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Low payroll even during construction of new stadium


fanfish
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I am not the least bit suprised even with a new stadium and new sources of revenue this ownership group does not have the financial resources to compete at the top level . I think the best we can hope for is the type of payroll we had in 04 and 05 middle of the road , bottom third , what disturbs me is not that we wont ever being going after top free agents , it is that we cant even afford the top players we do develope ....very disappointing and yes Samson should be fired because the has no business sense we are trying to get a new stadium and the little man is there to remind us that nothing will change even with a stadium guarantee. The best we can hope for is for Loria to sell the team after the a few years in the new stadium

 

It was only a matter of time before the spin started with Loria and Samson, twisting and contorting as to why they will still be cheap, regardless of the stadium, and regardless if every game is sold out. Your last sentence above is correct-"the best we can hope for...." and until then it will be HOPE FOR THE BEST.

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Most of you missed my point.

 

Do I want another fire sale? NO. But I also believe in some form of fiscal sanity if I were running this team. Would I love to see Cabrera stay and sign a long-term contract? YES. But I would not sign him to a contract that means paying him above "market" for those years when his production may be leaner (and hence the risk of a backloaded deal), and no matter how much I like the guy as a player nobody deserves a payday like Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, or the other upper-tier guys. A "killer-contract" like that will do nothing but hamper your roster later on in time (i.e., Mo Vaughn and the Angels!). Would I love to see Willis stay and sign a long-term contract? YES. But I sure as hell would not sign him to a deal like Barry Zito's just so that he can stay in a Marlins uniform! If that is the money that he would demand in the future, and some other team will give it to him, then you'll just have to part ways.

 

Even with a new stadium, some of these guys here now will leave because they are priced out of our the Marlins range. That is a fact of life in today's baseball. That is something I have accepted because the alternative is NO BASEBALL and that is just plain worse. Even with a new stadium, the Marlins are not going to be the Red Sox, Mets, Yankees, or Dodgers. They may not even be the Giants, Angels, or Braves.

 

A competitive balance will remain, but I hope that whatever ownership has the Marlins in, say 2015, still retains a level of fiscal sanity and does not go out and sign someone like Dennys Baez for three years, $19 million or Gil Meche for five years, $55 million. Do you see what I mean?

 

As for point A.

 

The whole point of this ballpark is that we can become a player with the big boys. It's MIAMI, not Spokane Iowa or Jackson Mississippi...MIAMI!!!! If a new ballpark flush with all the revenue chanels that a major league ballclub should be awarded, and the team is still a financial invalid, then you need to look at the capability at the top. We damn well better be hanging with the Angels, Giants, Braves, etc. We're in bigger markets then them. If Miami at its apex is competing with Kansas City and Tampa, then just fold up shop now.

 

As for point B. Teams have shown that "anticipated" revenue is just as good to them as actual revenue. Case in point? Barry Bonds with the Giants, Jim Thome with the Phillies. Both guys got huge contracts after a stadium was announced but before it was opened? Why? Because the owners of those clubs realized the draw of a baseball team is a highly competitive product, not a so-so one in a new ballpark. For any more reference, let's just look at the state of Pennsylvania. The Pirates got a new ballpark, still cried poor with guys like Giles, dealt him and now play infront of a half empty (albeit shiny and new) stadim. The Phillies? Well, they spent big before the Vet was even gone and now still reap the benefits of their spending because the product on field is great and the ballpark's a great venue. Now, should we model our business plan after the Pirates?

 

As for point C...I don't see how you can misrepresent ANYONE's desire to keep MIGUEL CABRERA and HANLEY RAMIREZ into wanting to sign the Chan Ho Park's and Gil Meche's of the world to big money contract. THE WHOLE DAMN POINT OF THIS STADIUM IS TO KEEP WHAT WE HAVE and now before a plan is announced, ground broken or a ticket presold, we're ALREADY being told that it's no longer reasonable to expect payroll to go "up" during construction, even though when the blood letting was occuring last season, Samson essentially handed a ransom note to Miami saying that a new stadium will mean things go back to the way they were.

 

Exactly.

