Speaking of Loria, if he doesn't intend to sell the Marlins, the least he can do is contact local government officials and ask to rework the contract of the publicly-funded stadium deal—in the public's favor, of course—if for nothing else, as a goodwill gesture.
As it stands, Loria could be swimming in dollar bills regardless if he sold the team. That's because, according to the Miami Herald, a 2009 contract between the Marlins, the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County states the local governments receive none of the profits if Loria sells the team after 2015.
Even if Loria sold the team today, the sale won't be approved until after New Year's. In that instance, the local governments would split 7.5 percent of the profits. In 2014, the number dwindles to five percent, and in 2015, all profits would go only to Loria.
For instance, let's say Loria sold the team two months from now and grossed $200 million in profits. That means Loria would owe the city and county governments $15 million each, and pocket $170 himself. If the sale occurred in 2014, the city and county governments would receive $10 million each, and Loria would net $180 in profits. And in 2015 and beyond, Loria would keep every penny from the transaction.
By the way, did we mention Loria gets to keep all the revenue from ticket sales, concessions, suites, advertising, parking and naming rights, while the city receives about $5 million per year from parking space rental to help pay off the construction bonds, which will be valued at $2.4 billion when it is paid off in 40 years?
And let's not forget, Loria agreed to pay just $125.2 million of the stadium's $634 million in construction costs.
While the Marlins will probably net less revenue with a dip in attendance, the decrease in payroll (around $50 million from 2012 figures) and the increase in revenue-sharing money—MLB recently locked in an eight-year TV deal worth $12.4 billion from 2014-2021, which equates to more than $50 million for each team annually—should more than stem the "bleeding" from Loria's pockets.
With an angry city and an owner who is perceived as a greedy, money-hungry crook, the answer might not be to force Loria to spend more money on the team. Instead, the best solution might be to tie Loria's revenue to team performance.
Let's face it, no matter how it seems, Loria will probably always say he's fielding a competitive team in good faith because otherwise, he would've committed fraud. However, what might be the best way to rework the 2009 contract is to tie Loria's revenue from Marlins Park to how many games the team won each season (i.e. every win = percentage of revenue Loria kept).
Under this premise, for example, the Marlins would keep 69 percent of all revenue from ticket sales, concessions, suites, advertising, parking and naming rights in 2012, while the other 31 percent goes to the local governments to help pay off the $515 million stadium debt.
The issues with this clause, besides Loria's probable unwillingness to commit to such an act, are probably what happens if the Marlins won more than 100 regular season games and how will revenue during the playoffs be divvied up?
With the former, the Marlins would keep all revenue if they won more than 100 regular season games. But if Loria asks for a rebate because his team surpassed the century mark, he's just asking for trouble because it makes no sense to reward him when the public funded more than $500 million into his new ballpark.
Furthermore, the chances of the Marlins winning more than 100 regular season games are slim to none. The Marlins have never achieved such a goal to begin with and have surpassed 90 wins just twice (1997 and 2003) in franchise history. And since 1998, when Major League Baseball expanded to 30 clubs, only 19 teams have won more than 100 regular season games.
On the flip side, the Marlins will probably never receive less than half of Marlins Park's revenue since only one team, the 2003 Detroit Tigers, won less than 50 regular season games.
As for postseason revenue, Loria and the Marlins should get to keep every penny since qualifying for a playoff berth every season is not guaranteed. Moreover, only one-third of all baseball teams (10 out of 30) qualify for the postseason, so to make it is no easy task.
If Loria really does hate losing—which is how he defended the fire sale when he told cbssports.com "We finished in last place. Figure it out"—then he will call every local government official on his cellphone and add this clause, or any other profit-sharing clause, in the contract for the betterment of the community.
It might turn out to be the best PR move he's made yet.