Former professional baseball player turned businessman and philanthropist Alex Rodriguez is reportedly interested in buying the Miami Marlins.
According to New York Post, sources close to the 14-time All-Star suggested that he would proceed with the purchase if the price was right.
The current owner of the Marlins, Bruce Sherman, who purchased the team five years ago for $1.2 billion from Jeffrey Loria, appeared to have enjoyed his time as chairman and majority owner. However, both he and his partners seemed to be displeased over Miami’s financial sheet. Thus, the Post also reported that Sherman was keen on selling the franchise.
Miami’s disappointing financial sheet
Sherman and his partners were reportedly upset that the Marlins were not doing great financially. Miami failed to excel not only in financial matters but also in the rate of fan attendance.
In 2019, Miami recorded up to 30 percent or roughly 15,000 fans in a game. While ESPN’s 2019 Attendance Report shows that Miami has the lowest average in home, road, and overall game attendance.
That year, the Marlins only made 10,016, 27,812, and 18,858 respectively. Those numbers might look outstanding, but the franchise sits at the very bottom of the list.
Things got worse for Miami in 2021 as these numbers dropped to a few percent. This year, however, there have been signs of recovery for Marlin’s fan attendance rate.
In addition to the declining rate of fan attendance, the Marlins had a few unnecessary expenditures, such as removing the Miami-cool Red Grooms homer sculpture from inside the ballpark. For the record, the statue was worth $3.5 million.
Rodriguez keen to purchase Marlins
The declining rate of fan attendance means less revenue made from ticket sales. This could have been a strong reason why Sherman thinks releasing the franchise he owned for five years is the right decision.
Despite the Marlins’ poor financial performance, Rodriguez, who also happened to be a part-owner of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, has been reported to be interested in purchasing the team.
Rodriguez said earlier, however, that he only would proceed depending on the price. The former shortstop reportedly partnered with New York businessman Wayne Rothbaum, who lost to Sherman and Derek Jeter in a bid to purchase the Marlins. Jeter stepped down as Miami CEO early this year.
Jeter’s absence could mean a great thing for potential buyers like Rodriguez and Rothbaum. Despite the challenging opportunity in Miami, there might be great opportunities on the team.
Rodriguez and fellow businessman Marc Lore managed to turn the Timberwolves’ watch rating to 50 percent in the first year of ownership. He could translate the same success to Miami.
Rodriguez has long been reported to be eager to expand his business in MLB, even prior to reports claiming that he was keen to purchase the Marlins. In 2020, the 46-year-old tried to bid for his favorite team, the New York Mets.
Unfortunately, he was defeated by American hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, who won the bidding war with a $2.45 billion paycheck. Cohen is now the majority owner of the Mets, holding roughly 97.2 percent of the team’s.
At the moment, however, the Marlins are not up for sale. A bidding war for the franchise would not be one that is trivial. Reportedly, one anonymous potential buyer has shown an interest in the team, with $1.2 billion at the ready for the purchase.