As the baseball world turns its attention to Miami for tonight's MLB All-Star Game, the host Marlins organization is looking to seize property of one if its season-ticket holders.
According to court documents obtained by the Miami New Times, the Marlins have sued Kenneth Sack to take a $725,000 property he owns in Oakland Park. It marks the ninth time since 2003 that the Marlins have pursued the unusual legal action (by professional sports standards) of suing their own fans — for reneging on long-term season ticket and suite lease agreements initiated in 2012, the team's first season in its new Little Havana Stadium. Since then, fans, including Sack, have felt victimized by a perceived Marlins bait-and-switch.
In exchange for his four-year commitment to season tickets, Sack was promised a premium parking space, a private entrance and food buffets before and after games. However, fans who made such commitments claim that as soon as the team's fortunes on field went south, the perks either never materialized or fell short of expectations.
ESPN.com notes that the Marlins won a judgment against Sack in January, with the court ruling that Sack owed the team the full $97,200 he owed as part of the ticket agreement. His attorney appealed, saying a heart attack and lengthy hospital stay had caused him to miss key hearings and filings. That civil case remains open.
In March, the Marlins began foreclosure proceedings for Sack's Oakland Park commercial building, arguing that they can seize the property to fulfill the $97,200 he owes them.
"I don't understand why Major League Baseball continues to allow Jeffrey Loria to behave like this," Daniel Rose, an attorney representing another former season-ticket holder being sued by the Marlins, told the New Times. "At the end of the day, what is the motive to go after fans like this? It just shows their greed and a complete lack of respect for their fan base."