As you may know, the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County were duped into contributing $409 million in bonds to help build the new $515 million Marlins Park. Worse, 40 years from now, those bonds will have cost the public $2.4 billion. But at least the stadium is shiny and new and popular, right?
Not so much. In only the fifth game since opening, last night’s paid attendance was less than 25,000. Actual attendance was likely even lower. The stadium was sold out (36,601) on opening night but hasn’t been since.
So maybe if the Marlins were winning, the fans would come, right? After all, the Washington Nationals experienced a drop off after they opened their new $614 million stadium in 2008. “We get the attendance we deserve,” Washington Nationals team president Stan Kasten told the Biz of Baseball website one year later. “If we give the fans a reason to support us, they’ll be here in droves.”
Well, the Nats are 9-3 and Monday was the home debut of pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg. The paid attendance? A mere 16,245. Clearly, if you build it — and win in it — they will not necessarily come.
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