The Marlins, whose attendance ranks last in the National League five weeks into the season, have decided to close the upper bowl at Marlins Park for at least some weeknight games.
That’s right: On top of setting a record last year for worst attendance in the first year in a new stadium, and being dead last in the league in attendance in their second year (though three American League teams have even sadder ticket sales, including the second-place Kansas City Royals), now the Marlins are using a cost-saving trick — and no matter what the team says about a “better fan experience,” this is mostly about saving operating costs by shutting down concession stands and restrooms in underused areas — that has previously been used only by teams demanding new stadiums because their old ones are so poorly attended. And the Oakland A’s, who have tarped off their own upper deck since 2006, are actually ahead of the Marlins in attendance this year. And the Marlins’ stadium only has 37,000 seats to begin with, barely more than the Oakland Coliseum has after the tarps were installed.
Let’s see, what else could make the nearly one billion dollars spent by Florida taxpayers on this new mostly empty stadium even sadder? How about retail tenants backing out of leasing storefronts at Marlins parking garages because they’re afraid there won’t be any foot traffic?