It would take a drug using army the size of the Mexican army to ripped off the taxpayers to the degree that the Miami/Dade taxpayers had been ripped off by the Marlins.
The Absolute Worst
Ask an economist whether the Marlins stadium deal is the worst in baseball history for taxpayers, and he or she will pussyfoot around and then tell you it's hard to say. Comparing complex stadium deals is like trying to stack Mark McGwire's juiced home run stats against the skills of the Babe.
Baloney. We'll go right ahead. It's the worst flipping deal ever.
First off, most cities have extracted far more funds from their teams to build a new park than Miami, where owner Jeffrey Loria will front just short of 30 percent of the $515 million cost. Take baseball-mad St. Louis, where the Cardinals and private investors eventually covered 88 percent of financing for the new Busch Stadium. Or San Diego (43 percent privately financed). Or Detroit (37 percent private).
Yes, there are ballparks that have cost their teams less. Just last year, Washington, D.C., footed the entire bill for the $611 million Nationals Park. But in return, the district gets millions in rent from the team and will share revenue generated by the stadium. In its first year, that added up to almost $17 million for D.C.
That's where Miami loses. The city and county will get almost none of the revenue from the new ballpark. Even worse, Loria and his cronies will keep virtually all the cash from the naming rights. If the deal is similar to those closed recently for the New Jersey Devils and the New York Mets, Loria will cover his entire share of the stadium with that single deal.
Stadiums and ArenasSpectator Sports SectorConsumer Products and ServicesConsumer CyclicalsFlorida MarlinsThen there's this: Miami-Dade County leaders were so incompetent in negotiating the project that they stuck taxpayers with interest rates that would have made a mid-housing-bubble speculator gasp. By the time the bonds are paid off in 40 years, we will have sunk $2.4 billion into the boondoggle. And did we mention the team pays no taxes on the land?
Worst. Deal. Ever.