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Miami-Dade's suite tickets at new Marlins stadium will go to charities picked by commissioners' offices

Trying to dispel the notion that the county’s suite at the new Marlins ballpark would be filled with politicians and their friends, Miami-Dade commissioners agreed on Tuesday on a method to distribute the public tickets to charity and the needy.

The county gets 16 suite seats for 40 Marlins home games. Commissioners will divvy them up among their 13 districts and, in turn, give them to organizations to distribute. The county splits its suite with the city of Miami, which will have the tickets for the other 40 home games. They will share the 81st game.

The short-term fix will only apply to the county’s tickets for Marlins games, which start in two weeks. Commissioners have yet to decide on a comprehensive policy to adhere to new guidelines issued last month by the county ethics commission.

The guidelines suggested keeping tickets from flowing through commissioners’ offices altogether, to avoid the use of tickets by elected officials to curry favor with constituents. The Marlins ticket process that commissioners signed off on Tuesday does not completely remove them from the distribution pipeline.

But Joe Centorino, executive director of the ethics commission, said the new process will at least help ensure the tickets end up in the hands of community groups. More here.