Get it in writing

Just before a critical vote on their taxpayer-funded playground, the Marlins are making promises:

With final voting on the Florida Marlins’ long-sought ballpark less than two weeks away, club president David Samson says he expects near-capacity crowds nightly the first year in the team’s new home, with annual attendance above 2 million for at least seven seasons.

Such an increase for the attendance-challenged Marlins would allow them to climb into the middle of the major league pack in player payroll, Samson said Monday.

“As soon as our revenues goes up, our payroll will go up,” Samson said at a luncheon to promote the upcoming season. “In the new ballpark, our payroll will always match our revenues, but our revenues will be higher.”

The Marlins have been last or next-to-last in the majors in payroll each of the past three years. In 2008 payroll was $22 million, while the median in the big leagues was $80 million.

“This is not a small-market team,” Samson said. “It has been a low-revenue team. Miami and its surrounding counties to me are at least a mid- to above-average market. If we can get the revenue that should go along with that size market, then we certainly should be at least in the mid-range.”

I’ll believe it when I see it. I have zero faith that a team owned by Jeff Loria will pay one penny more in payroll than it takes to field a team that doesn’t actually forfeit games. If they build that stadium, I expect them to skate on the novelty of the joint for a year or so, then complain that pre-construction revenue projections were unduly optimistic, while continuing to ship off the decent players the baseball operations side always manages to unearth prior to arbitration.

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  1. GBS said...

    What a great approach, blaming the customers for your faulty product.  I thought the way things usually worked was to invest in and develop your product, market it to the masses, and if it’s good enough people will buy it.  Boy, my econ, sales and marketing profs were idiots.

  2. Ron said...

    Could this have anything to do with the fact that Bud and Loria are good buddies, and he gets to run the Marlins into the ground?

    Meanwhile, Mark Cuban is denied any opportunity to participate in the good ole boy network, mostly because he isn’t one of the good ole boys.

    There’s were the collusion is, not in the free agent signings.

  3. Pete Toms said...

    Next up, how much will the money cost?  We all know money is more expensive than it was…that’s gonna inflate the $515 million estimate ( we all know these things always come in over budget anyway )..

    As for the attendance boost…yes there will be one, how could there not?…but the size and length of it?….again, we all know (including Samson) that the attendane upticks from these “retro” parks has been steadily on the decline…

    And, one last thing, who the hell is gonna buy the naming rights?  (Samson should have a chat with Ted Lerner)

  4. Pete Toms said...

    Field of Schemes isn’t 100% certain that this is a slam dunk, somethin about politicians gettin cold feet about getting their contribution back via tourism taxes (never seemed to bother their peers in other parts of the country)…maybe that’s code for questioning if they want to be seen helping out billionaire owners and millionaire employees…it’s not a good time to be doin this stuff…

  5. MooseinOhio said...

    Gotta give Samson credit for selling it hopefully we can give voters credit for not buying it.

    As for Loria it’s really hard for me to have any sympathy for him and his apparent ‘plight’ as an owner.  From my understanding of his past dealings in Montreal that resulted in law suits and the underhanded way he help to manipulated the sale of the Expos and purchase of the Marlin I hope he struggles mightly and is forced to sell.  Of course he’d certainly make money on the deal so he would get a win but I also believe fans of the Marlins (or whatever they will be call in Portland) would get a win as well.

  6. APBA Guy said...

    Pete’s suggestion that Loria have a talk with the Lerners is probably unnecessary. The Lerner’s refusal to pay rent on their new DC stadium despite playing all their home games there is a new low in ownership, something that Loria can aspire to eclipse.

    Of course another questions is how much revenue sharing money is Loria getting now? He has to be making a tremendous profit on the Marlins, with TV rights, attendance, etc, plus revenue sharing, then subtract the actual cost of the team and baseball operations.

    The old Oakland ownership was rumored to pocket around $ 6M at the end of each year, plus whatever profit they actually reinvested. Their payrolls were in the $ 60M range. So with the Marlins payroll at under $ 30M….

  7. Pete Toms said...

    @APBA – My wisecrack that Loria and Lerner talk was meant to reference Lerner’s inability to sell his naming rights…that cash cow ain’t what it was….BTW, Lerner’s deal with DC makes Loria look like he’s getting ripped off in comparison.

  8. VanderBirch said...

    It’s people like Loria that are ruining baseball, not the Yankees. I find both him and Samson insufferable.

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