Tackling the fallout from the leaked MLB financial documents

The last couple of days, I’ve become pretty obsessed with the reporting Deadspin.com has done thanks to leaked financial documents from a number of Major League Baseball teams.

Deadspin has links to a number of opinions on the matter. Two of my favorites are Yahoo’s Jeff Passan calling out Florida Marlins management, and Maury Brown of FanGraphs wondering what this all means for revenue sharing.

The fact that a team like the Marlins made $49 million over the last two years, yet held Miami-Dade County hostage for a new stadium, isn’t a big surprise. That’s how pro stadiums are built these days, with a few exceptions.

Passan’s column will make your stomach turn. He really goes into detail on the stadium deal that will give the Marlins a new Miami ballpark in 2012. Here’s an excerpt that will make you squirm:

Such sentiments are echoed when looking at the Marlins’ deal. One of the county’s loans is particularly egregious. According to the Miami Herald, J.P. Morgan gave a $91 million note – $80 million of which will go toward construction – that from 2041-47 will cost $118 million per year. In all, the county will spend $1.2 billion to pay off $91 million.

That seems hard to believe. How can a deal like that happen? No wonder our country’s economy is in the shape that it’s in.

I don’t know how it would be governed, but if I was a politician on a national level, I would push for no more public funding for stadiums of elite professional sports leagues. I’ve long felt that way.

The only reason a taxpayer wants to fund a stadium so athletes who makes millions and millions of dollars can play in it is because they want to keep up with the Joneses. If Minnesota doesn’t pay for a Vikings stadium, Los Angeles will, and the Vikings will leave.

This idea that pro sports teams can’t afford to build stadiums is insane. But what are local and state governments to do when a team threatens to move?

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