Jeffrey Loria, owner of the Miami Marlins, is looking to sell the team for $1.7 billion. Who’s he trying to kid?
The controversial sports owner bought the Marlins in 2002 for $158.5 million. So his asking price would constitute more than 1000 percent profit in only 15 years. Loria famously bought the Miami Marlins immediately after selling the Montreal Expos — now the Washington Nationals — to Major League Baseball for $120 million, more than doubling his investment in only a decade.
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So what Makes the Marlins worth so much? Forbes valued the team at just $675 million before the start of the 2016 baseball season. And unlike the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, the Marlins do not own their own stadium.
The city of Miami opened a new publicly funded stadium for the Marlins in 2012. The same year they changed the team name from Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. And Jeffrey Loria also spent big, giving them one of the highest annual payrolls in the history of baseball at almost $120 million.
But the Marlins had a losing season and so Loria gutted the team, trading away the stars who he had signed to big contracts just one year earlier. This in spite of the fact that having a new stadium and showing fans a willingness to spend big on players combined to give the team a home attendance of more than 2.2 million. But after Jeffrey Loria dumped all the team’s big name players attendance plummeted. In 2016 they had a total home attendance of 1, 712, 417, coming in 27th out of 30 MLB teams.
So are the Miami Marlins worth anywhere near $1.7 billion? Of course not! Will Jeffrey Loria get anywhere near that much money for the team? Definitely not? So why is he asking for that much? Who knows?