Excitement Surrounding MLB All-Star Game In Miami Seems Lacking Compared To Other Years, Cities

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – We are just days away from Major League Baseball’s All-Star game.

The annual midsummer classic is being played in South Florida for the first time ever.

Preparations are underway for all the festivities.  But this year’s all-star game is a bit of an all-star mess.

While the marquee event is expected to draw more than a hundred thousand fans to the game and surrounding fanfare, some are questioning the enthusiasm Miami has for it.

At a press conference Wednesday, Miami Marlins Executive VP of Operations and Events Claude Delorme fielded questions about parking and security.

He also was asked about whether there was a lack of interest in the event among locals.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase Miami,” he told reporters.

The All-Star weekend is expected to bring in the biggest crowd the stadium has ever seen, some 37,000 people.

They compare it to a Beyoncé concert, in which they had to take new measures to handle crowds.

“From going to past All-Star games, I think it compares in interest [to the Beyoncé concert] and all the events that we’ve done,” Delorme said.

Ticket sales though reflect otherwise.  Seats are still available to both the Homerun Derby and the All-Star Game.

Moreover, the secondary market is in a freefall.

South Florida ticket broker Todd Rubin from ToddsTickets.com has watched All-Star Game tickets originally selling for as much as $750 selling for $175 as of Wednesday.

The Home Run Derby is even cheaper, dropping from $500 to $125.

Many brokers like Rubin are throwing in tickets to the All-Star Fanfest events around town for free.

He says tickets are selling but no one is paying top dollar.

It is stark contrast to earlier this year when Marlins season ticket holders were given the option to purchase All-Star tickets.  Packages fetched upwards of $2000.

SiriusXM Sportscaster Craig Mish says the lack of enthusiasm amongst South Florida locals is nothing new.

“In general people don’t love baseball in South Florida, for whatever reason,” Mish said.

The fact tickets are being sold at such a steep discount though is surprising.

“It’s a big surprise to me,” Mish said. “I’ve been to All-Star Games in New York.  I was at the All-Star game in Cincinnati two years ago.  You couldn’t buy a ticket for any of that.”

The Marlins have one of the lowest attendance records, worst TV deals, and their state of the art taxpayer funded stadium hasn’t exactly done wonders for the team.

The new stadium brought the All-Star game, but at a cost.  The New York Times pointed out in an article this week that the stadium, and its owner Jeffrey Loria, are a distraction.

It certainly was Wednesday as All-Star Game officials were fielding questions about the Marlins’ potential sale.

Ethan Orlinski, a senior vice president for Major League Baseball was the only representative the league made available to the media.

He was tasked with discussing anti-counterfeiting operations at the stadium, yet he was fielding questions about the possible sale of the Marlins.  He quickly deflected.

Fire and police officials seated next to him shifted from Orlinsk over to Delorme, the only Marlins executive at the podium.

He took over, almost as if he anticipated the question about the sale was going to be asked.

“[Marlins President] David [Samson] and [owner] Jeffrey [Loria] are looking at the sale but from our standpoint, this is all we think about and this is all we talk about,” Delorme said. “The sale for us is something we don’t control.”

It’s not just the ticket brokers that are trying to move tickets.

The Marlins tell us for their marquee events they still have hundreds of tickets available.

For the smaller events tickets they actually have more than 5000 tickets to move.

In the end they expect the game to sell out.  Perhaps not for the love of the game, but rather the heavy discount.

Mish pointed out the buzz that normally surrounds the All-Star Game appears to be missing.

“You drive up and down I-95, would you know that there is an All-star game going on without seeing a banner, without seeing a poster for it?  Probably not,” Mish said.

More from David Sutta
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