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Direct result of the Marlins paying part of their contribution for construction. Pro Player and the ownership group has only so much revenue to draw from. But as we all know as Marlins fans, a low payroll does not necessarily mean a team that's not competitive or worth watching. As we should really know as Marlins fans, such teams can be World Series champions in short time when the resources are available to support them.

And if I might say to those who are annoyed by this news at all need to get their priorities straight. The first step the Marlins must make is a stadium that is profitable and ensures the team will have a home. Everything else the club can do must follow that.

 

Darn right, I am completely at the point that I want comfort in the assurance that we will have a team. The size of the payroll is unimportant at this point-just the guarantee of keeping the Marlins for a long, long time is all I hope for at this time. THEN....... we can all conspire as to how to get better ownership and muzzle little pervert stepson.

 

No where in that article did it say Cabs or DTrain were going anywhere. Actually it did say we would have an average MLB salary. Add in the team has been saying all along they want those two to stay here. That is a huge step up for us. But people saw the word "payroll" and all of a sudden have us losing everything. Relax people. Enjoy the season that is coming up.

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sigh

 

I hate being a marlins fan

 

Then don't be.

 

You have almost 30 other teams to pick from and you're in love with everyone who wears a TB uniform so go root for them.

 

And your Cabrera supposition is false unless you can see into the future. There's lots of ways to skin a cat, for example how Pudge's deal was structured, or Leiter's, or Alex Rodriguez or Griffey's or any number of others, and that is to guarantee deferred payments in out years which is happening with almost all these big $$ contracts. You keep 2009-2011 in the $7-10 million range and spread out the differential into the out years which frankly will better suit Cabrera's financial planning in the longrun.

 

You draw the conclusions you do because you WANT the Marlins to lose Cabrera and nothing else. Grow a brain.

 

 

Dont be a jackasre and turn my one statement above into a reason to act like an immature child. You can hate how things are handled even when you might love an organization and follow it.

 

If you look at the time the contracts hit for Arby and FA you cant deny that there is a good chance alot of those faces might be gone. Yes you never know how they might structure a contract but there is no history but the lowell contract (which was dumped) to believe they would keep the contracts of cabrera or willis. Is there reason to believe theycould if they have a stadium deal coming? Of course, but is there reason to disbelieve? Yes.

 

Dont be a jackasre you are better then that, dont make comments like a 5 year old of grow a brain. I dont need your self-righteous attacks. I have been a fan either just as long or longer then you have of this team. :rolleyes:

 

 

Please dont start an arguement over this in a thread if you really wish to feel free to in pms. I really dont care though except taking up space in a thread isnt needed because you might get upset over a comment I make about what I believe to be poor news in case of the marlins franchise.

 

I respect your opinions you need to learn to respect others like them or not (right or wrong).

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This is a non-story.

 

Payroll has nothing to do with winning. I thought we knew that already? The idea of a new ballpark is to allow the team to keep players and to allow the team not to lose money.

 

People are using teams for an example that have large attendance figures. Not below 15K per game. Will a new stadium mean higher per game average of fannies in the seats? Yes. For a couple years. Then back to the norm for us as soon as that new car smell leaves. There is a way around that even if some won't like it. Have season ticket holders sign a, say, 10 year contract on their seats. Guarantees at least the same attendance figures for that span of time. And it could also guarantee the same price for those seats for that span of time. With a natural "cost of living" raise every year of course. A win/win, IMO. Didn't I just read someplace that is what the Dolphins do? Thought I read something in the PBP a couple weeks back about those 10 year contracts coming to an end this year and now they are really escalating the prices. Anyone know first hand?

And again, it must be repeated. The article says mid level MLB salary. Not bottom of the barrel MLB salary like we have now. That is a HUGE step up for us. One that very well could ensure we can keep this talented core of players. I really wouldn't want to be in the top echelon of salaries. Middle of the pack is just fine with me.

As far as Little Guy? I couldn't agree more with everyone here. Fire the guy. NOW. BTW Where were those sharks in Hawaii when ya need em. Those predators always go for the runt of the litter. (Okay. A little over the top maybe.) But I really don't think what he said this time should or will have any impact on our attendance or the deal being completed for the new pond. Just another handy and bad excuse for our fan base as to why they don't attend games.

