If Marlins fans are buying tickets, they’re not using them

Yeah, the Miami Marlins really aren’t drawing too well. From Wednesday night’s game, during the national anthem:


The Marlins first declined to announce an attendance figure, then came up with 14,222, then lowered that to 13,810. Which is still way more than are in that photo, but the team wasn’t necessarily lying: MLB allows teams to announce tickets sold, not turnstile count, so it’s possible that lots of fans bought tickets and then decided not to go to the game because … well, it can’t be because the weather was bad, because the Marlins built a retractable roof at huge public expense so that fans wouldn’t stay home for that reason. So it had to be that they’d figured out that the Marlins are a horrible, horrible team, and it was going to be a horrible, horrible game.

At this point, the Marlins look like they have a decent shot at underperforming even the 18,772 fans per game they drew in their final year at Sun Life Stadium. Which would be some kind of record — I don’t believe any team has ever fallen below their baseline attendance levels in just the second year of a new stadium. They’ll just have to hope that Miamians like free hot dogs more than they like competent baseball.


17 comments on “If Marlins fans are buying tickets, they’re not using them

  1. To be fair, many fans don’t arrive in time for the national anthem. I’ve been to many NFL games that were half-full 5 minutes into the game (especially in Pittsburgh, which doesn’t have a ton of entry points, so traffic chokes by one of the endzones).

  2. There are some more photos here from mid-game. They’re not much better: http://www.businessinsider.com/marlins-attendance-problem-is-even-worse-than-they-are-willing-to-admit-2013-4

  3. I don’t blame the people for not showing up. The team is horrible, already out of the playoff race on April 12. Even if the tickets were free, I’d really have to think it over if I lived there. Because, gas is expensive, and if you get hungry or god-forbid thirsty at the game, that free game can get up to pretty expensive in a hurry.

  4. Less than 10 games into a 162g season and someone is “out of it”?

    I agree that the Marlins suck. And that they aren’t going to be in the playoffs (especially when they trade Stanton in 2 weeks), but nobody is out of the race at this point.

    As for the drinks/concessions, that’s absolutely true. But then, the taxpayers who pay for these things should not be under any illusion about what new ‘revenue streams’ actually means: More and greater ways for the team owner to extract money from attendees pockets. So yes, the free stadium (almost) is a major burden on the taxpayer for decades to come. But that’s only half the equation… for the few who can/will afford to go to games at the new facility, absolutely everything will be more expensive.

    Interesting discussion on Toronto sports radio the other day… Fay Vincent was on and discussed Loria’s decision to sell off tv rights for large up front money to reduce (or maybe eliminate) his debt load on the stadium.. a decision that would now rank fairly high on the list of dumb decisions Loria has made over the years.

    One of his problems is that Loria is an untrustworthy jackass, of course. But he’s also an underfunded jackass, it seems. Even when he ran (theoretically) the Expos, he would not put a dime into a new stadium… part of the reason one didn’t appear.

  5. Fair Point! But as a long time Cub fan, I am used to having to look at ‘bright sides’ other than my team’s competitiveness for most of my adult life…

    Just a thought re: Loria… maybe the whole point of the new stadium was to satisfy the needs of the existing 4800 people who used to attend Marlins games at Joe Robbie? You know, give me this stadium or at least 800 people probably won’t come to games anymore…

  6. Try being a Rockies fan. The one year that they did make the World Series (and got squashed by the Red Sox), they were having a very REGULAR regular season until August. They don’t call it Wrigley West for nuthin’. John, if the Marlins are ever in a position other than last in the NL East, at any time from June until the end of the season, I’ll buy you any 12-pack you want (within reason), or some other similar item.

  7. That’s a generous offer, Mike…
    If it’s a bet, though, I’d be a fool to take it! Marlins will trade Stanton (unless Selig prevents them from doing so, which I doubt…) soon. After that they might set a record for losses in a 162 game season.

    While the Jays trade was clearly a salary dump, Loria isn’t entirely lying when he says they got quality youth back. They did. While I don’t expect Syndegaard, Alvarez and Echevarria to be the backbone of a 2018 Marlins WS team, no-one can say they aren’t good prospects.

    I just wonder when MLB will start limiting revenue sharing checks to clubs that have payrolls under $50m… Loria might be the worst offender, but he’s far from the only one who is taking most of the RS money and putting it in his pocket every year.

    If I’m one of the “payer” teams, I do whatever it takes to get the votes to stop that.

    How about “revenue sharing shares can at no time exceed 40% of a team’s payroll”? Make it a qualifying criteria… you can spend $30m on players if you want… but then your MLB welfare is capped at $12m. If you want to earn a maximum share ($34m last year??), you need to spend at least $85m on payroll… around the league avg, I would think. One can argue that such rules defeat the purpose of revenue sharing… but I’d suggest Loria, Nutting and co have already pretty much done that.

  8. haha. Yeah, it’s just a statement, not a bet. You are giving them some benefit of the doubt, and providing reasons as to why. I certainly respect that. I’m pretty confident that it won’t happen, if it does we’ll just have to exchange addresses, or something. I won’t mail you a bomb; wouldn’t know how if I wanted too. I like the idea about profit sharing being tied to payroll. Excellent idea. Tremendous idea.

  9. I feel safe saying that Syndegaard won’t be part of any future Marlins WS team, given that he’s on the Mets.

  10. You’re on the ball, Neil. No doubt about that. Figured it’s baseball, it doesn’t matter. Oh boy, I like this thread.

  11. I live in a Mets household, where the mantra “Syndegaard and d’Arnaud” is pretty much all that got us through the winter.

    Sadly, I don’t think the Marlins even got two prospects as good as those out of the Jays, despite giving up a ton more.

  12. Salary dump. If they got a minor-league Babe Ruth, they would trade him. Miami is a large-market that acts like Green Bay. (not really, you get the point)

  13. Thank you very much, Jeffrey Loria, Destroyer of Ballclubs. Guess even if the Expos had gotten that new park, it wouldn’t have mattered…SMH

  14. “The team is horrible, already out of the playoff race on April 12”
    Careful, Mike – Bud Selig might see that & add another stupid Wild Card we don’t need.
    I’d go to a free Marlins game, but only if I could walk or ride a bike to it. I certainly wouldn’t eat or drink there, either.

  15. Neil:

    Une pointe!

    …He won’t be… unless he’s part of the Stanton deal everyone seems to be talking about….