Marlins Double-A Affiliate Agrees To Long-Term City Extension

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 20: A general view of a baseball during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 20, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 20: A general view of a baseball during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 20, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, has inked a long-term deal with the city to a long-term deal.

The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp will stick around the city of Jacksonville for a while, according to the team’s website and public relations department. The Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins has committed to stay at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville through at least 2033.

Fans in North Florida can not only enjoy affordable family fun, but they can also get a glimpse of the future with the Marlins minor league prospects.

The Jumbo Shrimp made the announcement on Wednesday through a press release and story on their website. The Marlins and Jacksonville have been in a partnership since 2009. Many MLB players have come through the city, including former players Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna.

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Current Marlins such as Pablo Lopez, Peter O’Brien, Austin Dean, and Trevor Richards, J.T. Riddle, Brian Anderson, and J.T. Realmuto have made a stop in Jacksonville on their way to the Major Leagues.

Outfielder Isaac Galloway was part of Jacksonville’s 2014 Southern League Title team.

"“Since assuming control of the team in 2015 it has been one of our top priorities to work on a lease extension that confirms our commitment to Jacksonville,” said Jumbo Shrimp Owner Ken Babby. “Our fans have shown incredible support and loyalty making the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville a can’t-miss destination.”"

The Marlins Double-A team is part of the Southern League and in the championship series just one season ago under manager Randy Ready. The news comes shortly after it was announced this month that Greensboro would no longer be the team’s Single-A affiliate and was replaced with the Clinton LumberKings. There is also talk that New Orleans, the team’s Triple-A affiliate, may be ending its relationship with the organization.

This was the second year the Jacksonville ballclub had played under the new mascot the Jumbo Shrimp. Minor League baseball in town had been known for the Suns, which had become a fixture for decades.

Despite a losing record this season, the Jumbo Shrimp continued to set records for home attendance and had nightly promotions which were recognized nationally.

"“The organization has experienced great success at the turnstiles at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville with an incredible 23% increase in attendance for the inaugural Jumbo Shrimp season in 2017,” the public relations department explained. “The success carried over to 2018 as the July 3 crowd of 11,762 was the largest at the Baseball Grounds in 10 years and the four crowds over 8,700 were the four largest in the Southern League this season.”"

Jacksonville had an average attendance of 5,037 in 63 openings in 2018. It was the first time since 2010 that Jacksonville has averaged at least 5,000 fans in consecutive seasons.

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Both Dean and current Jumbo Shrimp pitcher Nick Neidert were named the organization’s minor league player and the pitcher of the year.

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