If you want to feel a mix of sympathy and pity towards Miami-Dade County, then this is a great day for you. Because — and you’ll never believe this — they trusted Jeffrey Loria about something money related and now it’s blowing up in their faces.
Who would have thought? Personally, I am stunned. This shocked me right out of my shoes [insert the most emphatic of eye rolls here].
According to a report from the Miami Herald, the county won’t get a share of the profits from the sale of the Miami Marlins. Based on a deal that was made when the county funded the majority of new stadium costs in 2008, it was entitled to 5 percent of any profits Loria received should he sell the team within 10 years. 2017 is within 10 years of 2008, and yet it looks like the county won’t be getting a dime out of the $1.2 billion sale.
Of course, there’s a clause that Loria is using to get himself out of any profit-sharing commitments, mainly that under the 2008 deal he could,
... deduct team debt, certain expenses and taxes tied to a sale, and county officials and team executives privately predicted Loria wouldn’t agree to give up any of his revenue from the October sale to Derek Jeter and partners.
So Loria is claiming that millions of dollars of expenses and sale-related fees left him with no profits at all. Yeah, sure buddy.
Without factoring in any legitimate expenses or deductions that happened with the sale, Miami’s share of pure sale profits works out to around $52.1 million based on Loria’s original purchase price of $158 million.
It’s a small piece of the pie when it comes to the sale, but not such a meaningless drop in the bucket when you consider the county will eventually pay out hundreds of millions more for the construction of the ballpark after factoring in the loans it took out to finance it in the first place.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez expressed his impatience by calling out Loria’s claim that he walked away with no profits at all and that the team was a money-losing investment, saying that he ended up “with hundreds of millions of dollars in his pocket.” He showed his dissatisfaction with the situation by insisting Loria share the goods.
“My message is that this community really allowed you to make a lot of money. He should do the right thing. He made profits, and he made big profits. He should share that with the people who allowed him to do that.”
Gimenez was a county commissioner way back in 2008 when the deal was first struck, voting no all the way back then. So he’s one of the few people that gets to say “told you so” about this mistake since he presumably saw a few ways in which it could blow back on the county.
He looks a little silly now saying Loria should “do the right thing,” since that’s not really something you would associate with Jeffrey Loria, but I’ll give Gimenez some credit for his foresight nearly a decade ago. The rest of the county’s leadership doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt, especially since they didn’t confirm their cut before Loria cashed the check.
Reading the reports about the county assuming Loria would eventually give them money out of his own pocket is like a friend telling you that the guy she’s seeing promises that he’ll be exclusive in a few months. He promises. He just needs some time to get used to a relationship. Which obviously means that he’s going to stall for time and make up excuses and then break up with her when he’s pressured about that promise, which is what everyone foresaw happening except for the optimist in the center of the imminent train wreck.
Or like when you continue to pay for part of a “friend’s” bar tab every time you go out because they claim they’re broke, only for you to see they bought four new video games and a week’s worth of expensive takeout the next time you’re at their apartment. But then next time you’re out together you chip in for drinks again because they promise they’ll Venmo you back this time. Who’s the sucker in that situation? Yep, exactly.
Or that one person at work who never buys the pizza when your department has a big project due and has to stay late because their corporate card has been acting up or whatever, but they’ll definitely pick up the tab next time so nobody else has to submit an extra expense for the fifth time in a row. And then when next time comes around it’s 11 o’clock at night and someone mysteriously forgot their corporate card at home and can’t even go pick up a late night coffee order because their fifth metatarsal is sort of hurting.
There are a lot of annoyingly terrible people to whom you could compare Loria, is what I’m saying.
He’s the worst. This is the same guy who forced the county to pay for the stadium in the first place with money they didn’t have, screwed the Expos over to turn a profit, somehow got an interest-free loan from the league for part of the Marlins’ purchase even though he’s a billionaire, and continuously resorts to threats and flimsy ultimatums whenever he doesn’t get his way.
Why would you ever trust this man to give you money back?! It’s mind boggling.
That the county didn’t see this coming, and in fact allowed a clause in the deal that would get him off the profit sharing hook, is naive at best and downright pathetic at worst. It should have been scouring that contract for loopholes by which Loria could screw it over. Instead, it gave him a Mack truck-sized loophole to drive through on the way to freedom with its share of the money in a duffel bag in the backseat.
It’s the county’s own fault, and it’s hilariously sad that it fell for this again.