Current Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria reportedly has a pending agreement to sell the team for over $1 billion. Since 2003, when the 76-year-old Loria became the owner, the Marlins have consistently been one of the least competitive teams in Major League Baseball.
Before he became the top dog down in Miami, Loria was busy ruining another city’s professional baseball team as he was previously the owner of the Montreal Expos.
Loria was the primary owner of the Expos for only a few years, but it did not take long for him to ruffle some feathers. After failing to get a new stadium deal in Montreal, he eventually sold the team back to Major League Baseball in 2002 as part of an agreement with the league that allowed him to purchase the Marlins.
There is no longer a professional baseball team that calls Montreal home after the team relocated to Washington, D.C. in 2005. Many who were around the Expos during Loria’s time as the owner place the blame squarely on his shoulders for the team leaving town.
His very first season with the Marlins seemed like a sign of great things to come, with Loria leading the way as the team won the 2003 World Series. But that season was also the last time the franchise has made the playoffs.
Since then, Miami has never made the postseason and has only finished a year with a winning record four times in the past 13 seasons.
During that time, Loria did absolutely nothing to keep his team competitive. The Marlins payroll was always among the league’s lowest each year and the team never had enough talent to challenge the better teams in baseball.
“Buffoon (Marlins) owner Jeffrey Loria profits from being meddlesome, greedy, incompetent and despicable.”
It was later found that Loria’s intentions to keep the team’s payroll incredibly low were done in order for him to make a personal profit off of the franchise.
With their lack of success also came a lack of people attending their games. In Loria’s whole tenure as Miami’s owner, the team’s average attendance per season has ranked higher than 26th in the league just once.
Yet somehow, he convinced the city to approve the construction of a new stadium in 2012 that cost over $600 million. Perhaps it had something to do with the threats of relocation by Loria in 2005 and 2006?
Not only did he get the stadium built, he managed to do with the Marlins organization only having to cover about 20 percent of the total cost. Somehow the Miami owner with an estimated nine-digit net worth was able to get the team’s city and county to fork over more than $500 million in funding for the construction of the new facility.
Following 40 years of payments, the stadium’s expected final cost is expected to be around $2.4 billion due to the interest accumulated during that time.
The new building did nothing to change the team’s success or lack of attendance. Since the Marlins’ first season at the stadium in 2012, the team has never finished higher than third in their division and the team still remains at the bottom of the league each year in terms of average attendance.
Now Loria is preparing to make the ultimate profit with his sale of the team for around a reported $1.6 billion to an unknown New York City businessman.
Will a new owner lead to the franchise actually existing as a competitive part of Major League Baseball rather than just another way to make a dollar? Whatever ends up happening, it cannot possibly get much worse than what has gone on during Loria’s tenure as the team’s owner.
Or can it?