Marlins Stadium Deal a Scam?

5 Dec

Miami’s new ballpark might not be as innocent as it seems. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has begun investigating the controversial public financing deal that the Miami Marlin’s struck with Miami-Dade County. This deal involves having the city cover 80% of building costs while the Marlins cover only 20% of the cost. The Marlins defend this need for outside help by stating that they do not currently receive any profits to finance a new stadium; yet, a recent report by the Palm Beach Post revealed that the team has been making consistent profits, thus refuting the Marlin’s claim for needed money.

Marlins Face More Accusations

This is a touchy situation because it is believed that there were several illicit dealings as well as “pay to play” schemes involved with the building of the new park. “This is not the first time and may not be the last time” that the SEC investigates bonds deals in Miami, said Mr. Nortman, an SEC professor at Nova Southeastern .

Public Perception

At this time, I believe it is vital that the Marlin’s handle this situation tactfully and carefully. The consequences of failing to meet the SEC’s demands would be disastrous for the new stadium and the team. It can result in civil lawsuits, fines and possible criminal charges. Most importantly, the Marlins would lose the huge investment they have made in their fans and this new stadium. I believe the solution here is to be transparent and work with the government. Otherwise the repercussions for failing to do that could destroy the franchise.

by Hector Lopez

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3 Responses to “Marlins Stadium Deal a Scam?”

  1. Gregory Porter December 6, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    Nice post. This represents a business scenario in which communication will be key. The Marlins have recently signed Jose Reyes and Heath Bell — showing they are going for a championship and are not content to keep looking up at Atlanta and Philly at the top of their division. With any situation which involves public financing and tax payers, communication is even more vital. Also, the Marlins can only thrive as an organization with a strong fan base, which is developed through winning but requires the fans to have trust in the franchise. For the Marlins and the city of Miami, lets hope this is a false alarm.

    Greg

  2. Robert Knapel December 6, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    The Marlins have never actually had a stadium of their own. Since their inception, they have played in a football stadium. In most cases, the city must provide a stadium if they are to have a new team and the Marlins did not have this luxury. The team had made some threats about possibly leaving if they did not get their own stadium. The communication between the team and the city was pretty clear over the years. The more important issue is why taxpayers should need to fund such a large portion of the stadium’s cost.

    Robert

    • Mariano Lopez December 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

      Exactly Robert, I agree that the amount of money being asked from tax payers is ridiculous. Especially for a city that was hit hard by the recession. The Marlins have the potential to have a huge fan base due to Miami’s culture, but thus far they have proved undeserving of much loyalty, and this can easily be seen in the low attendance at home games. Hopefully the new stadium and players will fix this. It will be interesting to see how tax payers react to the Marlins asking them for so much funding and then going off to sign high cost players such as Reyes and Bell.

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