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This is a non-story.

 

Payroll has nothing to do with winning. I thought we knew that already? The idea of a new ballpark is to allow the team to keep players and to allow the team not to lose money.

 

Are you reall that dense?

 

Payroll has EVERYTHING to do with KEEPING PLAYERS.

 

Payroll has to go up to keep players, that's the concept of escalating contracts.

 

There is a way around that even if some won't like it. Have season ticket holders sign a, say, 10 year contract on their seats. Guarantees at least the same attendance figures for that span of time. And it could also guarantee the same price for those seats for that span of time. With a natural "cost of living" raise every year of course. A win/win, IMO. Didn't I just read someplace that is what the Dolphins do? Thought I read something in the PBP a couple weeks back about those 10 year contracts coming to an end this year and now they are really escalating the prices. Anyone know first hand?

 

Dolphins will give you 1, 3, 5 and 10 year contract options.

 

The Heat also do that with select seats.

 

The Marlins couldn't do it because there's no demand. I love my seats, I know that for a lot of other teams you could never touch my seats and they're passed down in wills, but for the Marlins, right now, you could be my neighbor with a phone call to the team, not a ticket broker. They can't drastically alter the pricing without backlash.

 

What they could do in the new ballpark is sell "seat licensing" which is very similar, but essentially amounts to an endowment to the team in exchange for premium seating. But, the team on the field would have to be worth it for this to be anything other than a minor success. If you were to open the new stadium with the team we have now plus that marquee free agent centerfielder (or whatever) then there may be a fervor around the team that would make this possible, but you can't just limp into a new arena and expect fans to come and open their check-books.

 

The Dolphins can do it because of the tradition of the franchise and the relative affordability of season tickets (Joe average can get "good" season tickets for $800 to the 'fins rather than "ok" season tickets for the Marlins for about the same price...and never have to worry about games going to waste or burn-out). The Heat can do it because Shaq came to town and gave credibility, while Wade'll carry the torch...but the Panthers don't do it, in a shiny new arena (for my money, the nicest place to watch a game in the NHL) why? Because they're awful. If the Marlins keep a $18 million payroll in 2011, they're going to be awful too.

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Some of you are incredulous to think that Cabrera, Willis or any one else worthy would be dismissed if a ballpark agreement signed and opening years simply because of this threat. Samson's point is to expect a low payroll with the Marlins' proposed commitments to stadium construction, not that there's a hard fixed cap on player expenses.

 

Every single word from or about Samson is twisted by some of you. Some well respected members here throw all reason and rational thought aside to trash the man. We get it. You don't like him. You may not like Loria either. But, sheesh, don't let that cloud your judgment and turn this messageboard and your reputations into a mockery.

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Some of you are incredulous to think that Cabrera, Willis or any one else worthy would be dismissed if a ballpark agreement signed and opening years simply because of this threat. Samson's point is to expect a low payroll with the Marlins' proposed commitments to stadium construction, not that there's a hard fixed cap on player expenses.

 

Every single word from or about Samson is twisted by some of you. Some well respected members here throw all reason and rational thought aside to trash the man. We get it. You don't like him. You may not like Loria either. But, sheesh, don't let that cloud your judgment and turn this messageboard and your reputations into a mockery.

 

Samson seems to bring out the worst in everyone. I know just reading anything about him makes me want to puke.

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I'm nervous about Samson talking so much about the stadium and future plans. He has a way to piss off people and turning a positive situation into a negative

I agree.

 

Although, I think that he's saying they will keep payroll low to make it sound like increasing their contribution is such a heavy burden.

 

This will probably rub people the wrong way. He should STFU.

Exactly.

 

Some of you don't seem to understand what's happening here; and frankly I'm a little surprised. Whether the Marlins' long-term plans make good business sense or not is not the point (In fact, I'm one of the few here who supported the idea of going young and cheap last year).

