The Miami Marlins players aren’t the only ones affected by the loss of baseball games so far this season.
The economy of baseball has not been left unscathed to the Coronavirus pandemic. As reported by Reuters, the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay rays will begin the process of furloughing employees while the state of Major League Baseball remains in flux at the moment.
There is still talk of play resuming, hopefully, sometime around the start of July, but in the meantime, the Marlins, one of the league’s smallest markets, is being hit by these hard times like the Rays and 28 other MLB teams.
"Per the story, “Further south in Miami, the Marlins will be furloughing about one-third of their business operations staff beginning by mid-May, the Miami Herald reported.“CEO Derek Jeter said on April 20 that he is forgoing his reported $5 million salary indefinitely.”"
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The Marlins are facing other issues off the baseball field and they are still working to remain financially solvent since Jeter and Bruce Sherman took over as owners of the franchise following the 2017 season. One of the albatrosses the two and the front office face is the existing television contract for the team.
As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote, the television contract in place, which he says is the worst in baseball, pays the Miami Marlins $18M per season.
"“The economy has taken a big hit amid the coronavirus epidemic, and sports is hardly immune,” Jackson wrote. “And the Marlins are in a particularly vulnerable position because they are in the midst of negotiating a new television deal that will have a major impact in determining their revenues for the next decade.”"
The television contract has been a sticking point with the franchise since the team was sold by Jeffrey Loria. And with baseball at a standstill, there is no word how a deal will be improved to help the Marlins in the future.
As part of his initial plan when buying the team, Jeter sent out a letter to potential investors outlining the financial part of his “blueprint” which called for more than $51M in local broadcast revenue for the 2021 season. That is hardly the figure the organization is dealing with now.
Jackson reports that the number goes up in 2020 to $53.6M.
Fox Sports Florida has the television rights for the Marlins. There is no word if there will be any negotiation with the company.
The Marlins have made changes to Marlins Park to make it a destination in the grand plan of Jeter and Sherman. While the front office has worked to change the culture of the team and the roster, making improvements to the stadium to bring in fans, who averaged just over 10,000 per contest last season, is still a work in progress.
This is something the Marlins are watching closely while keeping an eye on when the organization will get back to playing baseball sooner rather than later.
"“Fox Sports Florida general manager Steve Tello also declined to comment when asked directly if the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic would impact how much Sinclair (which now owns more than 20 of the Fox regionals, including Fox Sports Florida) will offer the Marlins in a new TV deal,” Jackson wrote."