $121 million. We only meant to give them $42 million.” And commissioners can say “Whew! We missed a close one! It could have been worse.”

When, actually, it could have been much, much better.

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8 Responses to "Mayor, Miami Heat bait and switch to ‘better deal’ for who?"

  1. Not a fan   June 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Not only will time prove what boot licking, starstruck, ass kissing rubes they are. They are going to find by not addressing the no compete clause in the Heat contract yesterday like county attorney tried to warn them, they are STUPID boot licking, starstruck ass kicking rubes. When Beckham comes in next month they will all discover he has to pay off Mickey to let him build his stadium next door.
    And by the way Bell’s No vote was strictly pro forma. She is the head cheerleader of these starstruck ass kissers. Like everyone else in the room she counted that Heat had their 9 votes without her. She needed a “no” vote on the record to defend herself in her district 8 race from Daniella Levine Cava who has figured out the real dynamics of these stadium give away deals and has come out strongly against them.

  2. Fulanito   June 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Hang on there, sparky. You may not like the Mayor, his decisions and the bulk of the County Commission who took a very bad Heat deal and made it into a reality, but don’t drag Commissioner Lynda Bell into this fight simply because you like Daniella Levine.

    First off, Lynda was majorly against the Marlins Stadium deal even before she ran for the Commission. Once there, when the Dolphins wanted a new renovations for their stadium, she told the team to renovate it themselves.

    When Pretty Boy Beckham brought along his “song and dance” for a soccer stadium at PortMiami, not only did she tell him to build it himself but also questioned the site he wants to build the darn thing.

    Finally, when the secret Heat deal became public, she was one of the first public officials to issue a statement condemning how the deal was conducted. (that was about a month ago for those of you in the “cheap seats.”) And she’s the head of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission!

    Now, you may favor the “Glorified Caseworker” from New York and that’s fine, but if you’re going to criticize do it correctly and fairly. Otherwise, you’re just misleading the public.

    Then again, we do live in Miami!

  3. Tired resident   June 5, 2014 at 1:42 am

    An engineering report every two years – that’s what was promised and a key phrase repeated by the a Mayor. Really? The old Miami arena was abandoned as too small and not enough expensive sky boxes – would an engineer have found those flaws?

    The way intelligent people have allowed the entire state to be gerrymandered, this contract has passed by a public that didn’t want to look closely at the figures because of a winning streak. We are lazy. We will pay dearly for it.

  4. No a Fan   June 5, 2014 at 8:11 am

    “When I read this agreement…it is much, much, much better and even better than what we have now.. I don’t think that’s to be question.”
    Lynda Bell comments on her opinion of the proposed Heat contract before the vote.6/3/14

  5. No Fan   June 5, 2014 at 8:37 am

    In fact the majority of Lynda time was spent addressing the no compete clause.
    She clearly figured out any sketchy land deal or tax break would trip the clause and she also knew the 9 starry eyed votes were there Tuesday to override.

    So if you agree with Ladra’s above premise this deal was cooked by Mickey and served by the mayor, then clearly Mickey would want the no compete clause left in the contract giving him voice in the the soccer deal.

    So what I thought was really happing was Lynda was going up against the Heat trying delete the no complete clause to lay tracks for her new BFF Beckman. The money had nothing to do with it.

  6. chino   June 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I believe Mayor Gimenez, turned a crap Penelas deal, into something much better for the County. My understanding of the deal is the county, if they pick up the naming rights good garner up to and additional 2.5 million per year.

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