SBD/April 30, 2012/Franchises

Samson Admits Marlins Lied About Ticket Sales At Sun Life Stadium

The reported 5,000 season ticket total at Sun Life Stadium was about half that amount
Marlins President David Samson admitted in a story recently published in The New Yorker that the organization “lied about season ticket sales while playing at Sun Life Stadium,” according to Tom D’Angelo of the PALM BEACH POST. The Marlins “estimated the number to be about 5,000 in recent years, but Samson said the actual number of season tickets sold was less than half that.” Samson: "It was always 2,000" (PALM BEACH POST, 4/28). In the original piece, THE NEW YORKER's Ben McGrath writes under the header, “Old Fish, New Fish: The Marlins Get A Miami Makeover.” The team “typically claimed season-ticket sales of five thousand in recent years, although” Samson, Marlins’ Owner Jeffrey Loria’s “stepson by a former marriage, freely concedes that was a lie.” Samson estimated that by the 2,000 ticket sales figure, the Marlins “not only were the least popular baseball team (‘by three standard deviations’) but ranked a hundred and twenty-fifth among pro sports franchises nationally, below all the hockey teams, and below even a handful of minor-league teams” (THE NEW YORKER, 4/9 issue).

FINDING A GEM: In N.Y. architectural critic Michael Kimmelman in a front-page piece profiled Marlins Park and wrote MLB “has its first unapologetic 21st-century stadium.” The new venue is “unlikely to satisfy aficionados of the latest trends in architecture, but it is nonetheless a modern building, with genuine panache, as opposed to another pastiche.” Give Loria credit, as he “cares more than most about aesthetics and took a gamble -- part old-school civic improvement plan, part marketing strategy.” The sightlines are “good,” and fans at the top and behind the outfield fences “feel close to the action, and field-level seats benefit from the narrow foul territory” (N.Y. TIMES, 4/28).

SLOW RESALE: In Miami, Peter Zalewski reported the residential real estate resale market around Marlins Park is “off to a slow start.” Southeast Florida MLXchange in a resale property analysis found that the facility is “having a minimal impact to date on the neighborhood’s residential real estate resale market.” At the current pace, the Marlins Park neighborhood “would record fewer than 50 resale transactions of single-family houses, condos, townhouses and multifamily properties in the year 2012” (MIAMI HERALD, 4/29).
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