From Sporting News:

Loria swindled the city of Miami into building him a publicly funded stadium. In return, he duped the team’s fans last winter by spending like the sky was the limit. He even made runs at first baseman Albert Pujols and left-hander C.J. Wilson in an attempt to convince the public the franchise suddenly was serious about spending for talent and, in turn, winning.

The non-publicized facts of those deals were that they were all back-loaded, meaning Loria, or someone else, wouldn’t pay the bulk of those agreements until late in the contracts. That gave Loria and Co.—president David Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill—time to move those players and unload the overwhelming majority of the salaries in the near future.

No one figured it would be this near in the future.

While the Marlins dumping Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buerhle to Toronto (Hello AL East!) is a travesty for all 10 Marlin fans, this is yet another example of how owners of professional sports team screw the taxpayer with publicly-funded stadiums. Granted, this is an extreme example, but let’s not throw stones in glass houses.

Our beloved New York Yankees are no strangers to raping the taxpayer. Back in January, we wrote:

The idea that publicly-subsidized stadiums are a great economic boon to a city has been put to rest by studies over and over again.

The deal for Yankee Stadium, conducted through political back channels, was notable in how boldly it fleeced taxpayers. In order to finance the stadium with low-interest, tax-free bonds, the stadium needed to be for public use, not for private enterprise. Thus, the City claimed ownership of the stadium and simply rented it to the Yankees…for $0 rent.

In order to secure public subsidies for the Yankees, the City manipulated the assessment value of the stadium and claimed that 1,000 new permanent jobs would be created. According to a report by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, the actual number of permanent new jobs was 15. The deal left taxpayers on the hook for up to $850 million and was such a blatant use of public funds for private gain that the IRS outlawed any further such deals. A summation of the Yankees’ abuse of taxpayers can be found here: http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/24561.html.

Here’s how it works…

1. Mega-rich owner dupes city that a new stadium would be an amazing economic boom

2. City agrees and issues municipal bonds backed by the taxpayer

3. Since the bulk of the cost is now publicly-subsidized, mega-rich owner keeps more money in his pocket, the city must come up with ways to pay off the debt (bonds), and the risk of failure is passed to the taxpayer.

And now the Yankees are looking to cut payroll.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not suggesting the Steinbrenners = Loria, but let’s not pretend the Yankees (and many other sports teams who build new stadiums) aren’t guilty of bending over the taxpayer in pursuit of protecting and growing their own wealth. We’ve seen it first-hand.