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Marlins’ attendance disappoints compared to expectations and recent new ballparks

Oct 2, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Marlins Stadium

Moving into a state-of-the-art ballpark following an offseason of big spending was supposed to equal huge attendance numbers for the Marlins, but instead Miami ranks dead last in first-year attendance among the 11 new ballparks to open since 2001.

Miami has drawn 27,400 fans per game, which is a massive improvement over previous seasons at the old ballpark. However, it’s also far short of the new 37,442 capacity and about 200,000 fewer fans than any other first-year ballpark since 2001.

Team president David Samson, of course, downplayed the disappointment to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post:

We said in the beginning that a honeymoon would be five innings. We knew that building a ballpark by itself is not the panacea. We wanted to have a great ballpark and a great team, and we made it 50 percent of the way.

That’s quite a bit different than before the season, when Samson told Capozzi:

With the team we are putting together, we expect there to be very few empty seats at this ballpark ever. We have always told ourselves build it small and sell it out, and that’s what we’re going to do.

For a team to improve from 28th to 18th in attendance while finishing in last place with fewer wins than the previous season is impressive, but obviously the Marlins expected bigger numbers along with more wins.

  1. bmfischer - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    The Marlins are shocked that Miami fans failed to support a last place team?

    • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      First or last it wouldn’t matter
      Florida only packs college stadiums and churches

      • ajcardsfan - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        And Old Gator’s lawn, you can’t forget his lawn

      • mazblast - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Uh, have you seen the attendance at U of Miami games? I think the Marlins drew more fans to JRS.

      • godsmacked1 - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        and early bird specials.

  2. klbader - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    It probably doesn’t help that the new ballpark appears to be the ugliest of the new parks to open since 2001.

    • pw38 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      But they have that twirling, light up, dancing thing in the outfield. That should have drawn at least another 5k per game, right?

      • kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Stoners and a couple other people at the game on acid find it amazing. Not quite 5k though unfortunately.

      • Gamera the Brave - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Leave Tommy alone!

      • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        On behalf of Tommy, thank you.

    • godsmacked1 - Oct 2, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      I’m telling you guys, offer early bird specials and 1/2 priced meals from 3-5 in the afternoon, then lock all the old folks in. They would sell out every night.

  3. dianagram - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    The taxpayers realize they’ve been scammed …. again.

    • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Again? Still. This is a continuum; it is not episodic. But I’m relieved that at least where you live, taxes are obviously being spent with care and probity.


  4. Mars Hair - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Just visited the stadium last week. Been to 23 of the current parks and by my evaluation , it was the least appealing of any of the new stadiums. It really is awful, no disrespect intended.

    • foreverchipper10 - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      23 parks is impressive. I hope you can hit them all.

    • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      What did you find so objectionable about it? The funbags on the dancing girls at the Cleveland? Yeah, they’re a turnoff allright.

  5. dianagram - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    • dianagram - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      Check out Miami’s unemployment rate in chart above, and compare that with the national average. If you are already upset with the Marlins and the city for the shady deal that got this stadium built, and you yourself don’t have a job …

      • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Without wanting to argue the point too much – this city has almost no commercial or industrial base aside from tourism, black market reptile importation (and escape) and money laundering – remember that Macondo also absorbs an enormous number of new immigrants, primarily from Latin America, every year. They can’t work until they establish residency but if they enter the community legally, as the vast majority of them actually do under family sponsorship, they’re still counted while they wait for their green cards. This process continues despite the sluggish economy. It’s sort of a human logjam. I also think that there are plenty of pythons, African giant land snails, Gambian pouched rats and iguanas buried in those figures.

  6. riverace19 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    So if you build a gaudy ballpark that looks like the inside of a pinball machine, they won’t come?

    • dianagram - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:43 AM


  7. kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Australian Government spent millions researching the least attractive, most repellent color in which to cover ALL cigarette packets. To go along with the obscene disturbing pictures of cancer on the boxes, they will very soon all have to be predominantly Olive Green in color.

    Guess the wall is not helping.

  8. paperlions - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Based on the empty stands, average attendance was likely quite a bit less than 20K….they just sold 27K tickets/game. Even in May, the stadium looked empty.

  9. The Dangerous Mabry - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Hey! The season’s not over yet. This article is totally premature.

    If they can just get 150,000 fans for each of the last two games, their overall attendance will be pretty solid.

  10. legacybroken - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    I sense another one of those trademark Feesh firesales coming this offseason. I wouldn’t be all that shocked if the Tigers manage to swipe the Iron Giant from the Feesh like we did Miggy. We’ll probably be forced to take Bell too though.

    • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      If you compare all of the Iron Giant’s solo home runs to all of the solo home runs and other walkoff hits allowed by Bell, it would probably be a wash. So, there’s no point in springing for the Iron Giant if you have to take Bell with him.

      You can still have Bell, of course.

  11. Detroit Michael - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    It’s not helpful in building a fan base when the franchise’s history consists largely of threats to leave town and epic fire sales.

  12. phillyphannn83 - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Maybe its that stupid sculpture in the outfield.

    • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      No, it’s that clueless asshole in the owner’s box.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Can’t we all just get along…and say that it’s both? In addition to the team on the field…

  13. kkolchak - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    At the rate the Marlins are imploding, by next year attendance will be back to what it was in the old park. Maybe Loria needs to have MLB take the team off his hands again like they did in Montreal.

    • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      No, at the rate the Feesh are imploding they will form a singularity whose gravitational field will suck fans into the stadium against their wills….

  14. rcali - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Um, what is that thing in Center Field? Does the Florida circus share the business?

