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Marlins closing off upper deck for six games next week

May 7, 2013, 9:35 PM EDT

marlins park getty taller Getty Images

Barry Jackson, columnist at the Miami Herald, has the story:

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 – an approach the team used at times at Sun Life Stadium.

The upper bowl will be closed for six dates in the team’s nine-game homestand that begins next Tuesday. Fans can sit only in the lower bowl for games May 14-16 against Cincinnati and May 20-22 against Philadelphia. The upper bowl will remain open for May 17-19 games against Arizona.

The Marlins will make a decision before each homestand from here on out about whether the upper deck sections are going to be accessible.

Marlins representative P.J. Loyello told the Miami Herald that closing the upper bowl will “give an overall better fan experience.” But, as Jackson points out, it also means fewer shifts for some stadium employees.

The Marlins averaged 18,772 fans per game in their final year at Sun Life. They’re doing 18,865 per game in their second season at Marlins Park — a building that will wind up costing Miami taxpayers over $1 billion.

  1. 13arod - May 7, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    why would they close the seats against philly??????? and not the diamiondbacks????

    • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      weekend vs week night

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 10:15 PM

        less gritty fans

    • Old Gator - May 7, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      Well, for one thing, it’ll look a lot less embarrassing on camera – those vistas of empty seats are pretty damning. Scrooge McLoria would like to believe that you won’t notice if the cameras have no more excuses to zero in on the one or weirdos with stupid hats and face paint sitting out in no-man’s-land.

    • sabatimus - May 8, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      Close the whole park.

      • badintent - May 8, 2013 at 2:06 AM

        second the motion. The motion is passed .

    • cktai - May 8, 2013 at 5:16 AM

      The upper desk is closed to enhance the overall fan experience. So presumably they are not expecting any fans at all to show up for the games against the D’backs so there is no need to enhance their experience.

  2. melkipershero - May 7, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Does it really matter? This is what happens when your owner is worse than Donald freakin Sterling.

    • melkipershero - May 7, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      On another note. Considering the Heat have problems with having fans stay an entire game I am having doubts as to wether any franchise could draw a large amount of fans consistently in Miami. Theres just to much other stuff to do.

      • gloccamorra - May 7, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        Lots of places have other stuff to do. The Heat have the same problem other NBA teams have, they arrive midway through the first half and leave at the 2 minute mark, knowing the last two minutes of basketball takes 40 minutes. Marlins fans don’t show because their team loses and players get shipped out so often fans don’t want to get attached to them. You can’t build or hold a fan base that way.

      • radiopirate - May 7, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        There’s at least as much–probably more–to do in the Bay Area, including another MLB team, yet the San Francisco Giants draw 42,000 per game no matter if it’s a day game, night game or crap opponent… and they’ve been doing it for over 200 consecutive games now, despite ridiculously high prices for tickets, beer, soda, and any other amenity. Marlin fans are right to blame team management. The Giants put a winning team on the field and the management goes to great lengths to make every game feel like a special event. I don’t see that kind of enthusiasm or fan-friendliness at Marlins Park. Of course, the Giants didn’t lean on taxpayers to finance AT&T Park, so the team has a hugely-vested interest in keeping the place full.

      • melkipershero - May 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        Lots of teams arent the Heat is my point. Basically if the Heat werent, you know, the Heat theyd be drawing horribly.

  3. randygnyc - May 7, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Scumbag front office. Sad attempt to furlough employees. I hate Lauria!!!!!

  4. cocheese000 - May 7, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Wow I would bet that some of those employees getting their shift cut are the same ones whose tax dollars are paying for that stadium

    • evanwins - May 7, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      was thinking the same thing. This stadium which was supposed to be sooo good for the city, has been nothing but a problem for them.

      On a side note, I would have so much more respect for them if they just admitted it was to cut costs rather than pretend it is for the fans.

    • 18thstreet - May 8, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      It’s so hard for me to understand how anyone (not you, Cocheese) can believe stadiums create jobs. Do they need more ushers at the new place? More hot dog vendors? More groundskeepers?

      There are some new temporary — and good — jobs during the construction phase. But those same people could be building bridges or elementary schools oh, hell, private office buildings for profitable corporations (at least they’re open more than 81 days a year, and for longer than 6 hours a day).

      There’s just no reason to spend taxpayer money to build a new ballpark.

  5. 13arod - May 7, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    i think the marlins would be better off not letting the fans in the ballpark

    • Old Gator - May 7, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      I think the fans would be better off if the Feesh didn’t let them in the stadium.

