The Miami Marlins are annually finishing at the bottom in attendance numbers. It’s frustrating to see as a Miami Marlins fan and frequent game attendee, but it’s also indicative of a larger problem that The Fish have. The Miami Marlins are in a unique position where we have a specific situation that isn’t common among teams. Let’s take a deeper look at the situation…
The Miami Marlins are a very unique team.
Miami is a big market, in fact it’s a booming one. People are flocking from all over the country to live here and the city has been called the “tech capital of America” as well as a “second Wall Street”. I would consider Boston, Philadelphia and Houston as smaller markets for example, and their Major League teams are considered big market teams that outspend the Miami Marlins. That’s a problem.
The Miami Marlins are a very young team by Major League standards. More than half of teams such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, have been around since the turn of the century or even earlier and many expansion teams had built-in fanbases, such as the New York Mets with the National League fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, who didn’t want to support the New York Yankees after those teams left town.
The Miami Marlins are a new team, only being around for 29 years (since 1993), this means that there are no “older” fans who can pass down the team to the next generation. There also many transplants who move to Miami and bring their loyalties to previous hometown teams along with them. Interestingly, most teams haven’t won as many World Series as the Miami Marlins since The Fish’s formation.
The ownership problems are an issue as well… Jeffrey Loria was a terrible owner and the team constantly rebuilding after championships, and refusing to spend to keep top players was a major blow to fan loyalty. Why support a team that isn’t committed to winning? It’s sad as the Miami Marlins were once the fastest expansion team to win a World Series and winning 2 in 29 years is better than most teams.
The solution to this is rather simple, Bruce Sherman needs to tell Kim Ng to spend money. He needs to show the fan base that he is committed to winning, and if he does and the team starts winning, the Miami Marlins attendance will improve.