Derek Jeter Says Marlins Won't Pad Poor Attendance Figures
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said that he is "disappointed with the Marlins’ record-low crowd turnouts" so far this season, but he has "no intention of padding the figures, as was done in the past," according to Clark Spencer of the MIAMI HERALD. Jeter has "vowed to continue counting only tickets sold when reporting attendance numbers." He said, "One of the qualities of running a first-class organization is honesty. We’re transparent and we’re going to be honest about it. And reporting paid attendance as the number of tickets sold is the way we’re going to report it.” Spencer noted average home attendance at Marlins Park through the team’s first nine games "was 18,853, which ranked 26th" among all MLB clubs. But they have "already drawn the three smallest crowds in Marlins Park history, with a franchise-low 6,150 showing up for Wednesday’s game against the Mets." Jeter said that reporting actual paid attendance, "no matter how low the figures, will be reflected in future crowd increases." He added that one of the major complaints he hears often from fans is the "difficulty caused by traffic in getting into and out of the ballpark before and after games." Jeter: "Ingress and egress is an issue that we’re addressing. We’ve met with the police department of Miami, the police force of the county, and they’ve been very cooperative" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 4/13).
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE: In N.Y., Ken Davidoff writes by accounts "inside and outside the organization, [Jeter] is letting the baseball people conduct their business." That "represents a significant contrast from his predecessors at Marlins Park." Davidoff: "The couple of times I saw the Marlins in spring training, they seemed calm -- and relieved that this plan would be in place for a while." While no one "doubted the passion" of former owner Jeffrey Loria, his "impatience and impetuousness, seconded by team president David Samson, created a culture of chaos." Jeter "asked for patience from the remaining fans as he gutted the team, and now he’ll be patient as the team sets a new course" (N.Y. POST, 4/16).
LOCAL ROOTS: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis wrote Jeter in his first season has "shown a determination for building fan and business support of his new team by spending as much time in the community as possible." Last week he visited a local school to "distribute tickets to kids" for an Autism Awareness Day game. Jeter: “Any complimentary tickets that we give out, we’re going to do it in an impactful way, and we’re going to help grow the game of baseball here in South Florida" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 4/13).