Hurricane Irene has managed to cause the same team to play two different sets of doubleheaders in a matter of four days. The Marlins will play in Philadelphia this weekend, but the series will conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday instead of the traditional Sunday matinee.
Thursday’s Marlins v. Reds game was moved up to Wednesday when the teams split the double header. But the promotion the Marlins held for the day game is what caught my eye. It was orange tee-shirt giveaway day. Check it out:
Out of the entire park, it looks like maybe only 347 people DIDN’T take part in sporting the colors. I don’t know why the Marlins would give out shirts colored more like those the Miami Dolphins would hand out, but it was nice to see the fan loyalty anyway.
Okay, enough of that. Honestly, this was probably one of those games where a foul ball to the mezzanine level was followed up five minutes later by 14 souvenir-seeking fans chasing it down. It looks like this would be a ballhawk’s paradise. This stadium gets a bad reputation as far as fan-friendliness, but I bet a serious ballhawk would pay extra to go to a game attended by so few people.
The Marlins get a load of rubbish every year from negative fans who just want something to jeer/complain/annoy other people about, as far as attendance figures go. Miami is just not a prime geographic location to house a baseball team, or any sports team for that matter. Rich people living in Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale are simply not living there during the summer. If baseball was a winter sport, I’m sure there would be much more attendance.
Aside from the fact that residents leave South Florida in the summer, there is another, more serious factor that results in such low crowds. There is one direction to go to get to Miami from any other populated American city, south. Almost every major league team has major cities in within a few hours’ drive and in multiple directions.
I’m sure the new park will draw significantly more people since it a) will be designed for baseball, b) will be air conditioned and indoors if the weather calls for it, and c) the team will get better over the years.