 

The point is: You don't play the media game with your cards laid on the table face up. It's called Public Relations.

 

Predictably, with just a few days before the tickets go on sale and FanFest, the Herald went fishing for any comments they could put a negative spin on and print. And they knew they could count on Samson to give them exactly what they were looking for. Sure enough, fool that he is, he took the bait.

 

All those good vibes we've been getting in recent months from positive stadium news? Flushed down the toilet.

 

And the fans who don't understand the business of baseball (believe me, Mr. Ferry, they're out there in bunches), will find yet another reason not to endorse this product. And once again, we'll have Samson to thank for that.

 

As far as I'm concerned, whoever allowed that man to come out of hiding now and start talking again deserves a warm spot in every corner of hell.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for posting something intelligent. RFerry seems to think that everyone here is an idiot and needs to be told how to arrange their "priorities".

 

 

We get it RFerry. What we don't get is why everytime David Sampson opens his mouth its one big steaming sh*t storm.

 

 

 

 

RFerry, please explain to me how Sampson's comments are BENEFICIAL to the team and its old/new fans 2 weeks before Spring Training starts?

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Some of you are incredulous to think that Cabrera, Willis or any one else worthy would be dismissed if a ballpark agreement signed and opening years simply because of this threat. Samson's point is to expect a low payroll with the Marlins' proposed commitments to stadium construction, not that there's a hard fixed cap on player expenses.

 

Every single word from or about Samson is twisted by some of you. Some well respected members here throw all reason and rational thought aside to trash the man. We get it. You don't like him. You may not like Loria either. But, sheesh, don't let that cloud your judgment and turn this messageboard and your reputations into a mockery.

 

by the reaction here it looks like Samson loses on the PR department the moment he opens his mouth, doesn't he? I think he should keep his mouth shut.

Samson brings the worst in the most loyal fans. . .Imaging the reaction from the typical prospective fan out there, that doesn't have much loyalty to the team

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People are using teams for an example that have large attendance figures. Not below 15K per game. Will a new stadium mean higher per game average of fannies in the seats? Yes. For a couple years. Then back to the norm for us as soon as that new car smell leaves.

To be competitive in the long-run the Marlins need, in order:

1. A new stadium

2. At least 25K fans per game to sit in this new stadium, and selling out most of the skyboxes

3. A new ownership group. The current owners just don't have enough money, even with the first 2 accomplished.

It's not game day sales that is holding the Marlins back, it's every thing else that comes with a stadium. Its ownership group is holding it back financing and finding support for the stadium, nothing else. As I remind you again that teams are no longer operated out owners' bank accounts. Those teams that make money spend money. Those that don't, don't. That's modern baseball.

 

 

Would I love to see Cabrera stay and sign a long-term contract? YES. But I would not sign him to a contract that means paying him above "market" for those years when his production may be leaner (and hence the risk of a backloaded deal), and no matter how much I like the guy as a player nobody deserves a payday like Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, or the other upper-tier guys.

I would. You have to pay a premium for premium talent.

 

 

And yet again The Don follows the cult of personality.

I've said before DuPuy even came on the scene that Samson wasn't helping. Don't confuse my objections to the crazy Samson haters here, who make up a significant population of the boards, as support for Samson. You can dislike the man and/or his actions for rational reasons. As those that do so in an irrational manner tend to dominate these discussions, I feel it necessary to attack their claims. I would certainly hope any one who dislikes Samson for genuine reasons would do the same. Because for those sitting on the fence, midget jokes do nothing to undermine Samson's credibility.

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People are using teams for an example that have large attendance figures. Not below 15K per game. Will a new stadium mean higher per game average of fannies in the seats? Yes. For a couple years. Then back to the norm for us as soon as that new car smell leaves.

To be competitive in the long-run the Marlins need, in order:

1. A new stadium

2. At least 25K fans per game to sit in this new stadium, and selling out most of the skyboxes

3. A new ownership group. The current owners just don't have enough money, even with the first 2 accomplished.

It's not game day sales that is holding the Marlins back, it's every thing else that comes with a stadium. Its ownership group is holding it back financing and finding support for the stadium, nothing else. As I remind you again that teams are no longer operated out owners' bank accounts. Those teams that make money spend money. Those that don't, don't. That's modern baseball.

