The start of Spring can mean one of two things. For some people, Spring can mean the weather will finally get warmer, or they will be going on a vacation. However, for baseball fans, Spring means the beginning of a new season on the road to October. Players head out to Spring Training, where they showcase to their fans the excitement of heading towards the 162-game season. Nevertheless, with the beginning of baseball season means the off-season has concluded and controversies start to surface in the media. Whether it was a favorite player being traded or a new ownership of a team, the possibilities of controversies are endless. In this particular situation, the county of Miami-Dade in Florida is filing suit against Miami Marlins (former owner) and Marlins TeamCo, LLC (the new owner of the Miami Marlins). The county of Miami-Dade is filing suit against the Marlins for refusal to pay the five percent equity payment that the Marlins promised to pay when they sold the Marlins to the Bruce Sherman-Derek Jeter group.
$1.2 Billion Dollars. That number represents the dollar amount that Jeffrey Loria sold the Miami Marlins to the Bruce Sherman-Derek Jeter group for in October of 2017, even though he only purchased the team for $158.5 million. How much did the county of Miami-Dade receive from this transaction? Zero dollars. The real question in this case is why should the county of Miami-Dade receive any type of monetary relief from this transaction.
During the season of 2009, times were tense between the Miami Marlins and the city of Miami. The owner at the time, Jeffrey Loria, was making statements that he wanted to move the Marlins out of Miami and into a new market unless a new stadium was built. However, Loria claimed that since profits were decreasing, the team could not build a new stadium without the help of public funding. The county of Miami-Dade provided approximately $389 million towards the construction of the stadium, and the city of Miami agreed to provide approximately twenty-five million dollars and the land for the stadium. Besides providing public-funding, the county of Miami-Dade and Jeffrey Loria came into an agreement. The agreement stated that Jeffrey Loria would keep the Marlins in the Miami market for a specified period of time, and if he did then the county would provide public funding. However, if Jeffrey Loria sold the team within that specified period of time, then the team would have to make an equity payment to the county of Miami-Dade.