Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is reportedly suing a Marlins fan for possession of the fan’s commercial building to recoup funds the Marlins say they lost when the fan decided not to continue paying for his season tickets to see his trainwreck of a favorite team.
The Miami New Times reports that the Marlins have been in a battle with season-ticket holders who reneged on their season ticket contracts once it became clear the Marlins were not going to uphold their promises of perks including free parking and VIP entrances at their new ballpark—let alone field a watchable team.
The Marlins, unlike most sports teams who find themselves in disputes with disappointed and angry season-ticket holders, have decided to sue each and every fan who breaks their contract.
From the New Times:
Like [season-ticket holder Mickey] Axelband, [defendant Kenneth] Sack signed a four-year contract for season tickets in 2012 at $16,200 per ticket for a total price of $129,6000. Sack, who lives in Colorado but has a home in Palm Beach, paid the full $32,400 for the first season but then wanted to walk away. The team sued him in December 2014 for the remaining $97,200.
In January, the team won a judgment against Sack for the full $97,200, but his attorney appealed, arguing that he’d missed key hearings and filings after suffering a heart attack and spending months in the hospital. That civil case remains open.
But in the meantime, the team has used that judgment to try to nab a building owned by Sack. On March 12, the Marlins initiated a foreclosure proceeding for a commercial building Sack owns in Oakland Park, arguing that they can seize the property to fulfill the $97,200 he owes the team; they ask the judge to appoint a receiver so they can start collecting rent from the location. (Oddly, county property appraisers say the building at 5090 N. Dixie Highway is actually worth $725,000.)
If that sounds shitty and ruthless—shocker, what more would you expect from Loria, who almost certainly is going to wait until next spring to sell the Marlins so that he doesn’t have to share five percent of the profits from the team with the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County, whose taxpayers paid for the new ballpark.
The Marlins host the Home Run Derby tonight and the All-Star Game tomorrow. It’s unlikely the team will have to field any questions from reporters or the league about its crusade against its fans. For most teams, suing a fan to take possession of property he owns would be a Big Story; for the Marlins, it’s just another Monday.