 

 

Would I love to see Cabrera stay and sign a long-term contract? YES. But I would not sign him to a contract that means paying him above "market" for those years when his production may be leaner (and hence the risk of a backloaded deal), and no matter how much I like the guy as a player nobody deserves a payday like Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, or the other upper-tier guys.

I would. You have to pay a premium for premium talent.

 

 

And yet again The Don follows the cult of personality.

I've said before DuPuy even came on the scene that Samson wasn't helping. Don't confuse my objections to the crazy Samson haters here, who make up a significant population of the boards, as support for Samson. You can dislike the man and/or his actions for rational reasons. As those that do so in an irrational manner tend to dominate these discussions, I feel it necessary to attack their claims. I would certainly hope any one who dislikes Samson for genuine reasons would do the same. Because for those sitting on the fence, midget jokes do nothing to undermine Samson's credibility.

So...you agree he's a putz and a negative player on the team?

Now we all agree.

Amen.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

Taking this message board as a sample of Marlins fans, shows that ever so slowly a feeling of optimism was creeping into our collective consciousness. For some inexplicable reason, though, Samson repeatedly obliterates any shred of positivity that fans feel towards this team. For the life of me, I can't understand why he makes the comments he does.

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I don't understand the reaction to this article. The Marlins are putting up more money for a stadium than any team in years not located in New York City. The Marlins are offering to cover cost overruns. Are we serious, expecting them to blow their payroll at the same time?

 

I also don't agree with saying that the Marlins owners aren't rich enough to compete. They won the freaking World Series with this ownership group!

 

Teams like the Red Sox and Yankees can afford to hemmorhage money because they raise their ticket prices every year by 25% and still sell out every game. The Marlins (and most franchises) can't do that, let's get real. Yes Miami is a big market, but it's not a big sports town like Boston, New York, Philly, Chicago, LA, and San Fran. People in Miami like to go to the beach. People in Boston like to go to baseball games.

 

Finally, I'd much rather have the Marlins spend millions on the stadium than on Gil Meche.

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I don't understand the reaction to this article. The Marlins are putting up more money for a stadium than any team in years not located in New York City. The Marlins are offering to cover cost overruns. Are we serious, expecting them to blow their payroll at the same time?

 

I also don't agree with saying that the Marlins owners aren't rich enough to compete. They won the freaking World Series with this ownership group!

 

Teams like the Red Sox and Yankees can afford to hemmorhage money because they raise their ticket prices every year by 25% and still sell out every game. The Marlins (and most franchises) can't do that, let's get real. Yes Miami is a big market, but it's not a big sports town like Boston, New York, Philly, Chicago, LA, and San Fran. People in Miami like to go to the beach. People in Boston like to go to baseball games.

 

Finally, I'd much rather have the Marlins spend millions on the stadium than on Gil Meche.

 

So wrong on so many levels.

 

1) The Marlins are not being the great benefactors they'd have you believe. They're offering payment in the form of "future rent payments" meaning that if the stadium doesn't get built, the $200 million they're pledging doesn't exist. In real life terms, they're a college frat asking the owner of a property next door to build a house they can use on that empty property. Because they're a college frat, they don't have the money now, but once the house is built, they'll throw keg parties and stuff like that and use that money to pay the land lord rent. Becuase, eventually, they'll make enough money in their keg parties to come close to paying off maybe half of what the land lord took on, they feel that they themselves are paying for it because that money could have been spent on things like more beer instead of rent. When, in actuality, no house means no keg parties which means no money...so who's really "paying" for it? (And 2003 and Ferry, I realize it's more complicated than this scenario, but in its essence, its really not all that different. If it makes you sleep better, pretend the land lord's at the door getting a sur-charge from the frat and that he makes the frat endure expenses not typically associated with your normal tenant).

