|Jeffrey H. Loria|
November 20, 1940 |
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University
Columbia University (MBA)
|Occupation||Art Dealer, Professional Sports Franchise Owner|
Jeffrey H. Loria (born November 20, 1940) is an art dealer and the owner of the Miami Marlins. Raised in Manhattan, Loria took an early interest in baseball, attending his first New York Yankees game in the late 1940s. Loria attended New York City's Stuyvesant High School and Yale University, where he initially took pre-med courses. With a requirement to take a history class, Loria chose art history.
After college, he worked in a newly-established art-buying program for Sears, launched with the help of actor Vincent Price. In 1965, at the age of 24, he opened his private art dealing business, Jeffrey H. Loria & Co., on Manhattan's Upper East Side and wrote a book, Collecting Original Art. He specializes in 20th century masters. His collection includes works by Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore. Loria graduated from Columbia Business School in 1968 and published his second book, What's It All About Charlie Brown?, a look at life through the Peanuts comic strip (co-written with Pat K. Lynch).
Montreal Expos 
In 1989, Loria purchased the Oklahoma City 89ers, then a Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The team won the American Association championship in 1992. Loria sold the team in 1993 and began looking to buy a Major League team. Loria lost out to Peter Angelos in his bid to purchase the Baltimore Orioles in 1994. On December 9, 1999, he bought a 24 percent stake in the Montreal Expos for $18 million CAD (approximately $12 million USD) and became the managing general partner. When a series of cash calls went unanswered, Loria ended up with 94 percent of the team. He headed an ownership group that included the city of Montreal and Stephen Bronfman, son of founding owner Charles Bronfman.
One of Loria's first acts was to reiterate demands for a new park for the Expos to replace Olympic Stadium, of which he bluntly said, "We cannot stay here." He lost a considerable amount of goodwill with Expos fans when the team was not able to reach an agreement for television and English-speaking radio coverage during the 2000 season, as the Expos tried to increase their revenue from broadcast rights. He also sought more public funding for a planned downtown ballpark, Labatt Park. However, the provincial and municipal governments balked at committing more money to the project. Premier Lucien Bouchard said that he couldn't support using taxpayer dollars to build ballparks when the province was being forced to shut down hospitals. Additionally, Bouchard didn't like that Olympic Stadium still hadn't been paid for 25 years after being built (and wouldn't be paid for, as it turned out, until 2006).
Controversial sale of the Expos 
In 2002, as part of an orchestrated move with Bud Selig and then-Marlins owner John W. Henry, Loria sold the Expos to "Expos Baseball, LP," a partnership of the other 29 major league clubs, for $120 million. In effect, the Expos were sold to the commissioner's office. Henry then sold the Marlins to Loria for $158.5 million, including a $38.5 million no-interest loan from MLB. The deal was approved by the other owners before Loria and Henry even signed a contract, and paved the way for Henry to buy the Boston Red Sox. Loria moved the Expos' entire front office staff, on-field staff, office equipment and computer equipment to Florida. MLB's plans to contract the Expos and Minnesota Twins failed, though, as the Twins were compelled through legal action to fulfill the terms of their lease at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
Loria's partners in the Expos ownership consortium filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit against Loria and Major League Baseball, but it eventually went to arbitration, with the arbitration panel finding in favor of Loria. The Expos were ultimately transferred to Washington, D.C. as the Nationals. While the move was welcomed by baseball fans in Washington, it has led to many bitter feelings among Montreal – as well as Canadian – baseball fans. Many speculate that Loria's original purpose was never to keep the Expos in Montreal.
The feelings among some Canadian baseball fans are so strong that when Loria chose Remembrance Day to announce his team's new name and stadium, Richard Griffin, a well-known Canadian baseball columnist wrote:
- It’s ironic that Loria and the Marlins held their celebration in Miami on Remembrance Day [the Canadian equivalent of Veterans Day] because there's a generation of fans north of the border that will never forget [about the how Loria's actions led to the Expos leaving town].
Miami (Florida) Marlins 
Today the current value for the Florida Marlins would be worth around $277 million. As of May 12, 2009, the Marlins are 569–564 under Loria. On November 11, 2011, the Florida Marlins officially rebranded themselves the Miami Marlins with a new logo, uniform, and color scheme.
Marlins Park and criticism 
The franchise, which previously paid rent at Sun Life Stadium, had been trying for years to finance a new retractable roof ballpark. The City of Miami and Miami-Dade County both voted to approve construction of a new baseball stadium for the Marlins. Marlins Park is located in the area formerly occupied by the Miami Orange Bowl football stadium. Construction was completed by opening day 2012. Before the stadium deal was in place, Loria shed star players to pare down payroll to among baseball's lowest in 2005, and was given permission to explore options for relocating. The team then worked with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, in a public/private partnership, to build the 37,000 seat ballpark.
A deal with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County was eventually approved and the Marlins agreed to contribute $155 million toward the construction of a new retractable roof stadium. They were also made responsible for any cost overruns for the stadium, set in the Little Havana section of Miami. Taxpayers from Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami are required to pay at least $2.6 billion to pay off the bonds sold to finance the construction. The Marlins get 100% of all revenues from the stadium. The first Major League Baseball game in the new stadium was against the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals on April 4, 2012.
After a disappointing 2012 season and low attendance, the Marlins made a twelve-player trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for which local and national sportswriters and Marlins fans questioned the motive of Loria's intentions of building a successful franchise, while simultaneously demanding Miami taxpayers' dollars to pay for most of the ballpark's construction and maintenance. Despite the 2012 season, the trade, and calls of boycotting the 2013 Miami Marlins season by South Florida residents, politicians, and sportswriters, Loria defended trading away the stars saying that despite the 2012 payroll, the organization was not winning and they need "to take a new course" in winning again.
Personal life 
Loria, who still runs his art dealership, is a member of the board of directors of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University in New York. He formerly served on the board of the Art Dealers Association of America. Loria splits time between homes in New York and South Florida.
- Jeffrey Loria - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
- Smith, Chris (2003-10-27). "No, I'm the Boss". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
- Smith, Curt (2001). Storied Stadiums. New York City: Carroll & Company. ISBN 0-7867-1187-6.
- From 2002 ESPN Information Please Sports Almanac, Business and Media section
- Griffin, Richard "Miami Marlins set to be a huge bonanza for Loria", The Star, Toronto, 15 November 2011. Retrieved on 16 November 2011.
- Pahigaian, Josh; Kevin O'Connell (2004). The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press. ISBN 1-59228-159-1.
- Griffin, Richard. "Griffin: Miami Marlins set to be a huge bonanza for Loria", The Star, Toronto, 15 November 2011. Retrieved on 15 November 2011.
- Griffin, Richard "Miami Marlins set to be a huge bonanza for Loria", The Star, Toronto, 15 November 2011. Retrieved on 15 November 2011.
- "Marlins receive giant World Series rings- NBC Sports". Nbcsports.msnbc.com. Associated Press. April 11, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- "Arturo Moreno, John Henry rank among best MLB owners". CNN. May 8, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- "Marlins set to take on new identity in Miami". MLB.com. November 11, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.