In a sign of despearte times in South Florida, the Miami Marlins are having to resort to a ticket promotion most other teams and owners could view as laughable. In order to prevent an embarrassing turnout on opening day, the Marlins are offering a buy one, get one free promotion.
Any fan who purchases a ticket to the Marlins’ home opener on April 8 against the Atlanta Braves will receive a free ticket to any home game in April or May at Marlins Park. After just one season, the hype surrounding the new stadium has seemed to fade away. Last year, anyone who wasn’t a season ticket holder had to enter their name into a lottery to be considered for tickets to the innagural opening day at Marlins park. Even then, the chances of getting a ticket through the lottery were slim.
After drawing a crowd of 36,601 on opening night (capacity is listed at 36,742), the team averaged just over 27,000 fans a night for the 2012 season, leaving plenty of empty seats all season long. The Marlins have also lost a large number of season ticket holders in the past year. Season ticket sales fell from 12,000 in 2012 to less than 5,000 for the 2013 season.
A likely reason for the drop in ticket sales could be the team’s blockbuster deal this offseason with the Toronto Blue Jays in an effort to dump hefty contracts. The deal included key players such as All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes along with pitchers Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson. In total, the Marlins have traded 12 major leaguers since July.