Dave Samson=A little more than two years after celebrating the second World Series championship in franchise history, the Florida Marlins' future in South Florida is very much in jeopardy.
The club has been set back financially by several unsuccessful bids to secure a new stadium, and on Tuesday, team president David Samson formally announced that the franchise has requested and received permission from Major League Baseball to explore relocation.
"Baseball is no longer assured of staying in [South] Florida," Samson said.
Samson said the Commissioner's office fully understood and expected the Marlins' request.
"We've worked with three different ownership groups in an effort to get a stadium in South Florida," said Bob DuPuy, baseball's president and COO. "The Marlins have won two world championships, it's time for them to get a stadium done."
"There are no more deadlines," Samson said. "No more fake deadlines. No more real deadlines. This is about the Florida Marlins trying to save its franchise. We need a place to play after 2010, and we don't have one. Right now, the earliest [the team can be] opening a stadium is 2010. So we really don't have any wiggle room left. Discussions will begin in earnest."