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South Florida proves it's not big league


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There's no reason for South Florida to go back to the ballpark ? unless, perhaps, you're going there to root for the other team. But even then it might not be worth the cost of a ticket.

 

Why pay major-league prices to watch your favorite team play against a bunch of minor leaguers?

 

That's what you'll be getting in the 2006 Florida Marlins, who are in the process of ridding their roster of every recognizable name and anyone who had anything to do with winning the 2003 World Series.

 

Except, maybe, for Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. But only because they're both still young, still working for far less than they're worth and still under contract to the Marlins with no say in their immediate futures.

 

Everyone else, though, is gone. ... or on his way out.

 

Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Carlos Delgado and Luis Castillo already have been traded, trimming about $32 million from the team's payroll, which was at $60 million on Opening Day 2005 but probably won't be half that amount on Opening Day 2006.

 

In return, the Marlins received a crop of young, talented prospects who should be ready to play by, say, 2008 ? or the franchise's first season in Las Vegas or Portland or whatever town cares enough about baseball to build one of those state-of-the-art, retractable-roof ballparks.

 

But we'll get back to the future in a moment.

 

First, you can expect the Marlins to make a few more deals, probably involving Juan Pierre and Paul Lo Duca, at this week's winter meetings in Dallas. And let's not forget the imminent departures of A.J. Burnett, Juan Encarnacion and Alex Gonzalez via free agency. Truth is, baseball hasn't seen this kind of salary dump since, well, the Marlins dismantled their championship team within weeks of winning the 1997 World Series.

 

This time, however, you can't blame the owner, who spent millions of dollars to put a competitive, fun-to-watch team on the field while working within the constraints of a stadium lease that made it impossible to turn a profit.

 

This is South Florida's fault.

 

Jeffrey Loria did his job. You didn't do yours. You didn't show up, or build a ballpark, or do anything to show anyone you really care. That's why the owner is cutting payroll and raising ticket prices. That's why the Marlins, with the blessing of commissioner Bud Selig, are looking for a new home in a city that might actually want a baseball team.

 

Clearly, South Florida doesn't.

 

South Florida doesn't care much about any team, except the Miami Dolphins and whatever other team happens to be trendy. Ten years ago, it was the Florida Panthers, who made a rousing run to the Stanley Cup Finals. In 1997 and 2003, it was the Marlins. Currently, it's the NBA's Miami Heat, thanks to the arrival of Shaquille O'Neal and the emergence of Dwyane Wade.

 

But as the Panthers and Marlins found out ? as the Heat will learn, when Shaq's done and Wade's gone ? the novelty doesn't last long.

 

Maybe it's the climate. Or the demographics. Or because so many of you are from somewhere else.

 

Whatever the reason, South Florida is a lousy sports market.

 

Oh, you like sports. You might even like the local teams. You like knowing they're there, just in case you want to go to a game. But you don't show up until they get to the playoffs.

 

Let's face it: When the Marlins leave, they won't be missed. Most of you won't even notice they're gone.

 

So the Marlins might as well start packing now ? because nothing's going to change.

 

Except the faces on the field. .... and the cost of a ticket.

 

http://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/baseball/article...4287235,00.html

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This whole thing is very sad. We get not one but two championships out of this team, and yet choose not to support them with attendance or a much deserved ballpark. Cities like San Francisco have NEVER won a World Series, and yet they now have a gorgeous ballpark on the water (like we could have had), and routinely sell out.

 

I'm resigned to the fact that for the first time in my life, I will be living in a city with out big league baseball. :(

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I get tired of seeing the situation being portrayed as somehow I didn't do enough. I've supported the team as have many others in South Florida.

 

The real breakdown has been with the team owners and local politicians who haven't been able to find a tenable deal that would allow the Marlins to prosper. It started with Huizenga gutting the team, followed by Huizenga and Henry who agreeing to a horrible deal for the Marlins. The first move destroyed fan loyalty. The second has made it impossible for the Marlins to profit without a new stadium. Finally the local politicians have found the resources to build 3 arenas for other local teams and a performing arts center for the elite few but can't come up with an arrangement to secure the Marlins future?

 

I have no doubt a new stadium built for baseball with a retractable roof would turn the situation around. The Marlins future would be guaranteed and fan loyalty would return. A retractable roof would guarantee comfortable surroundings and will boost attendance.

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I get tired of seeing the situation being portrayed as somehow I didn't do enough. I've supported the team as have many others in South Florida.

