BOB: SEC to investigate Miami Marlins stadium dealby Brian Borawski
December 21, 2011
CBA changes: realignmentMLB commissioner Bud Selig wants to go to two 15-team leagues. That pretty much means constant interleague play and, from what I understand, more of it. To even out the leagues, the Houston Astros are going to join their intrastate rival, the Texas Rangers, in the American League West. We won't know what the schedule for 2013 will look like until this time next year, but it should be very interesting. A committee is being formed to work on the scheduling formula.
SEC to look at Marlins stadium dealWhether you like the Miami Marlins new uniforms and logo (they're starting to grow on me), it's not all rainbows and sunshine now because the Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed some records from Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami over their ballpark deal with the Marlins. They're looking at the $500 million in bond sales, and they're also going to look at campaign contributions to local and state elected leaders.
The various entities have until Jan. 6, 2012, to deliver all of the documents, which go all the way back to 2007. The SEC is also looking at documents related to the surrounding parking garages.
What's interesting is, it looks like the city and county are both saying a lot of the requested documents sit with the Marlins, but the team hasn't been given a subpoena to date. Experts say that the SEC is looking to make sure the city and county did their proper due diligence and also to make sure there wasn't any influence peddling.
Mets get $40 million more in bank loansThe New York Mets were forced to go outside the league to receive a $40 million loan from a major bank in the past few weeks. The Mets are calling it a bridge loan that will keep them going until they can sell a minority stake in the team. This is the second time the Mets have needed a large loan to keep them going; the last time—about a year ago—they got $25 million from MLB.
A large reason behind the loan is because a minority sale to hedge fund manager David Einhorn fell through. That would have given the team a $200 million infusion. Now, instead of one big sale, they want to chop that up into ten $20 million minority stakes. Bank of America was the source of the most recent loan, and the league signed off on it.
Barry Bonds dodges prison sentenceBarry Bonds was found guilty of providing evasive testimony to a federal grand jury, and his sentence finally was handed down. The judge didn't give him prison time, but he has to serve 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service with youth groups and pay a $4,000 fine.
Of course, this can't be the end because Bonds is going to appeal the decision. For now, Bonds doesn't have to serve the sentence during the appeal process. The prosecution was looking for a 15-month prison sentence. Some of the reasons given for the lighter sentence were Bonds' charitable work and his lack of a criminal record.
Frank McCourt pitches Dodgers to prospective ownersFrank McCourt took the next step in selling the Los Angeles Dodgers by sending the “bid book” to all of the prospective buyers for the team. At the top of the list for getting more out of the team is ticket prices. He talks about how the Dodgers are tenth in the league in ticket prices despite being in the second-biggest market. The bid book is there to help prospective owners figure out if they want to take part in the auction.
According to the book, the Dodgers took in $240 million in revenue and had a net income before debt payments of $2 million. The bid book also talks about the $14 million rent payment the Dodgers have to pay to another entity McCourt owns, and that amount is scheduled to go up in 2015.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.