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“Carnival-like monstrosity”

2012 April 18
by Phil Miller

The Marlins beat the Cubs 5-2 last night, spoiling another good effort by Ryan Dempster.  Dempster, who hurt himself with a throwing error in the game, is now 0-1 on the year despite having just a 1.33 ERA.  The crushing blow was delivered by the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez who blasted a 3-run, tie-breaking homer in the 8th inning off of  Rafael Dolis.  So what does that have to do with economics?  This from the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan:

Ramirez’s blast to deep left set off a carnival-like monstrosity in center field that includes flying fish, flamingos and palm trees.

It was just another eccentricity in what is sure to be the game’s most controversial ballpark.

Marlins Centerfield Sculpture

The sculpture cost approximately $2.5 million.  I have to wonder:  if the ballpark had been 100% privately-financed, would the “tacky” “monstrosity” have been included?  Would private investors have believed that, all else equal, that sculpture would have generated marginal revenue of $2.5 million plus an acceptable return (in present value) over the life of the stadium?  Or is this sculpture an example of what happens when folks spend other people’s money?

3 Responses
  1. Currie Martin permalink
    April 19, 2012

    I agree that the sculpture is unbelievably “tacky”. However, like outrageous uniforms used by the likes of Maryland and Oregon football, maybe it’s so tacky that it creates a buzz. Case in point by the fact that you decided to write a quick article on it. Maybe the tackiness will attract so many people trying to figure out what it is that the sculpture pays for itself. Just a thought!

  2. Skip Sauer permalink*
    April 19, 2012

    I agree that the thing generated a bit of buzz. As an Astros fan, against who the first homer was hit (game tying, in the bottom of the 8th), I was less than amused. But that is the state of an Astros fan these days. 4-8, and no end in sight.

  3. April 23, 2012

    Not so sure…when I friend and I were in graduate school, we spent an afternoon walking about the downtown area of Los Angeles and admiring or rather laughing at the corporate art that seemed to be mandatory in the lobbies and courtyards for corporate high-rises. I’m assuming BofA, or Arco or whoever paid for them.

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