Miami Marlins Bondholders Win as Fans Cry Swindle (Bloomberg News)

November 19, 2012 – Baseball’s Miami Marlins won public support for a $515 million stadium by saying they couldn’t compete without it. Now, after the team capped its worst season in more than a decade by trading high-priced players, taxpayers on the hook for ballpark costs are angry. “It looks like they just looted the city,” said Michael Cramer, director of the sports and media program at the University of Texas in Austin and former president of the Texas Rangers baseball team. “It doesn’t smell right, but as a business person looking at that team, I probably would have been real tempted to do the same thing.” Taxpayer backing means investors in municipal bonds that Miami-Dade County and the city sold for the stadium that opened this year will get paid no matter how the team performs. The debt has gained along with the $3.7 trillion local-debt market this month even after the team logged the worst attendance for a new stadium’s first season in 11 years.

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