With the Miami Marlins season wrapping up, the Miami New Times’ Tim Elfrink has a followup to last year’s article that outlined “six lies” about the “worst deal for taxpayers of any stadium in America.” So now that the stadium is in action, how’s it turning out?
- Only one new business has opened near the stadium, a sports bar called the Batting Cage. “It’s still a ghost town when there’s no game,” Little Havana community activist Yvonne Bayona tells Elfrink.
- Not a single new business has opened in the ground-floor retail space of city-built parking garages, though the city may be close to leasing space to “the Tilted Kilt, a sports bar staffed by scantily clad women.”
- Also, nobody’s going to the games. But you knew that already.
There’s more, including a brief quote from me, so check it out yourself.
One season is a smallish data point, and it’s always possible Miami fans will turn out (and more sports bars will open, and manna will rain from on high) once the Marlins aren’t finishing in last place. Attendance has been low since the beginning of the year, though, when pennant hopes were still high, so that’s not a great sign. Right now it looks like once the curiosity-seekers go home in a year or two, the Marlins are going to settle in at or just below two million tickets sold per year (counting Groupons), which while not the absolute bottom of the league, is decidedly in the bottom third. If so, Miami taxpayers coughed up half a billion dollars so that the Marlins could go from bottom-feeders to just-above-bottom feeders. But really, who can put a price on waitresses in kilts?