 

The real breakdown has been with the team owners and local politicians who haven't been able to find a tenable deal that would allow the Marlins to prosper. It started with Huizenga gutting the team, followed by Huizenga and Henry who agreeing to a horrible deal for the Marlins. The first move destroyed fan loyalty. The second has made it impossible for the Marlins to profit without a new stadium. Finally the local politicians have found the resources to build 3 arenas for other local teams and a performing arts center for the elite few but can't come up with an arrangement to secure the Marlins future?

 

I have no doubt a new stadium built for baseball with a retractable roof would turn the situation around. The Marlins future would be guaranteed and fan loyalty would return. A retractable roof would guarantee comfortable surroundings and will boost attendance.

 

well said!

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the article refuses to acknowledge the real south florida/marlin fans. I'll just put it in the birdcage.

 

There arent enough "real fans"... i know many people on this site are truly good fans, but there just arent enough of us

 

 

I get tired of seeing the situation being portrayed as somehow I didn't do enough. I've supported the team as have many others in South Florida.

 

The real breakdown has been with the team owners and local politicians who haven't been able to find a tenable deal that would allow the Marlins to prosper. It started with Huizenga gutting the team, followed by Huizenga and Henry who agreeing to a horrible deal for the Marlins. The first move destroyed fan loyalty. The second has made it impossible for the Marlins to profit without a new stadium. Finally the local politicians have found the resources to build 3 arenas for other local teams and a performing arts center for the elite few but can't come up with an arrangement to secure the Marlins future?

 

I have no doubt a new stadium built for baseball with a retractable roof would turn the situation around. The Marlins future would be guaranteed and fan loyalty would return. A retractable roof would guarantee comfortable surroundings and will boost attendance.

 

its a vicious cycle...we didnt have good attendence when we had great teams the last two years...now that we are a AA taem again we really arent going to draw people which equals more debt and more reason to ship out to vegas

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The Marlins have done a poor job of marketing the team. It's almost like they don't realize where the team plays. There are plenty of season ticket holders from Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Why don't they have that many from Miami? It's because marketing to Broward and Palm Beach folks is different than marketing to Dade County residents. Dade County residents are predominantly Latin and the Marlins are not sensitive to that difference. If they were, you'd see a much larger fan base.

 

This is where Cisneros would do an outstanding job. He's already a media mogul, so he knows how to market in general. But, he's specifically a Latin media mogul, meaning he knows that market particularly well. He woul d get the job done in Miami. If he becomes owner, I predict near sell out crowds (32, 33+K per game) on a consistent basis. Dade county fans are not fickle. Marlins owners thus far just don't know how to handle them.

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The fire-sale is more to blame on an owner who felt that he could spend beyond his means and would magically attain a revenue source that two previous ownership groups tried and failed to receive, than it is on non-fans who never showed up to begin with.

 

The fact of the matter is that we're splitting hairs over people who don't show up, yet calling them "fans." The Marlins don't have an incredibly large fan-base, and if the 2003 title didn't bring them out in droves, thinking Carlos Delgado would do so is foolish.

 

You can't blame people who never showed up to begin with, and punishing the fanbase because of a poor business decision or two (Leiter, Delgado) that they themselves did not make, but paid for as reflected by the largest percentage of ticket price hike between 2004 and 2005, is simply acting in bad faith.

 

Point the finger at Loria, or the man who told Loria he could afford Delgado, or the man who didn't teach Beinfest the basic concepts of addition and backloaded budgets, but don't blame the fans.

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I wonder how a team in New York would do under these circumstances , a team is created with 2 years their is a major strike that ruins a season , than after you win the world series the team owner immediately guts your championship team before you have a few minutes to celebrate, for 5 years your payroll is nothing and your teams pretty much make no effort to put a competitive product on the field, your team is sold to guy a who is more interested in acquiring another team , and flips your team to an owner who has a history of wrecking and moving baseball teams, on top of that he is by far one of the poorest owners in baseball , then after building some momentum and a world series win , this poor owner performs a "market correction", despite recieving major funds from mlb the payroll is by far the lowest in mlb and all of our players have been traded for some prospects while this is happening ticket prices are increased 20 percent. Yes we need a stadium BUT Florida has never really gotten a fair shake with a stable owner. We are not even 15 years old and since our inception we have gone through stuff that has hurt far more established teams.......Plus the team has threatened to move for about a decade ....GIVE US A CHANCE with a stable owner!

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The most relevant big league comparison is the Padres.

 

Their '93 "firesale" set them seriously back in the eyes of their consumers and their effort to get a new stadium. Their run to the '98 World Series didn't immediately result in a new stadium, and only until 3 years after that run did they finally make headway in their new project...or, 9 years after the first fire-sale and 3 after the World Series run.

