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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Major League Baseball players are often paid in the neighborhood of $20 million or more each season. But what about paying $20 million per fan? That’s roughly what Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami are paying through the first two years of Marlins Park.
When the Marlins moved to Marlins Park, the new stadium was supposed to solve all of the attendance problems for the team. The new stadium would draw fans and make Miami a destination for baseball, according to the Marlins.
That’s been anything but the truth through the first year and a half of Marlins Park.
According to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, the new stadium has translated to about an additional 100 fans per game compared to the team’s time at Sun Life Stadium.
Assuming the stadium will cost roughly $2 billion when it’s completely paid for by the county and city, the 100 fans cost the area about $20 million apiece.
Much of the problems with the attendance rest at the feet of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. His constant slash and burn roster moves have left much of the area jaded towards anything the Marlins do. The Marlins have fallen far behind the Miami Heat and Dolphins and at times even the Florida Panthers.
According to the Herald, the Marlins are averaging 17,830 people per game in paid attendance. Still, watching a Marlins game, it’s often hard to find 17,000 people in the stands at a given game. Compared to last year, the Marlins attendance has fallen 37 percent, or roughly 10,400 fans.
What the Marlins have learned the hard way, is that if you don’t win in South Florida, the fans are not going to come. The Dolphins have suffered attendance drops as the team has stagnated into an annual 7-9 record.
The old phrase of if you build it, he will come only applies in Miami if you build a winner.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)