The Marlins want a new, subsidized stadium built where the Orange Bowl once sat. But demand for baseball in Miami (despite two recent World Series titles) does not seem to warrant a stadium subsidy:
For the 455th consecutive time last Wednesday afternoon, 96-year-old Fenway Park in Boston sold every seat for a Red Sox game, tying baseball's record.
At the same time that Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka was throwing his first pitch before 37,373 paid customers, Florida Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad was throwing one at 21-year-old Dolphin Stadium before 584 fans — counted by the players themselves.
That's all you need to know to understand why government's frenzy to waste half a billion dollars to build a Marlins stadium is off base.
As auto dealer Norman Braman plays his hand in court as the only public figure willing to buck the giveaway, the Marlins play to the smallest attendance in baseball, by thousands, day after day.
Even the Marlins' pitiful average of 16,576 paid through last Wednesday's game is suspect, because while players were counting 584, the Marlins were reporting an "official" 11,211 — though that's still far less than a third of capacity. Whether almost nobody bothered to use their tickets to see a team fighting for a title or the Marlins were fudging numbers, who knows?
What is perfectly clear is that few show up. No new stadium would change that.
That's the start of an informative editorial at Miami Today. Thanks to John J. for the link.