Sports team owners have long leveraged their franchises to get cities to fight over the privilege of being their hosts. Who usually wins in these fights? Typically team owners. Who usually loses? Typically taxpayers.
Even when there are attempts to reduce the liability to taxpayers. See what happened in Pittsburgh with the new Penguins’ stadium.
It has been over a year since Deadspin leaked financial documents of the Florida Marlins that contradicted statements by team owner Jeffrey Loria that his team lost lots of money. After he used those statements to convince Miami-Dade County Supervisors to build him a new stadium. And after Miami-Dade County took loans that would essentially cost county residents $2.4 billion over 40 years. It finally seems that the Federal government, via the Security And Exchange Commission, is going to take an active role in investigating the information divide, which also involves Major League Baseball.
What does this mean for the future? I would not be surprised if the SEC began investigating the financial records of other baseball teams after it finishes with the Marlins. Of course, the backlash against publicly funded stadiums has been growing for year. Maybe, it will finally come to an end, or at least slow down. And this does not simply pertain to MLB. All sports stadiums are fair game.
[image via South Florida Baseball]