Florida Marlins Ownership at The Center of a Financial Scandal
The Florida Marlins are generally viewed as one of professional sports' most interesting teams. They've had an outstanding amount of talent throughout the years including Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, Josh Beckett, AJ Burnett, Dontrelle Willis, Edgar Renteria, among others. Those players usually never get "the big deal" they deserve and are either traded or leave via free agency. Well, now everybody knows where that money is going. Right into the owners' pockets.
A deadspin leak of the Marlins' finances shows that the Marlins have not only been pocketing profits for everything they've accomplished to date, but the estimated $2.4 billion taxpayers will spend for the team to build a new $515 million stadium.
In 2008, the Marlins traded superstar Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers and had a $28.2 million payroll. The documents reveal that they made a $37.8 million profit. Then, in 2009, their payroll was $35 million and they made an $11.1 million profit. That's almost $50 million in profit over a two-year period. Where is all this money going?
Marlins' owners not only lied to the fans, they lied to the city. The Marlins will only be paying $155 million for the $634 million stadium. With such a little payroll and such a large annual profit, the Marlins really couldn't pay for most of this stadium? Taxpayers shouldn't be very happy about this.
It isn't just the Marlins' fault though; the city was extremely irresponsible as well. Miami-Dade County agreed to take out $409 million in loans with balloon payments and long grace periods to help fund the stadium without the consent of taxpayers.
Nobody should blame owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson for taking advantages of loopholes that allowed them to be fiscally successful. Somebody needs to take action though and that should be Major League Baseball. It's too late to take back the swindling act the Marlins did on the city of Miami, but similar situations in the future can be prevented if somebody steps in. It's time to take a stand against small market owners pocketing money and then spending minimally on the team's payroll.
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