I never thought I’d hear Marc Sarnoff utter these words: “Let’s get out there and support the Marlins.”
But that’s exactly what the Miami commissioner told me during a taping of News & Views when I asked him about the new Marlins ballpark in Little Havana.
Sarnoff, as most of us will remember, was a vocal opponent of the deal to finance the ballpark. He joined Mayor Tomas Regalado in voting against the plan back when it came before the city commission in 2009. Back then, Sarnoff said the plan was a bad deal for Miami taxpayers.
Now that the stadium is nearly complete and the first home game is about five months away, Sarnoff is switch hitting. He’s now an unabashed cheerleader for the Miami Marlins and their new stadium.
“The stadium is here and you have to be supportive of it,” Sarnoff said. “We should all take part in the games.”
He went on to say, “Do I think the financing idea was a good deal? I don’t. I don’t think the county did a good job of representing the taxpayers.”
Sarnoff, who is also chairman of the Downtown Development Authority, talked about the impact of the NBA lockout on downtown Miami, and proposals for Las Vegas-style destination casinos in Miami. But I have to admit, the part that most surprised me during our discussion was his change of heart on the Marlins deal. Will this mean the commissioner will be there for opening day next year?
“I’m having my struggles but I plan to be out there,” he said.
I wonder how many other local politicians who so vehemently opposed the deal will be joining him.