New Marlins stadium now drawing as few fans as old Marlins stadium

It’s official: the Miami Marlins have had the shortest stadium honeymoon period ever.

What has moving to Miami brought the Marlins? About 100 extra fans per game.

That’s the current gap between this year’s attendance and the average gate count for the Marlins’ last season at Sun Life Stadium, the football field that owner Jeffrey Loria blamed for the team’s long-standing attendance and revenue woes.

Honeymoon periods typically last two to eight years, so that’s historically awful. Though it’s worth noting that plenty of stadiums considered rousing successes have reverted to pre-new-ballpark attendance levels after the initial buzz is gone: check out the Seattle Mariners or Cleveland Indians, for example.

Anyway, it’s not all bad in Miami: Thanks to the massive fan disinterest, kids can eat free on Wednesdays, and seniors get free tickets on Thursdays. Also, reports the Miami Herald, in Tuesday’s game against the Mets, “enough spectators jumped up with raised arms to perform several laps of a respectable fan wave before it fizzled.” Feel the excitement!


12 comments on “New Marlins stadium now drawing as few fans as old Marlins stadium

  1. The sad thing is that 20 or 30 economic stimulus failures will do nothing to soften the rhetoric of the pro stadium subsidy crowd. They only need one LA live or Atlantic Yards to point to.

    It’s an odd thing… one success can be used to justify staggering public subsidy anywhere, yet the repeated failure of professional sports welfare to spur actual economic development in 97% (give or take) of the cases doesn’t seem to move anyone to use logic when weighing the net benefit of sports subsidy.

    How are those Cincinnati sports facilities doing, by the way? Have they had to sell of any more schools or close police stations since last we heard?

  2. They raised property taxes to fill last year’s hole. Not sure how they’re going to fill this year’s:

    http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/Commissioners-vote-2-1-to-roll-back-property-tax-rebate/-/13550662/17662154/-/pq841b/-/index.html

  3. Also, now they need to spend an additional $5 million to get the Reds stadium ready for the 2015 All-Star Game, and $8 million to buy the Bengals a new scoreboard, and who knows where that money will come from?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/allstar/2013/07/31/2015-mlb-all-star-game-cincinnati-great-american-ball-park/2604573/

  4. Too bad there’s no way to claim “non-compatibility” or “false pretenses” after this “honeymoon”.
    What Loria and the politicians have joined, let no (sane) man put asunder…

  5. As the people who religiously read this site know, it isn’t just the number of fannies that matter. It is the revenue per fannie and the amount of that revenue that the team keeps that matters.

    So yes Loria has driven away a lot of fans in two cities now. But his total dollars kept per fannie ratio is much better now in Marlins (we can’t find a sponsor name) Stadium than it was in ProRobbieShark Stadium. And, no more paying the landlord (Dolphins).

    Besides with the new TV contract next year and continued luxury tax payments, he should have plenty of money to purchase and ruin a third
    franchise one day.

    Having said all that it really is pathetic that the Marlins have sunk this low with the local fans. Not even a true ace starting pitcher seems to help and the Marlins now have a better record than the White Sox (and Astros of course).

  6. I don’t recall the stadium being sold on the idea that it would cause an awful team to draw like the Dodgers or that the Marlins would be luxury tax payers every season. It was sold on the idea that Miami having a great stadium would be good for the city and that it gave the Marlins the ability to have a decent payroll when necessary.

    I’m not even saying that Miami was right to pay so much of the stadium cost. It seems clear that MLB was never going to leave the Miami market, so the local pols should’ve recognized their leverage. I’m just saying that the reporting on the first two seasons of this stadium has been almost universally unfair.

  7. Pretty odd to bring up Seattle. A stadium that is 7 years past your “8 year grace period”. A stadium that had as many ticket sales in 11.5yrs as the previous stadium had in its entire 22 year run (being generous and not counting the split year).

    That you don’t understand that the only reason the team has still been able to pull in 1.5-2.0 million fans after the decade of futility is the stadium show how little you follow the day-to-day situations in each city. But, you’ve consistently shown a very limited understanding of how Seattle region works, so what is new.

  8. “It’s an odd thing… one success can be used to justify staggering public subsidy anywhere, yet the repeated failure of professional sports welfare to spur actual economic development in 97% (give or take) of the cases doesn’t seem to move anyone to use logic when weighing the net benefit of sports subsidy.”

    Whoa…the odd thing is actually that I thought the argument was that it NEVER benefited. Are we finally moving to a point where ppl admit that there could be micro benefits to the economies of certain cities?

    Progress!!

  9. The point of bringing up Seattle was precisely to show the limitations of the honeymoon period. In the early ’90s, before the M’s first playoff run, they drew 20-25k per game at the Kingdome. At Safeco now, they’re drawing … 20-25k.

    If the Mariners manage to get good again, I guess we’ll be able to compare attendance to the ’96-’98 years at the Kingdome and see if they can outdo those numbers. But given past performance, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  10. And I don’t think anyone ever said there was zero impact from new sports facilities. It’s just that given the amount of public money that’s typically involved, the bang for the buck is historically awful.

  11. They drew 25k fans three times in that period (with the most popular player in MLB on the team. The mariners drew 25k fans in a year that they went 61-101…to argue that Safeco has fallen to the norms of the Kingdome just strains your credibility. Not to mention that the difference between 20k and 25k fans (your range) is 400k tickets…that’s a pretty huge variance.

    If the team still played in the Kingdome…or Safeco was the same level as the Kingdome logic would dictate that they would have been drawing similar crowds as the 80s Mariners…and it’s not even close.

  12. win pct. fans/game
    .377 25,749
    .395 20,387
    .414 23,411
    .437 25,096
    .462 23,135
    .463 21,258
    .506 25,341
    .512 26,517

    If you can tell me which of those are Kingdome 1991-94 and which are Safeco 2010-13 without looking, I’ll be very impressed.

    Look, I’m not saying that Safeco isn’t a nicer ballpark than the Kingdome. But I’ll be very surprised if the Mariners draw 35,000+ again like they did in the early years of Safeco, no matter how good they get. And they averaged 35,000 in the last three years at Kingdome, so if there’s a lasting effect on attendance, it’s very, very minimal. Which is precisely what attendance figures from other cities show.

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