The following is cross-posted from Noah Pransky’s Shadow of the Stadium blog.
Let the fun and games begin.
Last night, “Marlins Watch” got underway with an announced crowd of 34,439. How significant is that number?ESPN.com reports:
Announced attendance was 34,439, with thousands of empty seats and many tickets sold at discounted prices. Some fans pledged to stay away this season because they’re angry that owner Jeffrey Loria reverted to a frugal payroll only a year after the team opened a new ballpark built mostly with taxpayer money.
Loria watched the game from his suite, out of the view of potential boo-birds. A handful of spectators wore homemade T-shirts disparaging him, a few others had bags over their heads, and many wore jerseys of Marlins traded in the past year, including Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson.
So it appears the 93% capacity crowd gets the incomparable Maury Brown past one big hurdle in one of his bold 2013 predictions (Marlins won’t sell out a single game this year).
It doesn’t help that Loria sold off most of his good talent and the Marlins have now won just one of their first seven games. Three of the Marlins’ losses have come by shutout.
And as the glow from the home opener disappears in Miami, the focus will shift to how the Marlins can sell the rest of this homestand and the season. Of course, the team handing out free tickets to fans who took advantage of the opening night deal should help.