      • elpendejo59 - May 8, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        Gator,
        Curious for your take. I went to 12 games last year. I live in West Palm but work in Boca. I leave work most days at 6 but if it is a day I have tickets, I can cut out at 5:30ish. I have not found a way to feasibly get there before first pitch once driving. My tried and true method last year was burn a tiny bit of PTO, hop on Tri-Rail, skip traffic, jump on MetroRail, and take the shuttle. That is no longer possible, as last northbound Tri-Rail train is prior to 10pm. Last I checked, there were more season ticket holders in Broward and Palm Beach than Dade (not that I fault anyone, in any county for passing). As our only local MLB outlet, this is tough. I went to opening day this year and got stranded, and you commented on my tale, so I know you know what I am talking about. I want to support baseball in SoFla, even if its just to see my Braves and other interesting teams, but I am failing any longer to see why. As bad as JoePlayerSunLifeShark Stadium (I know that isn’t your name, but my circle of friends dubbed it this) was, it was at least accessible from the north. I should give up, right?

      • Old Gator - May 8, 2013 at 1:39 AM

        Well, I’m boycotting the place as long as Scrooge McLoria owns the franchise, partly because I’m sick and tired of being played cheap as a fan by this thieving piece of garbage, but also as a protest against the abhorrent ripoff of the community by Scrooge, MLB and our corrupt and incompetent city and county government. Ergo, I can hardly encourage you to attend games when I refuse to do so myself.

        However, I guess I can give you a pointer about driving south in rush hour and maybe cutting it a little closer to game time. Take the turnpike all the way to the international customs and immigration barrier disguised as toll booths at the Golden Glades, and as you get onto I-95 heading south move immediately into the lefthand land and take the express lanes down to where they end just south of SR112; get right quickly, swing over to SR836 and immediately take the 14th Street exit. You know it from there. I-95 south through southern Palm Beach County and all of Broward in rush hour moves like cold molasses running uphill. The Pike has slow spots, especially around the I-595 interchange construction, but it is much better than 95.

      • elpendejo59 - May 8, 2013 at 2:59 AM

        I gave that a shot as well and I have to head too far west to make it happen, so the cost cancels the reward. Thank you for the advice, but I am going to take your unspoken advice and quit. I *may* hit a Braves game (and my Mets fan friend is inclined to buy a ticket for us both and drive on the occasional weekend), should it fall in my lap. Just a shame, being there when Charlie Hough threw that knuckler that probably smelled like a pack of Pall Mall’s on that Opening Day, FILLED with hope, that I’d finally give up. I was 12 and full of hope. I am now 32 and cynical. Maybe we cross paths at Tweeter’s next bowling excursion. I kid.

  6. digbysellers - May 7, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Don’t worry, Uncle Jeffy will take care of all employees who’s shifts are cut back with free Marlins tickets to each family who’s losing money.

  7. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - May 7, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    what a goddamned disaster this franchise has become. loria is such a cunt!

  8. rcali - May 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Loria pulls off the greatest scam in modern sports as Bud sits back and wets his diapers.

    • chill1184 - May 7, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      You act surprised that Commrade Selig is allowing this to happen. If Wilpon couldnt get kicked out of the club what makes you think that Selig will remove another of his cronies in Loria?

  9. brewcrewfan54 - May 7, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    That’s so Marlins.

  10. mazblast - May 7, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    There is hope, Marlins fans. Selig won’t be around that much longer. Perhaps the next Commissioner will dust off that “best interests of the game” clause and make Loria sell.

    • cackalackyank - May 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      Maybe there is hope for the Houston fans then, too.

      • chill1184 - May 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        I dont think its fair to lump Houston’s situation with the Marlins. The Astros were pretty upfront on what they were going to do when the new owner took over

      • brewcrewfan54 - May 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Houston isn’t the victim of a terrible owner. They’re a victim of trying to hang on too long when it was time to rebuild. And this is the dirst season with their new owner so we don’t even know if he sucks yet.

      • term3186 - May 8, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        No, the new owner sucks. Houston fans understand that Selig had his nuts in a vice when it came to moving to the American league and we know the rebuilding will take a couple years, but I swear the man has done everything humanly possible to alienate season ticket holders. From overhauling the front office staff to installing THOSE GODAWFUL BILLBOARDS OUT IN LEFT FIELD. They ask the season ticket holders what they want, and then completely ignore them. Aggravating.

