Last Updated on October 14, 2023 at 12:29 pm by Amanda Cunha
New York Yankees President, Randy Levine, expressed strong criticism towards the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins for their reliance on revenue-sharing money from larger-market teams during a panel at Sportico’s Invest in Sports conference. He emphasized the need for individual teams to improve and reduce their dependence on this financial support.
Yankees’ Randy Levine takes a stand
Levine highlighted the fact that the Rays and Marlins struggle with low attendance, with the Rays ranking 27th and the Marlins 29th in terms of fan attendance in Major League Baseball. He pointed out that having two Florida teams with such low attendance is not conducive to the sport’s growth, especially when compared to the full stadiums of the NFL and NBA.
“A lot more focus has to be on individual teams to do better and not just rely on revenue sharing,” Levine said, according to the Associated Press. “You can’t have two Florida teams averaging 15,000 fans. You can’t have it. You don’t go into an NFL stadium or an NBA arena and see that.
Levine acknowledged the revenue-sharing system in place in MLB, where teams pool 48% of their earnings, which is then distributed evenly among all teams. This system is designed to assist teams with limited revenue sources in their market, unlike the Yankees, who have numerous high-end revenue streams.
“And I think that there’s been a dependency issue that’s got to get better. … The commissioner has done an incredible job, but now it’s on individual teams. Instead of complaining and whining, ‘We need more money,’ you got to take some responsibility.”
It’s worth noting that both the Rays and Marlins managed to reach the MLB postseason in the same year, a feat the Yankees did not accomplish.
MLB money matters
This isn’t the first time Levine has criticized MLB’s revenue-sharing policy. In 2016, he expressed frustration with the Yankees’ substantial contribution to revenue sharing, which he considered burdensome and unfair compared to teams in their market paying significantly less.
The MLB Players Association has also raised concerns about the Rays and Marlins in the past, particularly regarding their spending habits and the allocation of revenue-sharing funds. These grievances were not resolved during the 2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, leaving their status and potential penalties uncertain.
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