- Jon Heyman of FanRagSports obtained an email sent to many wealthy individuals from the Miami Marlins.
- The Derek Jeter-led ownership group is said to be hoping to raise as much as $US250 million.
- The email outlines how the team expects to improve the finances of the Marlins.
In late September, Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Miami Marlins to a group led by Derek Jeter. Two months later, the group is already seeking new investors, according to an email obtained by Jon Heyman.
Heyman published an email from the Marlins titled “Project Citrus” and labelled “confidential.” The email offered the recipient an opportunity to invest in the Marlins. According to Heyman, this email or similar emails were sent to “many high-net-worth individuals.”
While this email did not specify how much money the group was looking to raise, other sources told Heyman that the group is looking to raise $US250 million. That amount would represent approximately 20% of the $US1.2 billion sale.
Sources suggested to Heyman that it is “unusual” for a group to seek money this soon after the purchase of a team. The money may be needed to offset losses the team is expected to experience until they get the ship righted.
The email published by Heyman does outline how the group hopes to “substantially increase cash flow” for the Marlins. The list includes:
- Improve attendance.
- A new local TV deal.
- Sell naming rights to Marlins Park and other “major advertising and sponsorship opportunities” inside the park.
- Non-baseball events, such as concerts.
- “Player payroll discipline” including a focus on improving the farm system.
The email also outlines why the Marlins should be considered an attractive investment, noting that the team plays in a state-of-the-art ballpark with a team-friendly lease, the club has been “undermanaged” in the past, MLB revenue sharing, and an opportunity to improve the public perception of the club.
The last point was highlighted by referencing “comments from select team representatives on sensitive topics (e.g. Fidel Castro).” This refers to the controversial comments by former manager Ozzie Guillen. In 2012, Guillen was suspended for five games after saying he loved Castro. Guillen later said his words came out wrong in English.
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