MIAMI (AP) — Opening statements have started in the Florida Marlins stadium trial. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Cohen ordered settlement talks late last week. But the two sides failed to reach a deal on the ballpark's financing before Monday morning's deadline.
Auto dealer Norman Braman contends in the lawsuit that the $3 billion financing plan illegally diverts money intended to cure urban blight.
The Marlins would get a 37,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium in Little Havana as part of the deal. The package also includes money for a Port of Miami tunnel, downtown Miami streetcar system and museum park.
Miami officials say the financing plan is legal and would help transform the city. The Marlins hope to begin play in their new stadium in 2011.