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Marlins Park has become financial mess

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11:58 AM ET 03.31 | A new baseball stadium was supposed to fix South Florida's lukewarm embrace of professional baseball. But the Marlins' first season in their new ballpark may have made things even worse for the team. Splurging on payroll last year gave owner Jeffrey Loria a $100 million lineup that he couldn't afford without a windfall from a winning season. The trades that followed last year's 93-loss debacle sent payroll down 60 percent to the second-lowest in baseball, leaving fans more furious at the Marlins than at any time in the franchise's 20 year-history. And while cutting payroll used to produce profits, the added debt and operating costs of a new $634 million stadium have left team executives predicting another loss on top of last year's team record $47 million operating loss. As the new season opens Sunday, the team appears to be in the baseball equivalent of a foxhole, waiting to fight another day. With a payroll estimated at $45 million -- only the Houston Astros pay out less, at $32 million -- the odds of the Marlins winning the National League pennant are pegged at 150-to-1. Samson says attendance needs to increase at least a third from last year for the Marlins to afford a mid-range payroll of $80 million in the coming seasons. Season-ticket sales have fallen by 60 percent to around 5,000, and the Marlins recently became the only major league team using Groupon to sell seats for Opening Day, according to the online discounter.

Miami Herald

Marlins Park, Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Marlins Park, Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
March 31, 2013  12:10 PM ET

in other news, the sun rose in the east

*sarcasm off*

Comment #3 has been removed
March 31, 2013  12:32 PM ET

Two words...


Free Tacos.

March 31, 2013  12:45 PM ET

One of the ways the Marlins can attempt to survive is to have promotions every night like they do at lower level baseball games. Speaking of the Astros they have a lower payroll than the Yankees are paying Alex Rodriguez.

Comment #6 has been removed
March 31, 2013  02:57 PM ET

Cuba should sponsor this team.

March 31, 2013  03:07 PM ET

Hmm, guess if you build it, they won't come! Guess South Floridians didn't watch "Field of Dreams'!

March 31, 2013  03:17 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Two words... Free Tacos.

They're Cuban, not Mexican. But if you're going with a Latin flavor, I think free arepas might do well.

March 31, 2013  03:43 PM ET

150-1 odds at a WS title? Someone's overestimating the complete lack of talent on this team Giancarlo can only do so much on his own.

March 31, 2013  03:44 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Hmm, guess if you build it, they won't come! Guess South Floridians didn't watch "Field of Dreams'!

This would be funny if it wasn't so spot on.

March 31, 2013  03:45 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Cuba should sponsor this team.

Yeah, maybe the Marlins could replace their roster with Cuba's National Team, which would be a massive upgrade.

March 31, 2013  04:07 PM ET

It must surely be an insult to Loria that he could have been outdone by Houston as having MLB's lowest payroll. Loria will be certain to have this corrected by the next opening day.

March 31, 2013  07:25 PM ET

Is this one of those "sink holes"???

March 31, 2013  07:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

They're Cuban, not Mexican. But if you're going with a Latin flavor, I think free arepas might do well.

I figured - if the Cubans aren't coming, then try another demographic.

March 31, 2013  08:01 PM ET

Like this was a surprise....

March 31, 2013  10:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I figured - if the Cubans aren't coming, then try another demographic.

There is no other demographic.

March 31, 2013  10:50 PM ET

The Marlins lost money? I doubt that. Open the books and let us see. Te team are leaches with bad public relations is all.

March 31, 2013  10:50 PM ET

The Marlins lost money? I doubt that. Open the books and let us see. Te team are leaches with bad public relations is all.

 
April 1, 2013  06:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

They're Cuban, not Mexican. But if you're going with a Latin flavor, I think free arepas might do well.

What, Cubans don't like tacos? Bet they do

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