At the end of a busy week for the new Miami Marlins, the optimistic team unveiled their new logo and uniforms as Jeffrey Loria expressed his desire to create something amazing with this team. He expressed his point that the Marlins will be Miami’s own, and the glistening stadium at Miami’s center would do just that.
“For me, it has always been about creating something spectacular, which would fit in with the Miami skyline, something new, and forward-looking, like our city…Our ballpark sits right in the middle of one of the most vibrant, passionate cities in the world.”
Loria continued by speaking about Miami’s culture, and how the ballpark will reflect that iconic South Florida lifestyle. Moments later, he tossed the old “Florida” Marlins cap into the crowd and revealed the new Miami Marlins logo. Supporting the idea of the team reflecting Miami culture, he explained the new colors.
“[T]he red-orange of the breathtaking Miami sunsets…the blue of the sky and the sea, and the yellow of the beautiful Miami sunshine.”
With the new name, uniforms, and park, the Marlins are looking forward to a new beginning, one that will allow the team to expand payroll, and contend with a core group of players.The Marlins were limited while playing at Sun Life Stadium. They owed a certain amount every year to the Dolphins, and couldn’t support a pricey team as other high market cities can. The un-friendly baseball venue did not attract fans, and thus the team could not support a strong fan base. But with the new “Miami” symbol, the team hopes to instill in the hearts of Miami sports fans the passion of this club to bring a winning Major League baseball team to the great city. The Marlins are especially looking to draw in the hispanic crowd of Miami, and may do so further with the signing of Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes.
But there are still doubters and haters alike who are not buying in to this whole rejuvenating motion of the Marlins. I recently read an article on Yahoo by Jeff Pasaan, who completely took the wrong approach in the advertisement of this new team. Pasaan looked on the negative side of the Marlins history as far as their negative fan base and fraudulent financial reports to convince Miami-Dade County directors to fund the new stadium. He doubted a raise in attendance for 2012, and bashed the Marlins hopes of winning. His sleek journalism skills might unfortunately draw baseball-naive readers into agreeing with his negative analysis. It looks to me like Pasaan only writes about what he wants to jeer in sports; even his picture looks negative.
Enough with the bashing, but I am sure Pasaan is not the only one who is pessimistic about the Marlins future. He mentioned a lot of teams in the article who built new stadiums and didn’t get the attendance they hoped for, and also said that lousy fans of these teams only respond to winning. That is mostly true, but also deceptive. Aside from the select few teams who will always have a passionate fan base; such as, the Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox, and probably the Giants; almost every team has fickle fans who only respond to a record above .500. But sometimes, like in the Giants case, a beautiful ballpark and city will nullify the need for winning in order to attract fans. Of course, a winning team in San Francisco exemplified the fan base. So even bad teams with a great city and stadium can earn the money needed to support an eventual winning club.
One more example, the Houston Astros, who are in a similar geographical situation to the Marlins. The city lies right on the coast of Texas next to the Gulf of Mexico. They draw fans from Houston and to the west, from San Antonio and Austin. But other than those, there are not very many populated cities within close proximity to Houston. But the fans the city did have responded to the new ballpark. And this year, I saw it in person. On a weeknight, against the Nationals, the-30-games-below-.500 Astros drew close to 29,000 fans. Can you think of any better reason NOT to go to a game? Yet 29,000 fans chose to support their hometown club despite the horrendous season.
So Loria’s vision of drawing 30,000 fans on a nightly basis next season does not seem out of the realm of possibility. And the Marlins have done what they can so far to attract the city of Miami. Now it’s the fans turn to respond to the team.