Sometimes it is better to just think and not say anything. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giminez seems rather happy that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has reached a tentative agreement to sell his Major League Baseball team to a group of investors that includes Derek Jeter. So much so that the mayor might start attending baseball games at the Marlins’ municipally funded stadium. But the mayor issued a stern warning to the Jeter group. Don’t allow Loria’s stepson David Samson to be part of the team. Seems rather remarkable that a mayor of an area with some major problems including having no money for increasing mass transit would even bother to tell a set of baseball owners what to do. But a previous administration said yes to funding the stadium which as a by-product made a rich man, Loria even richer.
The stadium was supposed to be the “catalyst” for the “rebirth” of baseball in Miami. Hundreds of millions of dollars were poured into a municipally-owned stadium including a financial contribution from Loria. The deal gave him a barrel filled with money from people which included those who would never set foot inside the facility—tourists and local taxpayers—through increased revenue from concessions, parking and signage. The city’s decision to fund the stadium did not go well with the community. The mayor, Carlos Alvarez, was recalled and lost in a landslide during a special election in 2011. Although there was a laundry list of complaints but the stadium expenditure seemed to be the most pressing grievance. The stadium for Loria meant more money for his pockets but the Little Havana community didn’t see much of a positive economic impact from the venue. Stadiums and arenas are not economic engines that can revitalize a city or a large area surrounding a facility. Because Miami-Dade has an investment maybe the mayor’s voice should be heard on second thought. He is a partner.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.