By: Matt Blue
The Miami Marlins proved they are dead serious about spending money and making moves. The organization has undergone an extreme makeover. The franchise has been given a new beginning and a fresh start. Not only do they have a completely new look, they have also shown there fan base that they are ready to contend for a championship.
The Marlins shocked the baseball world by inking closer Heath Bell, All Star shortstop Jose Reyes and starting pitcher Mark Buehrle. Incredibly, a club that has never spent more than $60 million on payroll, all of a sudden gave three free agents $191 million. Just think about it, 191 million for just three players alone?
Believe it or not, they also reached for the stars by trying to lure future hall of famer Albert Pujols. Ultimately, Pujols made the decision to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. The Marlins also attempted to ink arguably the best starting pitcher on the market in C.J. Wilson. The Fish were Wilson’s highest bidders. They gave him the most number of years and they even offered to go all the way up to $100 million. The problem for the Marlins was that Wilson preferred his hometown team all along. That’s why Wilson left $20 million on the table and took the Angels less lucrative offer.
So you may be wondering where the Marlins are getting all of this money from. To answer this question, they are expecting to generate a considerable amount of ballpark related revenue. Therefore, the Marlins will get to keep every dollar made in the new ballpark including concession stands, tickets sales, merchandise sales etc.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said he expects to draw about 2.8 million in 2012. This goal may be a bit optimistic since the franchise has finished last in attendance in the NL for six straight years. Sure, the Marlins new ballpark will inspire curiosity, anticipation and excitement during the ballpark’s honeymoon period. But what’s going to happen once the newness factor begins to evaporate? To answer this question, you have to understand that if they win; they will come. South Florida always embraces its winning teams. This is why the Marlins have a great opportunity to thrive in this market even though South Florida has never traditionally been known as a baseball town.
“If you build it they will come.” And, “if you sign them, they will come”.