What Sale Of Marlins Means To Miami Taxpayers

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There are reports Marlins owner Jeffery Loria could be selling the team, and that has major implications for Miami taxpayers footing the stadium’s bill.

Loria purchased the Marlins in 2003 for $158 million and is rumored to be selling for $1.6 billion.

While the Fish won a World Series, Loria dismantled the team several times, causing a good number fans to turn on him.

He then got the city and county to pony multi-millions to build Marlins Stadium, which irked local politicos.

Miami-Dade Carlos Gimenez explained the nuances of a potential sale.

“If he sells after March of 2018, there is nothing, no sharing in the profits of the sale of the team,” he said.

The Marlins’ agreement with the county was that taxpayers who will foot the eventual $1.2 billion price tag for the stadium would share a percentage of profits from a sale.

So, on a sliding scale, the longer Loria stayed the lower the percentage.

That doesn’t sit well with Mayor Gimenez.

“Take the equity we built, the increase in the value of the team that we helped obtain… put it in his pocket,” he said.

And while Loria will walk away from the deal nearly $2 billion richer, the next owner will be stuck in the stadium deal for 25 plus years.

“They have to stay ‘til the bonds are paid off. They will not be paid off until the late 2040s,” Gimenez explained. “Not only you and I, our children and grandchildren will be paying of those bonds.”

CBS4 caught up with Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was at the Florida Panthers game Thursday night. He didn’t offer much insight on the potential deal.

“We know about as much as you guys do,” he said.

More from Hank Tester
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