Major League Baseball has seen a decline in ticket sales, down about 3 percent in 2013, and the blame is being put on the Miami Marlins. Playing their second season in their new ballpark. the Marlins account for about one in every five unsold tickets in baseball, or 20 percent of the decline in ticket sales.
Last week, Sports Illustrated said the Marlins accounted for 44 percent of the decline, dividing the Marlins’ drop in ticket sales of about 308,000 by the league’s net decline of 707,000 tickets sold for the year. For their own investigative purposes, the Miami-Herald took the number of losses by the Marlins and the 17 other teams reporting a decline in ticket sales to come up with the gross decline. With a drop of almost 1.5 million tickets, the Marlins accounted for roughly 20 percent of that decline.
The Marlins, to no surprise, saw a surge in ticket sales last season with the debut of their shiny new crown jewel of Sun Life Stadium. Miami saw an increase of 600,000 tickets overall, leading all of Major League Baseball. That number amounted to 16 percent of new tickets sold in 2012, with the Arizona Diamondbacks finishing second with a 12 percent share.
But now, the excitement of the new stadium has worn off, the team once full of promising superstars just one season ago has yet again been dismantled (where have we heard that before with this team?), and sports fans in Miami seem to be a little more focused on their team on the hardwood, the Miami Heat, who begin their quest tonight for a second consecutive NBA championship.