Last week, news broke that former Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria along with the new ownership group (Bruce Sherman-Derek Jeter) were being taken to court by Miami-Dade County. The argument at hand is whether or not the Marlins/Loria owe the county some money after the franchise was sold for $1.2 billion.
Back in 2009, the county came to an agreement with Loria's Marlins to build Marlins Park with up to $500 million of public, tax-funded money. The agreement stated that Loria owed the county five percent of would-be profits from selling the club within 10 years. He did sell it for the aforementioned $1.2 billion after purchasing the club for $158 million in 2002.
For Loria's part, he's claimed a paper loss, once accounting for taxes, transaction costs, expenses and other miscellany. It's hard to see all that adding up to over a billion dollars, though, so it doesn't really pass the smell test.
Sure enough, it appears the county won its first battle on Thursday afternoon. Here's the news from Miami mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
Today, the court ruled that the Marlins breached their contract and failed to provide the County with the detailed information regarding the County’s equity share that was required. I welcome the court's decision and Jeffrey Loria must now comply with the ruling. 1/2— Carlos A. Gimenez (@MayorGimenez) February 22, 2018
Although it is the first step in what will be a longer process, today's court decision is a positive one for the residents and taxpayers of Miami Dade County. 2/2— Carlos A. Gimenez (@MayorGimenez) February 22, 2018
As Gimenez says, the legal proceedings will take a while, but this is very good news for the taxpayers in Miami-Dade County, the overwhelming majority of whom never wanted to pay extra taxes to fund a new ballpark anyway.