The Miami Marlins front office still must deal with the issue of lack of support at the stadium as the team looks forward to 2020.
It’s hard to look at the current problems with the Miami Marlins and think it could be a scene out of the movie Field of Dreams.
For some reason or another, I think that building a winning ballclub is possible, which could mean the Marlins brass, namely, Derek Jeter’s plan to make Marlins Park a destination, have the makings of a made-for-Hollywood script they are just dying to make happen.
The only problem is Kevin Costner is not talking to the baseball gods out of a cornfield in this situation and James Earl Jones is not going to help anyone go the distance to help bring fans back to the ballpark. Jeter got into this situation on his own, first being part of the group that purchased the Marlins from then-owner Jeffrey Loria, and then he dismantled a popular roster full of budding stars. It’s hard to think fans would want to flock to the stadium, even with promises of change and reconfiguration that has already begun.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
At the official mid-way game of the 2019 season, the Miami Marlins had 14,774 fans in the stands. It was above average for a baseball crowd at the park. Sure, there is the limelight of Miami, the lure of the beaches and the historical intricacies that steer eyes in other directions at night and on the weekends. But the 14,000-plus that night was a reason for hope. The Marlins averaged just over 10,300 a game for the season – nothing write home about as it is the same number the team averaged a game in 2018.
Something, as Jeter knows and has talked about, has to be done to draw the masses back into the seats. Winning solves a lot of things, but keeping fan interest has been an issue in ballparks of late.
"As Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald wrote, “Miami totaled an MLB-low 811,302 fans over 81 home games this year in the second year of the Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter ownership group. That average of 10,016 fans per contest and just 198 more total fans than 2018.”"
Of course, competition is key. The product must be a winner. The Marlins cannot show up and look like a tanking baseball team, although they are not. Most of all, at some point Jeter and Sherman and the front office will need to open the wallet and spend some cash.
Hopefully, that happens next season and certainly by the 2021 campaign.
"“Jeter acknowledges the lackluster results on the field — the byproduct of the Marlins’ latest rebuild — has played an impact on fans’ decision to come to games,” McPherson adds. “The Marlins are 55-103 heading into Thursday. So, too, have decisions of past ownership groups that have left the fan base questioning when — or if — the Marlins will become a competitive baseball team again.”"
The Marlins have taken baby steps of progress this season despite their record. Jeter knows there must be more of a connection with the fanbase. He also knows if the Marlins win, they will come out and support this team -more so than before. The baseball community hated Jeffrey Loria’s stranglehold. Regardless of the fact they do not like some of the future Hall of Famer’s decisions, it’s more likely, this city wants to embrace everything Jeter was and will become.
"“We need more fans to come out,” Jeter said. “I think our ownership group has invested quite a bit in the fan experience, whether that’s ticket prices, whether it’s concession prices, whether it’s capital improvements in the ballpark. We want this to be an affordable option for the fans of South Florida, but I’d be lying to you if I said we don’t need to increase attendance.”"