 

So, I think the answer to the common "well, what would other markets do?" Is that those markets would do (more or less) the exact same thing. And they didn't have to deal with 2 firesales in that same time period

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The Marlins have done a poor job of marketing the team. It's almost like they don't realize where the team plays. There are plenty of season ticket holders from Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Why don't they have that many from Miami? It's because marketing to Broward and Palm Beach folks is different than marketing to Dade County residents. Dade County residents are predominantly Latin and the Marlins are not sensitive to that difference. If they were, you'd see a much larger fan base.

 

Can you really say that though? Dade County residents also don't have as much disposable income to spend on tickets and transportation. Those that do have a plethora of entertainment options much closer than the Dade/Broward county border.

 

The fire-sale is more to blame on an owner who felt that he could spend beyond his means and would magically attain a revenue source that two previous ownership groups tried and failed to receive, than it is on non-fans who never showed up to begin with.

 

The fact of the matter is that we're splitting hairs over people who don't show up, yet calling them "fans." The Marlins don't have an incredibly large fan-base, and if the 2003 title didn't bring them out in droves, thinking Carlos Delgado would do so is foolish.

 

You can't blame people who never showed up to begin with, and punishing the fanbase because of a poor business decision or two (Leiter, Delgado) that they themselves did not make, but paid for as reflected by the largest percentage of ticket price hike between 2004 and 2005, is simply acting in bad faith.

 

Point the finger at Loria, or the man who told Loria he could afford Delgado, or the man who didn't teach Beinfest the basic concepts of addition and backloaded budgets, but don't blame the fans.

 

Shouldn't you be blaming the casual fan and local politicians who did not react positively to the Marlins' efforts of putting a winning team in their town? Are you saying the market is that bad?

 

GIVE US A CHANCE with a stable owner!

 

There is no stability with that lease. There is no man who has the patience to deal with the politicians and potential fan base while not turning a profit.

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The Marlins have done a poor job of marketing the team. It's almost like they don't realize where the team plays. There are plenty of season ticket holders from Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Why don't they have that many from Miami? It's because marketing to Broward and Palm Beach folks is different than marketing to Dade County residents. Dade County residents are predominantly Latin and the Marlins are not sensitive to that difference. If they were, you'd see a much larger fan base.

 

Can you really say that though? Dade County residents also don't have as much disposable income to spend on tickets and transportation. Those that do have a plethora of entertainment options much closer than the Dade/Broward county border.

 

Not as much disposable income on average, but you gotta understand that Dade County's population is much larger than Broward's and Palm Beach County's. In fact, I think those two counties combined have as much as Dade. Dade's population is large enough to make up for the low average disposable income of its residents. The Marlins simply have done a poor job of marketing the team to the Latin community in So. Florida. Anyon e that thinks otherwise is mistaken. In addition, the Latin community in So. Florida, unlike most Latin communities in other parts of the country (like NYC, DC, California, Texas), actually does quite well financially.

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this is a football town and the fins suck... this article is very true

 

 

Yeah this is a Football town and Dolphins stadium was half full today. Its not just baseball fans that suck here, sports fans in general suck.

 

 

Either way I'm still going to the ballpark to support my team because that is what real fans do.

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The Marlins have done a poor job of marketing the team. It's almost like they don't realize where the team plays. There are plenty of season ticket holders from Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Why don't they have that many from Miami? It's because marketing to Broward and Palm Beach folks is different than marketing to Dade County residents. Dade County residents are predominantly Latin and the Marlins are not sensitive to that difference. If they were, you'd see a much larger fan base.

 

Can you really say that though? Dade County residents also don't have as much disposable income to spend on tickets and transportation. Those that do have a plethora of entertainment options much closer than the Dade/Broward county border.

 

Not as much disposable income on average, but you gotta understand that Dade County's population is much larger than Broward's and Palm Beach County's. In fact, I think those two counties combined have as much as Dade. Dade's population is large enough to make up for the low average disposable income of its residents. The Marlins simply have done a poor job of marketing the team to the Latin community in So. Florida. Anyon e that thinks otherwise is mistaken. In addition, the Latin community in So. Florida, unlike most Latin communities in other parts of the country (like NYC, DC, California, Texas), actually does quite well financially.

Are you arguing on behalf of a community now, like many do for Palm Beach and others do for Orlando, Hialeah and so on? While I agree and so do the Marlins, as regardless of the owner, they have always been adamant of any new stadium being placed in downtown Miami. But what does this have to do with anything with marketing to Dade County residents to come to JRS/PPS/DS? Point is the reason why Dade County ticket sales are suppressed is that their residents have less to spend and more attractions to spend it on. The county has been willing to address to the transportation problems by offering shuttle buses to the stadium, but obviously the demand you suggest is there is not there if they haven't extended them to weekdays or for the full length of the season.

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