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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Recap of Day 2 of the Marlins relocation talk

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Maury Brown Posted: November 23, 2005 at 08:33 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, miami

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   1. Maury Brown Posted: November 23, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1744547)
The Marlins will see if another city will help close any funding gap. They were willing to put $212 million toward a new stadium in South Florida, and are believed to be seeking a similar deal elsewhere.

I'll withhold judgement on this until Samson or Loria say this.
   2. Maury Brown Posted: November 23, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1744675)
Also, there is the issue of whether MLB would put a team in Las Vegas as long as the sports books allowed betting on the local team or on baseball.

This is one topic where Goodman waffled. At first he said that betting on baseball would be removed, but here's a smattering of comments since then:
"Look, the only protection any of these sports have against scandal is the regulatory supervision that Nevada gaming imposes on the sports books," says Goodman, irritation climbing in his voice. "Over the years, whenever we have spotted a shift in a line, they have called in the FBI, which comes in and arrests someone who is tampering with the game. Without Nevada doing that, there is really no entity or agency out there that has that responsibility. Without Nevada, there is no telling what would be going on."
On top of that is this issue:
Robert Walker, sports book director for MGM Mirage properties, said he can't envision a scenario where casinos would agree to take baseball games off the betting board.

"I certainly wouldn't want to stop booking baseball to get a major league team. That's a precedent I don't want to see set. You never go back when you start on that path," said Walker, who fears the NCAA or the NBA might make a similar demand.

"I would be opposed to giving up any sports wagering. If you come to Vegas, that's just part of the deal. There is more money bet illegally across the country -- 100 times more -- than there is in Nevada."
   3. fra paolo Posted: November 24, 2005 at 10:27 AM (#1745363)
Does anyone know anything about Loria's political 'pull' in New York city politics? Is he close to anyone there?

I just wonder whether, since Loria's a New York art dealer, the New Jersey idea might be a sleeper bet.

It wouldn't be the first time in baseball history that alliances with NYC pols affected what teams played there.
   4. Maury Brown Posted: November 24, 2005 at 04:03 PM (#1745450)
NJ's seems out of the question. Wilpon and Stienbrenner control the area in Northern NJ. If you think there was noise in Baltimore, imagine what kind of noise would come out of the Yankees and Mets front office if this was discussed. On the relocation of the Expos...

If NJ were a viable option, that's one location that many felt was a better fit as a relocation jurisdiction. The thorns in the location are a large reason why it never moved out of the conceptual.
   5. Jake Taylor Posted: November 24, 2005 at 08:24 PM (#1745651)
I just wonder whether, since Loria's a New York art dealer, the New Jersey idea might be a sleeper bet.

I just have a hard time seeing it work in New Jersey. Forget the incredible opposition that the Mets and Yankees would surely put up, but do the Marlins even want to go there? Any baseball fan in that region already has a team he/she roots for. What kind of support would a new team in the region really receive. It'd be like when the Mets or Cubs go to Dolphins Stadium x 100 - there'd be nobody rooting for the home team.

Personally, I think the best option for a team trying to relocate now is to go to a city in which it's the first Major League sport in town, even if it's not a huge market (and none of them are at this point). The level of excitement and support the team would get as the first top level sports team in town (and having a monopoly on the city's major league sports dollars) would make up for the overall lack of market size. Portland has only the Trail Blazers and thus is somewhat close to this situation. Norfolk doesn't have anything, so that might be an even better situation for the team. Vegas, obviously, doesn't have anything either, but that's a bit of a unique situation b/c it's not like there's a lack of entertainment options.
   6. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: November 24, 2005 at 09:14 PM (#1745688)
Thanks a lot for this mega-update Maury. Now go eat some turkey!
   7. Flynn Posted: November 25, 2005 at 02:22 AM (#1745857)

I just have a hard time seeing it work in New Jersey. Forget the incredible opposition that the Mets and Yankees would surely put up, but do the Marlins even want to go there? Any baseball fan in that region already has a team he/she roots for. What kind of support would a new team in the region really receive. It'd be like when the Mets or Cubs go to Dolphins Stadium x 100 - there'd be nobody rooting for the home team.


The convienence of not having to go in the Holland or Lincoln Tunnel nor over the GW to go to a ballgame would win fans over pretty quickly. Obviously for Met or Phillies games it would be a little interesting, but never underestimate the ability for people to be parochial. Jersey's always been kind of the redheaded stepchild of New York, and a team to call their own would be pretty persuasive. They'd take a few years to build a fanbase, but don't all expansion teams basically face this problem?

Considering the Northeast is still America's strongest market for MLB, I think finding fans in NJ wouldn't be that hard. I could see the possibility of an NJ franchise totally botching it, but I don't think the margin for error is any smaller in NJ than in Vegas or anywhere else - in fact, larger.
   8. fra paolo Posted: November 25, 2005 at 09:24 AM (#1746069)
NJ's seems out of the question.

That's my point, though. It seems to me everyone is discounting NJ for the reasons you suggest, Maury. And rightly.

I'm talking about the equivalent of a longshot bet that is worth making. And if Loria has some political clout in the NY metro area, he might be able to pull it off in a way that Arte Moreno, a Westerner, could not.

No-one seems to know if Loria is well connected to NY pols. (Although doesn't he have some family link to the Bewigged Satan?) I doubt he is, since it seems he used his now-estranged wife's money to buy into the Expos. But if he is, we've got the Orioles-to-Highlanders precedent as an example of how the right political connexions can lead to a third team in the New York metropolitan area.
   9. Phil Coorey. Posted: November 25, 2005 at 10:03 AM (#1746075)
Awesome update Maury, thanks very much. What was a complex issue for me is now a lit simpler.

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