MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins on Saturday stated that they will fully cooperate with a federal investigation of the financing of their new ballpark.
On Friday, The Miami Herald reported that the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking records regarding nearly $500 million in bond sales as well as looking into campaign contributions from the Marlins to local and state elected officials.
On Saturday morning, the Marlins released the following statement: "Yes, we are aware of the investigation that the SEC is conducting on the issuance of the county's and city's stadium and parking bonds. Of course we will fully cooperate with the SEC's investigation as needed and assist in whatever way possible. Because this is an on-going matter, it is not appropriate to comment further."
The Marlins' new ballpark will open in 2012, and according to the team the pending investigation will not impact how it conducts its business.
With revenues created by the new ballpark, the Marlins are raising their payroll to around $85 million. They are targeting some of the top free agents on the market. Nothing has changed for the team in terms of how they will approach signing players or moving forward to the opening of the ballpark next year.
The stadium is being financed by the city of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the Miami Marlins.
According to The Herald, the SEC has given the city and county until Jan. 6 to deliver documents dating back to 2007.
The SEC also is looking into records surrounding the city-built parking garages. On Nov. 22, The Herald reported that the city wasn't aware that it may have to pay $2 million annually in taxes on the garages.
The cost of the ballpark and the garages is $634 million, with the city and county picking up nearly 80 percent of the project.
According to The Herald, the subpoenas, signed by SEC senior counsel Drew D. Panahi, say: "We are trying to determine whether there have been any violations of the federal securities laws. The investigation and the subpoena do not mean that we have concluded that Miami-Dade County or anyone else has broken the law."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.