The stadium that kicked off the public
funding debate. HBO REAL SPORTS looks
into how leaked financial docs showed
the Marlins making a sizable profit as
they begged for public funding
The new 37,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium that the Florida Marlins are building on the former location of the Orange Bowl capped over a decade of not one, but three ownership groups laboring to get public funding for the ballpark built. Since the Marlins arrived as an expansion club in the ‘90s they have played in what is now Sun Life Stadium, a football stadium in nearly every respect. The dynamics and open-air qualities have long been speaking points for the Marlins to say that low attendance and shared revenues have been the reason for needing a baseball-only ballpark.
(SEE MORE RENDERINGS OF THE NEW MARLINS BALLPARK DESIGN)
There was that, and the fact that the Marlins have said year in and year out that without the stadium, they would need to keep player payroll low as slim revenues meant they have been cash strapped. As city and county politicians finally decided to give in and assist, last month leaked financial documents showed that not only were the Marlins not broke, they were one of, if not the most profitable clubs in all of Major League Baseball. The documents created a firestorm of debate as to whether the Marlins were, are, or will act in good faith surrounding public funding for the $642 million ballpark.
Tonight on HBO’s REAL SPORTS with Bryant Gumbel, the topic of the funding for the Marlins ballpark, along with the leaked financial documents will be the main segment aired (10:00 p.m. ET/PT & 9:00 p.m. CT). The story is a must see for those that follow public financing of stadiums in the US, along with a commentary on whether the Marlins are truly using revenue-sharing dollars correctly.
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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