Could the new Marlins ballpark or the Tampa Bay Rays‘ Tropicana Field serve as a homeless shelter for the 270 or so nights a year that they’re not used for baseball?
If two Florida lawmakers have their way, they might. As reported by the Miami Herald, state legislators have unearthed an obscure law that has not been enforced since it was adopted in 1988. It states that any ballpark or stadium that receives taxpayer money shall serve as a homeless shelter on the dates that it is not in use.
Now, a new bill would punish owners of teams who play in publicly funded stadiums if they don’t provide a haven for the homeless. Affected ballparks would include the Miami Marlins‘ new ballpark in Miami’s Little Havana, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and several spring training facilities. It also includes the homes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Miami Heat, Jacksonville Jaguars and Florida Panthers.