 

2) Your idea of sports is so skewed by the "losers" mentality of the piss poor market. Every team in a new stadium that did it "right" (Phillies, Giants, Astros, Tigers, Cardinals...basically everyone who campaigned for a new stadium, got it, and isn't named the Pirates) plays in front of pretty much capacity crowds and weekend sellouts. Some of them, gasp, even have wait lists for season tickets or only sell premium seats as a season ticket. Hell, even teams in old stadiums that desperately need redoing out draw us. Just because people don't go to games in Miami doesn't mean we're not, on paper, a much more desireable market than many of the aforementioned teams. Just from recollection, I believe the Miami/Marlins market is something like the 6th largest media market in MLB and of course Miami is one of the 4 major metropolitan cities in the US (New York, LA, Miami, Chicago)

 

3) Finally, the ownership is too poor to compete. Once the stadium is in place (*knock on wood*) the revenue sharing check Loria receives will be no longer and he instead will be asked to kick money IN. Do you realize the implications of this? A handout turns into an open hand! The spin we're fed on that could leave you dizzy.

 

Plus, your stance also ignores that two of the most notoriously stingy franchises (The A's and Twins) look like the Yankees compared to Jeffrey Loria. And in the case of the A's, the situation is alarmingly similar.

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So wrong on so many levels.

 

1) The Marlins are not being the great benefactors they'd have you believe. They're offering payment in the form of "future rent payments" meaning that if the stadium doesn't get built, the $200 million they're pledging doesn't exist. In real life terms, they're a college frat asking the owner of a property next door to build a house they can use on that empty property. Because they're a college frat, they don't have the money now, but once the house is built, they'll throw keg parties and stuff like that and use that money to pay the land lord rent. Becuase, eventually, they'll make enough money in their keg parties to come close to paying off maybe half of what the land lord took on, they feel that they themselves are paying for it because that money could have been spent on things like more beer instead of rent. When, in actuality, no house means no keg parties which means no money...so who's really "paying" for it? (And 2003 and Ferry, I realize it's more complicated than this scenario, but in its essence, its really not all that different. If it makes you sleep better, pretend the land lord's at the door getting a sur-charge from the frat and that he makes the frat endure expenses not typically associated with your normal tenant).

 

2) Your idea of sports is so skewed by the "losers" mentality of the piss poor market. Every team in a new stadium that did it "right" (Phillies, Giants, Astros, Tigers, Cardinals...basically everyone who campaigned for a new stadium, got it, and isn't named the Pirates) plays in front of pretty much capacity crowds and weekend sellouts. Some of them, gasp, even have wait lists for season tickets or only sell premium seats as a season ticket. Hell, even teams in old stadiums that desperately need redoing out draw us. Just because people don't go to games in Miami doesn't mean we're not, on paper, a much more desireable market than many of the aforementioned teams. Just from recollection, I believe the Miami/Marlins market is something like the 6th largest media market in MLB and of course Miami is one of the 4 major metropolitan cities in the US (New York, LA, Miami, Chicago)

 

3) Finally, the ownership is too poor to compete. Once the stadium is in place (*knock on wood*) the revenue sharing check Loria receives will be no longer and he instead will be asked to kick money IN. Do you realize the implications of this? A handout turns into an open hand! The spin we're fed on that could leave you dizzy.

 

Plus, your stance also ignores that two of the most notoriously stingy franchises (The A's and Twins) look like the Yankees compared to Jeffrey Loria. And in the case of the A's, the situation is alarmingly similar.

 

I beg to differ with your rationale.

 

