A group led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter has won the auction for the Miami Marlins baseball team with a $1.3 billion bid, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The person requested anonymity because the sale contract hasn’t been signed. The person also wouldn’t name the group’s other investors, though Bush’s network of donors to his unsuccessful presidential campaign was vast.
In the Marlins, Bush and Jeter get a franchise with a relatively new ballpark, Marlins Park, which opened in 2012. The team hasn’t consistently drawn large crowds, playing before an average of 24,313 fans this season, placing the Marlins 24th out of 30 clubs.
The money-losing Marlins can add to their bottom line in a couple of key ways. First, the team is seeking a naming rights partner for its stadium, which will host the All-Star game in July. Also, team executives have said they’re exploring a reworked local television contract. The current deal with Fox expires after the 2020 season, though it can be renegotiated. According to the Miami Herald, the team gets about $20 million a year from Fox, the lowest in MLB.