source: baseball360.com

Empty Seats at Marlins Park?


According to the Miami Marlins, opening day has been sold out for months and season tickets are rapidly being sold. While there is no doubt that ticket sales have reached unprecedented levels for this franchise with exception of the inaugural season in 1993, a vast supply of tickets remain.

With respect to opening day, the Marlins have held firm on their stance of not releasing single game tickets. However, throughout the past month a ten and now a five game package has been released that includes opening day among other less desirable games. This action, while it may make it easier for many longtime fans to attend opening day, indicates that a large percentage of the fan base has not invested in a season ticket package. These fans are those who in the past at Sun Life Stadium and into the future at Marlins Park have and will attend games based on their own availability rather than be dictated by a structured ticket plan.

The release of these ticket packages forces these fans to purchase games in which they would otherwise not attend due to having prior work commitments. This leads to the emergence of Stub Hub as a viable option in order to purchase and sell tickets. A significant allotment of seats for less desirable games will go on sale on the secondary market for a lower price than what the box office asks for. As such, fans will go to Stub Hub to meet their ticketing needs.

In fact, on the secondary market, in several cases entire rows worth of tickets are being sold by the same proprietor. This emphasizes and shows that tickets for the inaugural season at Marlins Park are being viewed mostly as a commodity or an asset on the open market. While a large fan base that has the capacity to routinely fill Marlins Park to capacity most likely exists, the sale of tickets as a commodity in making profit will discourage and limit fans from buying certain tickets and in some cases will leave empty seats within the stadium.

source: stubhub.com

This reduces attendance since in Major League Baseball it is recorded as the number of tickets sold by the team. If seats are bought through the team in the case of events with higher demand, then the price on the secondary market will be higher than the box office price and subsequently a few thousand seats will remain unsold. With respect to less desirable games, since demand is less , a fewer number of seats from all sources will be purchased thus making the possibility of a sellout less likely.

As such, while a sellout may be frequently reported as compared to the precedent level of ticket sales in Marlins history, it is inevitable that the  supply of empty seats will remain due the discrepancy in pricing between the secondary market and the Marlins box office.

Tags: Marlins Park Miami Marlins