8 reasons to call foul on a Sea Dogs tax subsidy

With so many other unmet needs in our state, Maine taxpayer dollars should not be used to subsidize a privately owned sports management company.

LD 2258, “An Act to Create an Income Tax Credit for Investments in a Team’s Qualified Minor League Baseball Facility to Keep the Team in the State” would give the owners of the Portland Sea Dogs a refundable tax credit worth up to $2 million. This bill provides a credit retroactively back to October 2023 for work that has already been completed. The credit as proposed is also refundable, which means the State of Maine could end up having to pay the private company that owns the team if it has little or no tax liability.

Here are 8 things to keep in mind about the proposed tax break for the Sea Dogs:

  1. Research shows subsidies for sports stadiums are not a sound investment of taxpayer dollars. Public funding of sports stadiums funnels taxpayer dollars to wealthy team owners who then profit off the investment, perpetuating inequality.
  2. Diamond Baseball Holdings, the company that has owned the Portland Sea Dogs since 2022, knew the required repairs were necessary when they purchased the team and have already completed most of the upgrades.
  3. The owners do not lack the capital to invest in this project and will make the investment regardless of a tax credit. Diamond Baseball Holdings also owns 28 other minor league teams. The owner of Diamond Baseball Holdings, Silver Lake, is “a global technology investment firm, with more than $88 billion in combined assets” (roughly Maine’s GDP) and their “portfolio companies collectively generate nearly $254 billion of revenue annually.”
  4. Diamond Baseball Holdings has received tax preferences for seven other teams they own totaling more than $275 million. 1-8 Requesting government assistance is part of their business model.
  5. The Sea Dogs workforce consists of just 18 full-time employees, and 215 game day employees who are paid for 70 game days. Many of these jobs are not full time, do not come with benefits, and do not provide a living for workers. Minimum pay for Sea Dogs players starts at $250 per week during the off season and $1,000 during the season, and many players likely need to work second jobs to make ends meet despite also needing to train full time.
  6. Sea Dogs attendance in 2023 was 403,957. Increasing ticket prices by less than $1 could more than cover the cost of the proposed tax credit in just a few years.
  7. Major League Baseball has indicated parks that are unable to complete upgrades by 2025 may get more time to complete them.
  8. “The Sea Dogs are not going anywhere. We’re committed to staying in Maine.” — Sea Dogs president Geoff Iacuessa


[1] Atlanta Braves Minor League Baseball Team headed to Columbus after city seals lease deal

[2] Spartanburg City Council approves deal for largest development in city history

[3] City Approves Sales Tax, New Development For Baseball Stadium Area

[4] Missouri taxpayers pay for $4M in improvements to Springfield baseball stadium

[5] AutoZone Park renovations cut from Memphis sports spending

[6] Dutchess Stadium renovations bring concerns

[7] GreenJackets reimbursed for first renovations at SRP Park

[8] Major renovation: Altoona Curve get ready for 25th season with upgrades to Peoples Natural Gas Field