MIAMI (CBS4) – With just two weeks until opening day, the Miami Marlins are making headlines again, this time in Sports Illustrated.
The magazine is profiling the ballpark deal that is being compared to “rape.” The comparison was made by Miami’s Mayor.
The nine-page article titled, “Art of the Deal Gone Wrong,” profiles Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s public relations disaster that just won’t go away. He’s slammed by everyone including auto tycoon Norman Braman who calls him a “jock-sniffer,” while Miami’s Mayor took it a step further.
Tomas Regalado, who hadn’t seen the article until CBS4 showed it to him, is quoted throughout including a line where he says “Miami has a history of bad deals, but I would rate this Number 1. The residents of Miami were raped. Completely.”
When asked about the quote, Regalado stood by it.
“I think it’s the truth. I think it was a very bad deal,” he said.
Miami-Dade’s Mayor Carlos Gimenez, another no-vote in the stadium vote several years ago, calls the Marlins carpetbaggers, tone deaf and, “The gift that keeps on giving.”
The Marlins have furthered his political career as well as Regalado’s.
Sports Illustrated also gives us insight into the Marlins. Loria’s former stepson and Marlins President David Samson is quoted saying of the team, “I would’ve sold it opening night. Just walk on the filed, say, ‘Thank you Miami, I love you, this is your ballpark, see you later.'”
Samson goes on to say they predicted a five percent chance that the season would fall apart and the stadium would be empty by the end of the summer. “It was a “nuclear meltdown,” Samson said.
“History will record this as one of the worst deals ever made in South Florida,” Regalado told CBS4’s David Sutta.
He actually ranked it number one, but then corrected himself.
“I still say number one. Hopefully, there is not going to be another one. Not in the city of Miami. But maybe in the county with the other stadium,” Regalado said.
In the article Samson admits difficulty selling seats. Last year they had 12,000 season ticket holders for the 36,000 seat stadium. This year they are struggling to get to 5,000.
To read the full article pick up Sports Illustrated, on store shelves right now.