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County not expecting Loria to share profits from Marlins sale

MiamiHerald / Jeffrey Loria’s lawyers have told Miami-Dade County not to expect any profit-sharing revenue from last year’s $1.2 billion sale of the Miami Marlins, according to documents released Friday.

The 2008 county agreement that had Miami-Dade fund the bulk of the $515 million government-owned stadium in Little Havana gave Miami-Dade and Miami the right to 5 percent of any profits Loria and partners may reap if they sold the team within 10 years. But Loria could deduct team debt, certain expenses and taxes tied to a sale, and county officials and team executives were privately predicting Loria wouldn’t agree to give up any of his revenue from the October sale to Derek Jeter and partners. Loria bought the Marlins in 2002 for $158 million, and it’s described by the league and current ownership as a money-losing franchise.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who voted against the 2008 financing deal as a county commissioner, said Friday the county may sue to collect revenue he thinks taxpayers are owed from the sale. Miami is eligible for a smaller portion of profits under the original deal, since the city paid for the garages around the stadium. Gimenez told reporters he rejected Loria’s suggestion there are no profits to share with taxpayers after the sale and that he probably walked away “with hundreds of millions of dollars in his pocket.”

“My message is that this community really allowed you to make a lot of money,” Gimenez said. “He should do the right thing. He made profits, and he made big profits. He should share that with the people who allowed him to do that.”

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