July 15, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins president David Samson (left) and owner Jeffrey H. Loria (right) during the ninth inning of the Washington Nationals shutout of the Marlins 4-0 at Marlins Park. photo/Robert Mayer

Miami Marlins Find Themselves in No-Win Situation with Fans

They cannot quit. The Marlins have to make some kind of boneheaded move to alienate their fan base everyday, it seems. The latest news about the Marlins front office is something that one would not expect from a team struggling to draw fans to the game, in the first place.

The Miami Marlins are threatening to sue Jan and Bill Leon, according to a Miami New Times report. The couple have been season ticket holders since 1998, paying tens of thousands of dollars for front row seats. They had enjoyed the front row seats they had paid for, that is until last season.

“They’ve pooped on fans’ feelings for years,” Jan Leon says. “These seats are not what we paid for.”

The problem? According to the Miami New Times:

The Marlins installed an obtrusive billboard that blocks their view and dangerously obscures ground balls, the Leons asked to move into a different section. Their reward? A lawsuit threat.

The Marlins say that they have offered the Leon’s plenty of chances to change seats, but the couple has refused.

Now, I have no idea which side to believe to be honest. The Marlins past actions point to them being in the wrong. However, at the same time, just because someone has done something wrong in the past, does not make them the guilty party on a different matter.

For all we know, the Leon’s could be upset about the Marlins fire sale (who could blame them) and want out of their contract they signed last season, when they thought the team was going to be competitive.

On the flip side, I would not put it past the Marlins to make overtures to give the Leon’s tickets that are inferior to the value of the seats that they paid for.

Without more knowledge about the situation, this is simply a “he-said, she-said” situation. To me, people are unjustifiably piling on the Marlins, because they have been wrong in the past (not that it is undeserved).

But the team only has its self to blame for this terrible reputation. Jeffery Loria and company have made their bed, now they must sleep in it.

The longtime season-ticket holders gave the Marlins an ultimatum: “Move them to a different pair of seats along the third-base line, or they wouldn’t pay for a second season.”

Here’s how the Marlins responded:

  Leon Letter

The letter did not sit well with the Leon’s and the Marlins have likely lost more fans for the 2013 season and beyond:

“I have no intention of renewing,” Leon says. “They’re a Double A team now. It went down the toilet when they sold off all the players.”

The Marlins sent this statement about the Leons’ complaints to Riptide:

Fan comfort is of utmost importance to us. We go above and beyond to ensure our fans have a great experience at Marlins Park. We have offered Ms. Leon numerous opportunities to move to a different seat location, and each time she has refused to move. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to relocate the advertising signage that she alleges is blocking her view of certain plays near third base. We would be happy to assist Ms. Leon in relocating her tickets to seats that do not have this allegedly obstructed view. We value our fans and will continue to do our very best to offer them a wonderful baseball experience.
At this point, I don’t care if Jeffery Loria and the Marlins are right about this or not. They continue to have no regard or sensitivity towards the Marlins fan base. Eventually, commissioner Bud Selig needs to step in and fix this pathetic situation going on in Miami, or he could end up losing the market forever.
What do you guys feel about this on-going situation? Is the team taking a stand that is really necessary at this point?

Tags: Jeffery Loria Miami Marlins

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