Former Marlins president David Samson teams up with Billy Corben in Inter Miami CF stadium controversy – CBS Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Miami Marlins president David Samson has joined forces with Miami activist and filmmaker Billy Corben in the ongoing Inter Miami CF stadium controversy.
“This is a billion dollar heist that is happening in broad daylight,” Samson says in a 2-minute video posted by Corben.
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The duo slams Inter Miami CF’s proposed football stadium deal at Freedom Park with the City of Miami, and Samson uses his own security experience for the Marlins baseball stadium as ammunition.
“The City of Miami wants to give billionaire Jorge Mas, David Beckham and their Inter Miami football team a 99-year, no-bid lease, below market value, on 131 acres of parkland in Melreese,” Samson says in the statement. video.
“It’s a real estate game,” he told CBS4 News. “And as long as people know that’s what it is, you can decide whether you want to support it or not,” he said.
You may remember Samson years ago when he struck a deal to build a LoanDepot park for the Miami Marlins.
The county sold $500 million in bonds to build the park. It will take decades to pay off the bonds and the interest.
In the case of Inter Miami CF, it would be a lease without tender, negotiated between the city and the football club.
“This is the biggest mess in Miami history. Melreese’s donation is so bad it would paint a good picture of the Marlin’s Stadium deal,” Samson says in the video.
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Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes is against the deal as it stands, saying three law firms hired by the city have found 28 issues with it.
“My position from the start was that we should have opened this offer if we wanted to do anything with this land,” Reyes said.
He said if many issues were resolved and it was put out to tender, the city might get more money. “The more money that comes into our coffers, into the general fund, the less we need to raise taxes. The more money we will have to improve the quality of life of our residents,” he said.
Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla slammed Samson and Corben, saying in a statement, “Billy Corben and David Samson are the first to lie and deceive our residents. One of them is profiting from defamation and defamation and the other is a thief who is profiting from stealing our residents’ tax dollars to line his own pockets. Everyone knows who these bad actors are, and no one believes a word they say. I have always negotiated and will always negotiate what is best for Miamians and my history proves it,” he said.
Samson said he does this to make sure residents know what’s at stake.
“My take on the Inter Miami deal, if you want to be in favor of it, at least understand what it is,” Samson said.
CBS4 News has reached out to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. She’s a big project cheerleader. He declined our interview request. CBS4 News has also reached out to Inter Miami CF for comment and has not heard back.
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The Miami City Commission is due to debate and vote on the issue on April 28.