1. Yes, they're contributing "non-existing" money to pay for their share of the stadium. However, your characterization of it is incorrect. Even though the money does not exist now it will exist and $200M is significant money when you look at it in terms of "rent" or "payments." And if the stadium doesn't get built, then the team isn't here and their $200M will be spent elsewhere, or pocketed because they found other income streams. Your frat house analogy is incorrect. Think of it more like a construction loan. You don't have the money to build a house on a vacant lot. So a bank fronts you the money, which you have to pay back over time. You don't have the money today, but over 20 years that money will go back to pay the bank. Same here, in simple terms. The County fronts the bonds to fund the construction and owns the facility, the team pays rent to the facility as a way to cover the construction costs. Now, if the bank doesn't give me a construction loan, then I don't have a house and the money I would have spent to pay off the loan would not exist either, or I would have gotten a loan to build a house in North Carolina for half that amount and I would have saved half of my expected loan payments. That doesn't mean that I'm still not "contributing." To continue the analogy further, now imagine that on the weekends you're not home, the house is "rented" as a vacation home, except the proceeds of that "rent" goes straight to pay off the construction loan. That's still more money coming in. I'd be upset if the Marlins played at a new facility for "no-rent" or for "nominal rent", but if they're paying a "fair-share" of rent (and by fair-share I mean a percentage of the amount of time they're using the facility) then I don't have a problem with it. But to say they are not contributing because they don't have the money today is not correct.

 

2. Your assertion that Miami is one of the four major metropolitan cities in the United States is down right wrong, if not self-centered and idiotic. Let's just rank the MLB TV markets that are out there to see that Miami doesn't even crack the Top 10:

 

(1) New York City , (2)Los Angeles , (3)Chicago, (4) Philadelphia, (5) San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, (6) Dallas/Ft. Worth, (7) Boston/ Southern New Hampshire, (8) Washington, D.C., (9) Atlanta, (10) Houston, (11) Detroit/Windsor, (12) Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota/Bradenton, (13) Phoenix, (14) Seattle/Tacoma, (15) Minneapolis/St. Paul, (16) Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.

 

That makes South Florida the 16th largest MLB TV market, smack dab in the middle.

 

Then, in terms of metropolitan population, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale does not register in the Top 4 "major metropolitan cities" in the US. While the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach MSA is listed as having a population of 5,422,200, ranking it 6th behind NYC, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas-Fort Worth, you have to remember that the MSA includes the West Palm Beach-Boynton Beach-Boca Raton subgroup. If WPB is to be treated as its own MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area), then Miami-Ft. Lauderdale would barely crack the Top 10. Now take into account other MSAs and you'll see that other markets in MLB are split. If the entire Washington-Baltimore market were combined, it would climb above this MSA. Same would hold true for the Boston-Providence MSAs (Boston and Providence are roughly equidistant to Miami and WPB). So to say we are part of the "Big 4" is wrong. If baseball isn't drawing down here when, on paper, we look good, then the problem isn't with ownership or facilities, it's with the market. There is a reason why Los Angeles has been without the NFL for over 10 years and the city hasn't fallen off the face of the earth. We're talking about "King Sport" in LA, and they seem to be doing just fine!

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This is a non-story.

 

Payroll has nothing to do with winning. I thought we knew that already? The idea of a new ballpark is to allow the team to keep players and to allow the team not to lose money.

 

Are you reall that dense?

 

Payroll has EVERYTHING to do with KEEPING PLAYERS.

 

Payroll has to go up to keep players, that's the concept of escalating contracts.

 

There is a way around that even if some won't like it. Have season ticket holders sign a, say, 10 year contract on their seats. Guarantees at least the same attendance figures for that span of time. And it could also guarantee the same price for those seats for that span of time. With a natural "cost of living" raise every year of course. A win/win, IMO. Didn't I just read someplace that is what the Dolphins do? Thought I read something in the PBP a couple weeks back about those 10 year contracts coming to an end this year and now they are really escalating the prices. Anyone know first hand?

 

Dolphins will give you 1, 3, 5 and 10 year contract options.

 

The Heat also do that with select seats.

 

The Marlins couldn't do it because there's no demand. I love my seats, I know that for a lot of other teams you could never touch my seats and they're passed down in wills, but for the Marlins, right now, you could be my neighbor with a phone call to the team, not a ticket broker. They can't drastically alter the pricing without backlash.

 

What they could do in the new ballpark is sell "seat licensing" which is very similar, but essentially amounts to an endowment to the team in exchange for premium seating. But, the team on the field would have to be worth it for this to be anything other than a minor success. If you were to open the new stadium with the team we have now plus that marquee free agent centerfielder (or whatever) then there may be a fervor around the team that would make this possible, but you can't just limp into a new arena and expect fans to come and open their check-books.

