MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It appears that the sale of the Miami Marlins is moving along at a steady pace.
According to Bloomberg, the group led by former MLB superstar Derek Jeter and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has won the auction to purchase the Marlins.
The actual sale contract has yet to be signed, however, per the report.
The Miami Herald is reporting that the sale price is $1.3 billion. The deal is pending MLB approval as well as the process of drawing up and executing a contract.
Forbes Magazine reporter Scott Soshnick broke the story.
“There are 30 major league baseball clubs. How many are for sale? One. If you want to be part of the group, you have to be part of the bidding process. More bidders mean high prices.”
High price, looking for a long term pay back – kind of like buying a home waiting for it to appreciate
So where do those big bucks to buy the team come from?
“The one thing we know about Jeb Bush from his political career… he knows how to raise money,” Soshnick said.
Reports are the Marlins have never lost money, because, in part, they never spent much on payroll.
Will Jeter and Bush jack it up? Fans can hope.
“What is the plan? Field a better baseball team and hope people have an affinity for the ownership group, players, and they show up,” Soshnick said.
Current owner Jeffrey Loria is not expected to retain any percentage of ownership.
Per the Herald, Bush will be the “control person” with ultimate control over the Marlins while Jeter will have “an active role” with the team.
The potential change of ownership is welcome news to local public officials who had no love for Loria and his stadium deal.
“I think they lost the casual fan in Miami-Dade County because of the management of the team and management not giving back to the community,” said UM Sports Marketing Professor Wendy Dees.
When asked on Tuesday, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez seemed genuinely excited about the potential sale of the team to Bush and Jeter.
“I sent him a text,” Gimenez said when asked if he’s reached out to Bush yet. “If it’s true that he got it, then congratulations. And I think it’s congratulations for all of Miami-Dade because I think he will be a very good owner and I know that he’s very enthused about it. I also know that Jeter is obviously a great baseball personality, a legend. To have both of them together as the owners of the Marlins would be a good thing for Miami-Dade and this community.”
Other potential bidders in the Marlins sale were a group including Tagg Romney, son of former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and former MLB star Tom Glavine.
Another group was headed by Quogue Capital LLC founder Wayne Rothbaum was also reportedly interested.
Loria purchased the Marlins in 2002 for $158 million. They won the World Series the following year but have failed to reach the playoffs since.