The baseball media has turned on Derek Jeter. The so-called face of baseball in the 21st century, Jeter is now the face of the Miami Marlins baseball franchise, a business shedding itself of stars and salaries and somehow that is Jeter’s fault. It is not.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, 29 owners, MLB lawyers and accountants saw Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria get a reported $1.2 billion offer from Bruce Sherman for his Marlins business and decided it was a pretty good deal for Loria and it would make baseball franchises worth more, so why not allow the deal to go through. But there should have been some questions with the first one being, Mr. Sherman do you have enough capital to buy the team and then invest in baseball salaries, not just players but a whole organization? The answer to that seems to be no. Then there is another baseball partner that should have had some concerns in the same vein. Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade County has a whole lot of money invested in the stadium and that started in July of 2009 when the country decided that it was worth $500 million of taxpayers’ money to partner with Loria to build the stadium. Loria did put up some money but the county began paying for construction costs when it did not have the money. The county borrowed $91 million in one circumstance. By the time that money is paid off in 2048, the county’s bill will be $1.2 billion.
Miami-Dade County has a vested interest in Jeter’s Marlins doing well on the field. Produce a winning team and the customers will come and spend money. Most of that cash flows into an owners pocket but sales tax don’t. A losing team keeps customers away. Loria got a big pay day, Jeter, baseball and Miami Dade are the losers.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.