 

The Dolphins can do it because of the tradition of the franchise and the relative affordability of season tickets (Joe average can get "good" season tickets for $800 to the 'fins rather than "ok" season tickets for the Marlins for about the same price...and never have to worry about games going to waste or burn-out). The Heat can do it because Shaq came to town and gave credibility, while Wade'll carry the torch...but the Panthers don't do it, in a shiny new arena (for my money, the nicest place to watch a game in the NHL) why? Because they're awful. If the Marlins keep a $18 million payroll in 2011, they're going to be awful too.

I believe Cape misspoke. A winning team can be accomplished without a large payroll. However, in addition to watching a winning team, fans like to see their favorite players retained. And that's where the revenues from a new stadium help. They give a sense of security for players to make a long-term commitment to the Marlins. And the greater revenues allow the Marlins to grant them the increases in payroll promised by competition.

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By modern MLB standards, Loria's contributions, which are of an EXISTING AND NON-EXISTING nature, are significant. Even more so considering the Marlins' existing revenues and his rumored personal assets.

But those assets won't come into play once a profitable ballpark is built as the entire philosophy of franchise ownership has changed. Teams used to run by wealthy families and run entirely by coaches who were respected former major leaguers. It was more often an act of philantrophy. Now baseball is big business with ties to other big businesses. Owners buy teams as a tax shelter and part of the marketing mix of their other businesses. See the revered McGowan San Francisco project in which the city gave him profitable lands and utilities to support the real estate mogul's plans for a neighborhood anchored by a new ballpark. Or harken back to what has put the Marlins into the position they are in. Huizenga used the Marlins to advance his media interests, selling his cable sports network and the Marlins [to billionaire John Henry, who wouldn't fund the team and sought out the same handouts the significantly poorer Loria is chided for asking for] shortly after renewing their contract together. That's modern Major League Baseball ownership. It's about equal parts of profit and recognition. And to advance those interests, they've rearranged the front office. It's former ballplayers who have acumen, brilliant business managers, computer geeks and trusted assistants (Samson in our case) that run these operations. And they do so as efficiently as possible. Owners and their assistants no longer ask "how can I make this team better?", they ask "how can this team make me better?" or "how can I make this team better to make me better?". When you start thinking about teams in such a context, you don't fund teams any more, you operate them. You construct processes to utilize the team's assets in the most efficient and productive manner. What, if any, private assets that may be drawn upon are expected to have significantly higher returns, thus any private assets would be utilized in stadium construction or marketing. TSwift (and many others') suggestion of investing in player payroll is at best a small return investment (and that's ignoring that there seems to be no definitive link between pay and there are practices in one can exploit that such as relying on arbitration and pre-arbitration talent.)

So, in review: Owners do not, have no interest, and do not benefit from funding a team's payroll.

But TSwift is absolutly right in one respect. There's going to be a loss of supporting funds in coming years. We won't be getting that huge revenue sharing check. And we may end up paying into that pot. Or we may end up getting a smaller slice. Each team is pay into the system, but in the end, it's the 15 top earners of local revenue that see their revenues transferred to the bottom 15. With nearly every team in the league in profitable ballparks and expanding their media networks, local revenues are growing as well as the league and its ventures. Those top 15 aren't be hit hard and very few of those bottom 15 are rely on those funds. It's funny that TSwift, so optimistic of the market (which runs in contrast to his pessimism over what Loria will do differently than other teams did when their stadiums were built or opened), suggests this could be the Marlins' downfall. While the Marlins may not be able to fulfill the whole promise their new stadium and role in South Florida sports would allow, it's going to bring in significant resources to the MARLINS from which their ownership group and assistants can draw from to make the team make them better.

 

One additional point: I am suspicious of the economic impact that stadiums can have, but even its most vocal opponents suggest that simply moving tax revenue from one neighborhood to the next has an effect. In many cities this doesn't mean much, but in this case moving tax revenue from Huizenga's parking lots and businesses along the Broward County border into Dade County will help the county. (But more than their contributions to the project and providing infrastructure long-term? I don't know.)

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