Major League Baseball is in the playoff season so it is a good time to review the business end of the 2017 season. The owners have approved the sale of the Miami Marlins to a group that has Derek Jeter as the face of the franchise. Whether the new Marlins ownership can solve the Miami market’s problems will play out in the next few years. Jeter cannot solve the problem that Miami is more of a tourist/service jobs area than a major corporate market and that is where baseball and all sports get money. They want customers and not fans and Miami has not had enough customers throughout the franchise’s existence.
There are three problems franchises in Oakland, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Phoenix, which all have stadium issues. A’s ownership wants to leave the Oakland Coliseum and the ownership group has a spot within Oakland that they think can work next to Laney College. The A’s ownership is moving the team’s corporate headquarters to Jack London Square which is a mile from where the baseball park could be built. There is nothing firm about building the stadium in Oakland, except the ownership wants a 35,000-seat facility and wants to move into the building by 2023. The ballpark would allegedly by financed by A’s ownership but a public-private venture should not be dismissed.
The saga of the Tampa Bay Rays stadium situation remains unsolved although Rays ownership is now a year close to the end of the 30-year lease signed after Major League Baseball expanded into Phoenix and the Tampa Bay market in 1995. Which ends in 2027. Publicly, there is no movement in the Rays ownership ambition to get a new ballpark. In Phoenix, there is a stalemate in the dispute between government and Diamondbacks owners about the state of the team’s stadium lease. But there is a long off season ahead.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.