      • cackalackyank - May 8, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        I can understand the desire of some Houston fans to want to give their new owner a mulligan for the first season. Admittedly there IS a serious track record as far as Loria is concerned. I don’t know about the”hanging on too long” thin though. Its been awhile since the Astros were really competitive. I think its at least 3-4 years. My problem with the “it’s his first year” arguement is that I don’t understand the psychology of deliberately fielding a “Historically Bad” team the season you take over. If you want to encourage the fan base I would have made some obvious effort to be competitive, and show case what ever prospects you have once in awhile. I will say I applaud the Houston fans that can be optimistic about an owner that would let the appearance of building a losing culture be his first impression.

    • jwbiii - May 7, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Nice idea, but it’s not going to happen. The owners hire the commissioner and they can fire the commissioner. If any future attempts to use that weapon against Loria, he can use it against any of them. If he tries to, he’ll be out of a job before he can say ‘WTF?”

      • jwbiii - May 7, 2013 at 11:53 PM

        If any future commissioner. . .

  11. sportsnut101 - May 7, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    As bad as an owner he is. His team has 2 world championships N Toronto has 2 N they sucked for yrs n yrs. is their owner as bad

    Marlins owner. Straight robbed the people. By getting a free stadium lmao.

    All the stadiums are built with to many seats u rarely see teams fully sellout even if they say it’s sold out. U see plenty of empty seats n don’t tell me they getting food or in bathroom the whoe time seat empty lol

    • tfbuckfutter - May 7, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      Wayne Huizenga owned the team for it’s first WS win.

      But….you know….Frank McCourt doesn’t get credit for owning a six-time world series winning franchise either.

      Also….this isn’t Twitter and you’re not a 13 year old girl (I’m assuming) texting her BFFs.

      Type like a human fucking being.

      • brewcrewfan54 - May 7, 2013 at 11:25 PM

        I’m restricted from giving you 1,000 thumbs up for your last line alone.

    • brewcrewfan54 - May 7, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      His ownership group wasn’t responsible for their first World Series and it was his first year owning them when they won their 2nd so its debatable if he should get any credit for that one.

      • Old Gator - May 8, 2013 at 1:44 AM

        He gets credit for picking Pudge off the scrapheap. It’s questionable whether they go to the series without him. The rest of that team had Dave Dombrowski’s fingerprints all over it and absolutely nothing Scrooge McLoria or Larry Beinfest or the widely detested Chihuahua have ever done suggest in any way that they could have built a winner unless Dombrowski had been there first.

  12. ptfu - May 7, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    If the Marlins tarp off the cheap seats, then anyone who wants a ticket has to buy a more expensive one. Loria wins again!

  13. tfbuckfutter - May 7, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    So….the plan is to punish the fans who DO show up by making them sit closer to the awful product they put out?

    Jeff Loria is probably trying to figure out a way to get the city council to agree to a system whereby citizens have to buy a ticket to NOT attend home games….

    Oh. Wait…..they already DO pay to not go to the games.

    Holy shit is Miami fucked up.

  14. futilephish - May 8, 2013 at 6:24 AM

    And the hits keep on coming for Dade County
    These two guys are complete scumbags.
    I will refuse to go to any games, have even declined free tickets, for I will give Loria one more dime of my money.
    Fans DON’T GO and they will sell!!!!!

  15. thegonz13 - May 8, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    This is par for the course for Loria. The scumbag will stop at nothing, including alienating a entire fanbase, to make a buck.

    Trust me on this. I grew up with the Expos and I watched this piece of work drive the last stake through my childhhood team’s heart, then carpetbag it out of town with Selig’s blessing.

  16. realgone2 - May 8, 2013 at 8:30 AM

  17. tcostant - May 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Doesn’t this mean that fan who go now, will have to buy more expensive tickets. I guess they can always go cheap from stubhub…

  18. albertmn - May 8, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    I know this won’t fit in with all of the Loria bashing (and there are plenty of reasons to bash him).

    But, this is not unprecedented to close off seats. The last few years that the Twins played in the Metrodome they had a big tarp covering a large portion of the upper deck in the outfield. It allowed them to not have all of their concession stands open (in that section), and gave them fewer areas to need security and cleanup after the game. If you aren’t filling the stadium, it only makes sense to block off some sections.

  19. kalinedrive - May 8, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I have not been to the new stadium yet, but I do plan to go to at least one game in the final series of the season when the Tigers visit.

    Hey, it’s been 11 years since the Tigers have been down here. I went to all 3 games in 2002, and they went 55-106 that year. I did get to yell at Shane Halter, though.

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