Can Derek Jeter Make The Marlins Wildly Profitable?
Since acquiring the Miami Marlins with an ownership group for $1.2 Billion, Derek Jeter has received a non-stop assault in the press. Jeter immediately dismantled the team when he arrived, trading away Giancarlo Stanton, the team's biggest star and breaking many Miami hearts in the process. The fans deserted him, with attendance dropping by nearly half in 2018 as the club lost 98 games. This year has not been better, with the team on pace to lose 100 games. However, there are a number of bright spots.
In an attempt to increase attendance, Jeter's ownership team has invested $15 million to improve the fan experience in the stadium. This will be notable to Miami fans who criticized the previous ownership group for being frugal with the stadium. However, attendance remains flat vs 2018 as the team's on field performance has provided zero incentive to local fans.
The metropolitan area of Miami with over 6 million is a wealthy and young city. The potential to tap loyal fans willing to spend is there. Miami is a community that has deep routes in the baseball world and has a list of ethnic groups that have grown up with the sport. They say in the Dominican Republic: 'a boy is given a baseball glove, even if he has nothing to eat'.
Jeter's dismantling of the team yielded many minor league prospects and turned the Miami farm system into one with potential over the next few years. However, that won't be felt in 2019. But, the fact that attendance has plateaued should be seen as a positive sign. A stock must base before it bounces and goes back up.
The Miami Marlins in many investors' minds are no different than a utility, with a monopoly on Major League Baseball in Miami. Yes, the team is still setting attendance records for how few fans are showing up to games. On August 27th, Marlins Park saw just 5,297 fans. But, Miami has a large fan base and there is no competition from any Major League Baseball team in their metropolitan area, so the potential for substantial earnings is great. In 2015 and 2016 the Marlins made more profit than the Yankees. The night is darkest before the dawn.
Written by Alexander Fleiss
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