Derek Jeter isn’t a well-liked man in Florida after gutting the Miami Marlins in his first offseason as part of the new ownership group, but despite that he still expects a noticeable uptick both in profits and attendance in 2018.
Sure, the product on the field likely will be abysmal — even more so if Miami does manage to sell off both J.T. Realmuto and Christian Yelich — but that hasn’t altered Miami’s expectations.
Outlined in Jeter’s business plan (which bizarrely is named “Project Wolverine” given his upbringing in Michigan) is where he sees the franchise going both in the immediate and distant future. The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson did a deep dive into what the future of the franchise, in Jeter’s eyes at least, looks like.
And it’s pretty ambitious.
“According to a source, even though the National League announced the Marlins’ attendance at 1.6 million last season, only 820,000 were paid tickets,” Jackson wrote.
“Wolverine projects the paid figures to rise to 1.1 million, 1.2 million, 1.35 million, 1.5 million and 1.65 million over the next five seasons.”
This obviously is bold given many livid fans already are threatening not to renew season tickets, and trying to entice people to go watch a team that will boast Dan Straily as its ace will be an uphill battle.
And after cutting payroll, the Marlins also are expecting a big increase in profit.
“The August version of the document … projects a Marlins ‘cash flow’ profit of $68 million for 2018,” Jackson wrote.
“But much of that was based on the internal projection that Fox will give the Marlins a $44.8 million up-front payment as part of a renegotiated TV deal,” Jackson continued. “There’s no indication if the Marlins at this point believe that will happen. If Fox does not give the Marlins a lucrative extension and that large projected up-front payment, the Marlins’ projected profit for 2018 would drop to $23 million and potentially lower if ambitious revenue targets aren’t met.”
Maybe Jeter has some tricks up his sleeve, but they’d have to be some pretty wild tricks at this juncture if he wants to be somewhat in striking distance of those lofty goals.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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