  15. xjokerz - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    good news for marlin fans.. you guys can make a play for your boy Anibal Sanchez considering i doubt the Tigers will pay him the money hes going to want…. thanks for stealing Jacob Turner..crooks… tho i guess we owe you for the rape job we gave you for Miggy….

  16. willclarkgameface - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    The only reason attendance improved this season over last is due to the newness factor. Nothing else.

    Are you telling me that people in Miami showed up to see in “real life” the guy that supports Castro in their home dugout? Doubt it.

    This was a BIG mistake and will continue to be. Good luck paying for that all of you that live in Miami. What a rip off!

    Florida baseball sucks.

    • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      You really have a pathological problem with Florida. One wonders what could account for that. Aside from the 2003 playoff boning we handed the Giants, did you maybe get pulled over for DUI and spend a night drying out down here? Did a South Beach hooker give you HIV? Bad sunburn with a couple of pre-malignant epidermal lesions to go with it? Step on a Portugese Man O’ War after being told repeatedly not to walk the beach without sandals?

      And incidentally, not that fine details usually matter to an obsessively repetitive dimwit, but tourist taxes pay for the stadium – so, no matter how hapless you must have been the last time you bungled your way through these parts, please be sure to visit us again!

      • scratchnsniffnblog - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        Maybe he went for a haircut in Miami, but was unable to translate “mullet” into Español.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        Maybe it was the hanging chads?

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      You know there’s a difference between supports and admires, right? They’re not interchangeable, no matter how much you want them to be.

  17. thebadguyswon - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    The fans do not have the passion for baseball in Miami. And it couldn’t happen to a better owner. Love the ridiculous “thing” and the horrendous uniforms. Bush league franchise.

    Enjoy Reyes and Stanton for another year, Miami. They’ll both be traded next winter.

  18. dianagram - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    read it and weep …. they drew more than 30000 ONCE after the ASB
    Date Attendance
    Wednesday Apr 4 36601
    Friday Apr 13 30169
    Saturday Apr 14 31659
    Sunday Apr 15 34232
    Tuesday Apr 17 24544
    Wednesday Apr 18 25723
    Thursday Apr 19 23168
    Friday Apr 27 31949
    Saturday Apr 28 33525
    Sunday Apr 29 34918
    Monday Apr 30 31006
    Friday May 11 31007
    Saturday May 12 32128
    Sunday May 13 26401
    Monday May 14 25666
    Tuesday May 15 24242
    Monday May 21 25155
    Tuesday May 22 22242
    Wednesday May 23 23985
    Thursday May 24 24099
    Friday May 25 27123
    Saturday May 26 30663
    Sunday May 27 30199
    Monday May 28 31528
    Tuesday May 29 25969
    Wednesday May 30 24224
    Tuesday Jun 5 25432
    Wednesday Jun 6 22619
    Thursday Jun 7 22402
    Friday Jun 8 29628
    Saturday Jun 9 30963
    Sunday Jun 10 31111
    Monday Jun 11 32562
    Tuesday Jun 12 29326
    Wednesday Jun 13 33119
    Friday Jun 22 22387
    Saturday Jun 23 24448
    Sunday Jun 24 27888
    Monday Jun 25 27369
    Tuesday Jun 26 25444
    Wednesday Jun 27 28397
    Friday Jun 29 28246
    Saturday Jun 30 31311
    Sunday Jul 1 31727
    Friday Jul 13 30911
    Saturday Jul 14 28707
    Sunday Jul 15 29889
    Monday Jul 16 29248
    Monday Jul 23 29019
    Tuesday Jul 24 25616
    Wednesday Jul 25 36711
    Friday Jul 27 23161
    Saturday Jul 28 26401
    Sunday Jul 29 27730
    Friday Aug 10 28130
    Saturday Aug 11 27681
    Sunday Aug 12 28388
    Monday Aug 13 23309
    Tuesday Aug 14 23879
    Wednesday Aug 15 22450
    Tuesday Aug 28 24877
    Wednesday Aug 29 24909
    Friday Aug 31 23099
    Saturday Sep 1 26402
    Sunday Sep 2 25333
    Monday Sep 3 22391
    Tuesday Sep 4 23403
    Wednesday Sep 5 22288
    Thursday Sep 6 18707
    Friday Sep 14 27111
    Saturday Sep 15 27502
    Sunday Sep 16 24983
    Monday Sep 17 23308
    Tuesday Sep 18 23009
    Wednesday Sep 19 25998
    Friday Sep 28 28201
    Saturday Sep 29 30202
    Sunday Sep 30 28317
    Monday Oct 1 24543

  19. Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    If they put a good team on the field, they’ll draw. If they don’t, they won’t. Folks from Macondo won’t shell out for a substandard product month after month. This isn’t Chicago.

    • scratchnsniffnblog - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Or New York, or Philly, or LA, or San Fran.

      Although I did go to a game once just to yell at Dan Miceli for blowing a lead. I was not disappointed.

      • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        Ah yes, Dan Miceli – he was a popular guy, sort of a rough template for Heath Bell.

  20. scratchnsniffnblog - Oct 2, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    It’s a simple equation:

    [Affordable tickets + (team performance / fan expectations) + (entertainment value / other local entertainment value) – bullsh!t] * boobs = attendance

  21. footballer4ever - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    The Marlins are a joke of sports team. Marlins management are a bunch of crooks specially that napoleonic Sampsom kid. Nobody cares for baseball, loser dolphins or panthers. The only team thsat is relevant is Miami Heat and it’s obvious why. Move the Marlins, dolphins and panthers out of south florida!

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