Ex-Marlins owner Loria reaches settlement on sale dispute

Author: The Associated Press
This April 11, 2017 photo shows Miami Marlins owner and CEO Jeffrey Loria waiting for the start of a baseball game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria reached a lawsuit settlement to reimburse the local government $4.2 million for the cost of building Marlins Park, which opened in 2012.

The payment stems from the $1.2 billion sale of the team in 2017 by Loria to Derek Jeter and his ownership group. In 2009, the local government agreed to help pay for the ballpark in exchange for Loria’s pledge to share profits if he later sold the team.

Following the sale, Loria claimed a loss on the deal due to taxes, which the county described as “fuzzy math.”

The settlement follows months of negotiations. Miami-Dade County will receive $3.637 million, or 87% of the settlement, and the city of Miami will receive $563,000, according to terms outlined on the county website.

The 2009 agreement called for Loria to pay 5% of net proceeds from the sale of the team. Public money covered more than three-fourths of the $634 million for Marlins Park.

The county commission will consider approving the settlement at a meeting Tuesday. It was signed by David Samson, who was team president when Loria owned the Marlins.

Samson declined to comment. The Marlins’ current owners also declined to comment, but have contended the suit had nothing to do with them.

Loria, 80, bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 and became wildly unpopular because of his frugal ownership and perennially losing teams. Last year, in Jeter’s third season as CEO, the Marlins reached the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

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