Lucchino giving Marlins owner a hand

March 22, 1994|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Sun Staff Writer

Former Orioles president Larry Lucchino, who guided the club's planning of Camden Yards, is reviving that role in South Florida.

Lucchino began work last week as a part-time consultant to Florida Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga. Lucchino will assist in the development of a baseball stadium for the Marlins and a proposed arena for another Huizenga-owned sports franchise, the NHL's Florida Panthers.

"I have a pretty keen interest in sports facilities," Lucchino said yesterday. "There are some things from our experiences in Baltimore that I think can be quite useful."

In his new job, Lucchino said he'd be available to consult with Huizenga, who owns the video-entertainment giant, Blockbuster Inc., but that he won't be required to move -- something he wanted to avoid.

Late last year, Lucchino and Huizenga met several times when the Marlins were seeking a team president.

The talks never moved ahead, in part, because of Lucchino's reluctance to leave the Baltimore-Washington area.

Lucchino called the consulting job "a more comfortable arrangement."

"From my end, I don't have to relocate. But I have a chance to involve myself in one of the most exciting sports related projects in the country," he said.

Huizenga hopes to create a 2,500-acre sports theme park in Dade and Broward counties in South Florida. In addition to the baseball ballpark and hockey arena, plans call for an entertainment village filled with attractions for families.

Huizenga did not return a call to his office yesterday.

Lucchino, who quit the Orioles last October after seven years as president, isn't severing his ties to the Orioles. He continues to advise owner Peter G. Angelos on league matters, including the delicate issue of revenue-sharing among clubs, and he'll keep his seat on the Orioles board of directors. Angelos and Lucchino also are working together to bring an NFL franchise to Baltimore.

Lucchino said Angelos has no objection to his work for Huizenga. "He understands my association with the Orioles is still very important to me," he said.

Said Angelos: "Larry is helping Wayne to deal with the many-faceted problems that come with talking about a new ballpark. His expertise in that area is one we would like to share."

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