Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The construction of Marlins Park was filled with lawsuits, accusations of wrong-doing, withholding financial documents, and more. Now, even as the stadium is well into the first full season of baseball being played there, the stadium is still causing headaches for Miami-Dade County.
The latest problem comes from the Magic City Casino.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, the casino believes the stadium is not abiding by a contract the casino believes prevents the county from harming slot machine revenues. Everything revolves around one illuminated sign on the side of the stadium.
The sign in question is for the Miccosukee Indian Tribe, which is a main competitor to Magic City for gambling dollars. The illuminated sign can be seen by any driver using the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) each day.
Magic City Casino hired a lobbyist, Ron Book, who brought the issue to Miami commissioners in May, but nothing has happened since. The Herald reported Magic City representatives have also talked to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The original agreement allowing slots at Magic City, according to the Herald, called for the casino to pay the state $4 million and Miami and Miami-Dade County between 1.25 and 2 percent of gross revenues from slot machines for 30 years.
Marlins President David Samson told the Herald there was no issue. According to the Herald the situation is complicated, “because though the county owns the ballpark and the land it sits on, the Marlins are renters and control the facility’s advertising.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)