BOB: Marlins stadium update and a breakthrough in China

Marlins move closer to obtaining hand out

The Florida Marlins, after getting shut out in this year’s legislative session, appears to be close to obtaining $50 million for a new stadium from Miami-Dade County. A citizen’s advisory panel that is responsible with overseeing the distribution of the county’s bond money agreed last week to let the Marlins use the $50 million that was allocated for the renovation of the now vacant Orange Bowl. A resolution was supposed to be taken up yesterday that would instruct the county manager and mayor of Miami to use all of the available money to negotiate with the ball club.

As this report went to press, the resolution hadn’t been approved, but the county has been very sympathetic with the Marlins up until this point so approval is probable. The next hurdle would seem to be a slam dunk because a committee chaired by Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who has been consistently on the side of the Marlins, must agree to the proposal and then the matter will go to the full county commission for acceptance.

MLBI to bring World Series to China for first time

Major League Baseball International and the Shanghai Media Group reached a three-year agreement that should increase MLB’s exposure in the People’s Republic of China. As part of the agreement, the 2007 World Series will be shown live on Great Sports, the country’s equivalent of ESPN. The deal was actually launched in July with the 2007 All-Star Game and it also provides Chinese viewers with a China-specific edition of This Week in Baseball.

MLB to break $6 billion mark in total revenue

I touched on this in a past report, but it looks like MLB will, for the first time, break the $6 billion mark in total revenue. This is just shy of the $6.3 billion that the National Football League is expected to make and as this story indicates, it’s a personal goal of Bud Selig’s to blow past the NFL.

Also part of the story is the fact that the league shared $345 million in revenue in the 2007 season. The league is touting its parity once again with revenue sharing at the forefront. They also point to the fact that the league is more of a success because of three of the four teams to make the League Championship Series were in the bottom third in payroll. Only the Boston Red Sox, who are second behind the New York Yankees in total payroll, made it to the final four with a top tier payroll.

Orioles worth more then ever despite losing

Despite their tenth consecutive losing season and near record low attendance at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles are worth more then ever. A Baltimore-based investment firm recently valued the Orioles at $400 million; the team also owns 90% of the Mid Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which is also valued at another $400 million. Angelos was given the stake in MASN in exchange for the relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C. into what he considered his territory.

This isn’t too bad considering Angelos paid $173 million just 14 years ago. Of course that value could go up even more if the Orioles field a winning team and see a direct correlation in their attendance numbers.

MLBAM loses appeal in stats case

In a split 2-1 decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of Judge Mary Ann Medler, who had decided in favor of CBC, a company that runs fantasy baseball leagues on their website. At issue was Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s (MLBAM) claim that they have the ability to control who uses baseball statistics and players names. The one dissenting opinion came from Judge Steven Colloton, who didn’t disagree with CBC’s claim of First Amendment protection, but took with the fact that CBC initially signed a contract with MLBAM to pay fees but then backed out and filed a lawsuit instead.

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