Could the Florida Marlins finances be reviewed as the Milwaukee Brewers were?
I don’t know, but I doubt it. Any MLB team would fight it at all costs. The Brewers’ situation was a rare exception, given the fact that their owner also happened to be the MLB Commissioner. Who knows, it may not even be the Marlins call within its contractual obligations to MLB. But it’s worth asking our elected representatives to push for something similar, if only to watch them squirm.
The basis for the State of Wisconsin “limited-scope review” was concern over the Brewers reduction in player salaries at a time when they were using public monies to construct Miller Park, which opened in 2001. Any similarities to the Marlins situation is strictly intentional. The limited-scope description means that it was not a full-blown audit, and as such could not have been expected to be as thorough and complete as an audit. Bottom line, the State of Wisconsin probably did not get to see anything the Brewers truly wanted to keep from them.
A limited-scope review is much different than an audit, yet the public probably did not focus on the fact that the work performed by Wisconsin’s Legislative Audit Bureau was not an audit. Case in point, the linked article by a State of Wisconsin web site, alternately refers to the work as an “audit” or an “examination.”
In terms of public relations, the Brewers and Commissioner Selig benefited from the confusion. They had an incentive to appear open and avoid totally opening their books. The Legislature had an incentive to be appearing to do something. Everyone’s incentives were met.
One of the things that frustrates me is the chicken or the egg argument about payroll and the ballpark.>>If the Marlins need the new ballpark (and the incremental revenue that it will generate) to be able to afford a higher payroll then how can people protest because the Marlins aren’t spending a lot (on the basis of the public funds) they are getting when they don’t, in fact, have the stadium and the revenue it generates yet.
Your ‘if’ is a big if. Put another way, what don’t you believe about the Forbes numbers to think that they did not have an operating profit of $36 million last year?