MIAMI (AP) -The Florida Marlins finally have an agreement for the baseball-only ballpark they have coveted for nearly a decade.
Still, their long fight for a new home is far from over.
After lengthy and often-contentious debate, Miami-Dade County commissioners - some doing so grudgingly - voted 9-3 Thursday night to approve a basic plan for a $515 million, retractable-roof stadium that would open in time for the 2011 season.
City commissioners approved the Baseball Stadium Agreement by a 4-1 vote several hours earlier.
The 37,000-seat facility would be at the site of the Orange Bowl, which is to be demolished in the coming months, and this is the closest the Marlins have been to fulfilling their stadium quest.
But several issues, including the particularly thorny matter of deciding if city or county police and fire departments will be patrolling the new facility, remain unresolved. An agreement on the police-fire staffing front must be struck within 30 days, or the plan - and maybe the Marlins franchise - would likely be doomed.
``This has to be resolved within 30 days ... so therefore, the inability to resolve this political issue kills baseball in South Florida,'' Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy said. ``That's the consequence.''
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