The SEC to Investigate the Marlins’ Stadium Deal

From Jeff Passan at Yahoo! sports:

The Security and Exchange Commission on Thursday launched guided warheads at the Marlins, requesting the team’s financial records, communications with MLB officials including commissioner Bud Selig, minutes of meetings with local government leaders and political campaign-contribution information, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

While the subpoenas issued by the SEC do not explicitly detail the purpose of the investigation, the feds’ motives are evident: They want to understand how, exactly, a group of county commissioners agreed to fund 80 percent of the Marlins new stadium, which cost more than $600 million, without ever seeing the team’s financial records – and whether bribes had anything to do with it.

And then there’s this:

Still, the involvement of Selig and baseball’s former COO, Bob DuPuy – known widely as the stadium rainmaker – does not portend well for baseball. If indeed the SEC pursues a case, the discovery process could expose the underbelly of the stadium swindle and intertwine MLB with the sort of political ugliness that often accompanies deals of this magnitude.

And it’s not just MLB.  The incentives that lead to the sorts of shady deals alleged to have happened in Miami are at work in other leagues.   I don’t know if these allegations change stadium negotiations in other cities or if there are similar investigations going on elsewhere, but taxpayers have been getting raw deals for decades.  Hopefully it will make governments and team owners think twice before doing something shady to get a new stadium at taxpayer expense.  But I’m not holding my breath.

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Author: Phil Miller

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2 thoughts on “The SEC to Investigate the Marlins’ Stadium Deal”

  1. I don’t know the particulars in this case, but in my line of work (not directly related to sports, but related to municipalities and their financial dealings), we have heard about the SEC (actually, have heard from the SEC at our professional conferences) looking into what is and is not said in prospectuses, etc. for municipal bonds, which is where the SEC has authority. Meaning, Miami, New Jersey and Paducah, KY can build a stadium of any size and of any cost for anyone they choose to, BUT they have to be very truthful and transparent in the documents the file with the SEC and that are to be used by potential investors in their securities. The latter is the problem, not the former, as far as the SEC s concerned.

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