In Taiwan, they recently completed constuction of a new stadium in time for this summer's world games. Why is this interesting? Because the city of Miami is giving the Marlins (one of the other tenants at what-used-to-be-Dolphins Stadium) a new stadium.
The Taiwan stadium seats 40,000 and is a beautiful facility that is called Dragon, but looks like a snake. Sure, it doesn't have a roof, but otherwise its on the scale of the Marlins ballpark.
It cost $170 million to build. That's it. Or about 1/3 the initial cost of the Marlins park. It was expected to be completed in 24 months from concept through to completion, but it actually took closer to 28 months to finish.
They did something innovative by placing 8,000 solar panels on the roof that can generate about 1.1 million Kw/hr of electricity for use by the stadium. A stadium typically uses in the neighborhood of 7-10 million Kw/hr of electricity, so they're offsetting about 14% of a typical electric bill (though, to be fair, there is no A/C in use at this stadium at all, so the solar panels will account for more like 80% of the power consumption).
Meanwhile, in Miami, the cost estimate (term used very loosely) was around $600 million, but with the high-interest bonds and other contributions they had to make to have someone buy the bonds, it will end up costing $2.5 Billion (yes, with a B)....and that's before any cost over-runs.
And they expect to be ready for opening day 2012. That's 32 months away from groundbreaking, which happens to be today.
Oh, and the Taiwan stadium has an elaborate park around it that was built so that someone could walk from downtown to the stadium and take in the view while strolling in a pleasant area. That cost less than $30 million to complete, in addition to the stadium, and was completed along with the stadium. I'm pretty sure that there will be NO parks around the Marlins ballpark, and certianly you can't walk there from most anywhere...
Raise your hand if you think (a) it will be done on time (opening day 2012), (b) it will be done on budget (and for that purpose, let's go with the $2.5 billion they've already committed), and (c) that there will be no legal actions that stand in the way of construction.
No hands? Okay, good. Then you have been paying attention.
No I ask - which would you have rather have had? Supposing we could add $100 million and get a roof. Wouldn't that be sweet?