Following The Miami Marlins Money Trail

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Now that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has reportedly reached an agreement to sell the team we’re on the money trail.

From the value of the team to the cost of the stadium and the pending sale, CBS4 sports anchor Jim Berry broke down the numbers.

When it comes to baseball, Loria is making money but not friends.

In 1999, he put up $12 million for a stake of the Montreal Expos. Eighteen years later, he could leave Miami with a billion bucks.

Loria bought the Marlins for $158 million – a deal that cost him zero out of pocket.

Loria got an interest-free loan of $38 million from Major League Baseball. That was after the league bought his Expos for $120 million.

The Marlins that Loria inherited won a World Series. However, he broke up the team, saying he would lose money unless he got a new stadium.

Finally in 2012, he got a new ballpark. Local governments paid for most of it with bonds that resemble a fat mortgage – $2.4 billion covered by taxpayers over 40 years.

The Marlins promise to kick in $125 million, a sum that was more than covered by revenue sharing payments from richer big league teams.

Loria then spent big to get players, but did quick about face and again gutted payroll.  When it was revealed the team was actually turning a profit, Loria became local enemy number one.

So now, along comes Derek Jeter, the retired baseball legend with the golden reputation. He and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have agreed to buy the Marlins for $1.3 billion. The total is a bit more than what the team may be worth.

They will take on a $112 million payroll that will leap because of back-loaded player contracts.

That won’t matter to Loria, whose profit should exceed a billion dollars.

When Loria left Montreal, the Expos soon followed, moving to Washington, D.C. where they are now the Nationals.

Should this deal click, Miami will keep its Marlins and give baseball another chance here to survive and thrive.

More from Jim Berry
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