Miami Mayor wants MLB to intervene in Marlins sell-off
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Miami Marlins fans are not the only ones furious with team owner Jeffrey Loria. So is the mayor of Miami.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said Thursday that he plans to throw a pitch to ask Major League Baseball to take a closer look at Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria's deal with the Toronto Blue Jays to trade players.
"They have to comply," said Regalado. "They have to give us a team who will be competitive, that everybody will be proud of."
He wants top MLB officials to think twice before approving the deal that will send top Marlins players to the Blue Jays. "I'm writing a letter to the Major League asking them to intervene, to make them understand that the people of Miami had very high hopes and spent a lot of money to build this stadium, and they have to comply."
It's not secret Regalado is not a fan of Loria. He now wonders whether Loria is working in the best interest of his own team and the tax payers who spent millions of dollars investing in a stadium near Downtown Miami. "I think Loria is a business person," said the mayor, "and because he's a business person he has a lot of money. But this is not 100 percent about business. This is about the image of South Florida. This is about the fans."
Loria secured the Marlins ballpark through public financing. Much of the $600 million cost of building the structure came from tax payers, although the building will cost $2.4 billion as the decades pass. Elected officials who voted against the deal are now saying, "I told you so." "That's not what the fans of Miami-Dade County were promised when the Marlins built the stadium," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
Three city commissioners voted for the stadium, two against it, including Marc Sarnoff, who predicted this: "My guess is," said Sarnoff, "and this might be speculation on my part, it's probably a team that's going to be sold, and that might be the best scenario for all of us."
Jeffrey Loria was asked on Wednesday if this would set up a possible sale of the team, he said. "Absolutely not. That's more stupidity."
The mayor said if that is the case, more needs to be done to bring a winning team to South Florida. "The City of Miami and the county invested in the Marlins, and the Marlins apparently don't want to invest in Miami," said Regalado.
The mayor plans on working on the draft of that letter today and said he will get it out to before the weekend.
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