When the city of Miami agreed to bankroll a controversial new stadium for the Miami Marlins, the understanding with team’s owner Jeffrey Loria was that he would continue to put up a competitive team for years to come. Some, including then county commissioner Carlos Gimenez, where skeptical of Loria’s intentions and opposed building a new stadium during the recession. But according to the New York Times, the objectors were on solid ground.
After finishing their past season in last place, the Marlins have completed a sale that has left their roster depleted and their payroll small, the Times reported.
“Many times, on the record, they made a commitment that once they had a stadium, they would have a competitive team,” Gimenez, now mayor of Miami, said Wednesday of the Marlins’ ownership. Instead, he said, “the team seems to have indicated that they won’t do that now or in the future.”
The stadium deal left the city of Miami and the county with three-quarters of the reported $645 million bill for the stadium and surrounding parking lots. Moreover, the deal ensured that only the team would take any revenue produced through ticket and suite sales, concessions, advertising and any future naming rights, according to the Times.
“Whether the Marlins make money, whether they don’t, whether the team’s a success or not, Miami-Dade County is stuck,” Gimenez said. “Whether they make $2 or $200 million, we pay what we pay.” [NYT] —Christopher Cameron