SBD/Issue 204/Franchises

Marlins Payroll Will Depend On Attendance At New Ballpark

Marlins President Hopes Team Sells Out Every
Game During First Season At New Ballpark
Marlins President David Samson said that attendance at the team's new ballpark will "directly impact the team's payroll," with the goal of being in the "midrange of all teams beginning in 2012," when the park is scheduled to open, according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. Samson said that he "hopes the Marlins will sell out every game during their first season" at the 37,000-seat ballpark. Samson: "This market should be able to do that." Samson added, "Now that we will control suites and advertising and we will collect revenues from all those things, attendance becomes key. Food and beverage (sales) become key. You need people in the ballpark to hit your target." The Marlins have about 5,000 season-ticket holders this season at Land Shark Stadium, and Samson said it "is the hope" that the team can sell 20,000 in the new ballpark. Samson: "Tickets will be hard to get. We will have a lot of season-ticket holders and they will be selling to their friends." Samson also noted that the Marlins have "decided to lower the number of suites in the stadium from 60 to 49 after 'looking more carefully at the suite market and some areas where it may be soft.'" He said that 26 of the suites will be behind home plate, 22 "between home plate and first base and one down the third-base line." Samson also "envisions one of the suites being a 'super suite' in which fans can buy tickets but do not own it." He indicated that ticket prices for the ballpark will not be determined "until much closer to the opening" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/12). 

PAY IT FORWARD: In Miami, David Neal noted it will cost $2.4B to repay $409M in bonds that will primarily cover the construction of the new ballpark, and "even when figuring you'll be paying with tomorrow's dollars, that's some serious vigorish slapped onto the principle for a municipal deal." Neal: "Isn't this exactly the kind of philosophy, employed by individuals and corporations, that's led to so many being unemployed? It smells worse than a state fair livestock pen in a rainstorm" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/11).

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