MIAMI – The Miami Marlins posted abysmal attendance numbers this week, averaging 6,556 fans in a three-game series with the New York Mets.
It was their lowest reported totals since 2006 and the lowest since moving to Marlins Park in 2012.
However, reported attendance numbers by the Marlins have been suspect for years. Many games had a noticeably lower number of fans in the stands than the official attendance reported.
Having a more accurate count is something the new ownership group, led by CEO Derek Jeter, seeks.
“One of the qualities of running a first-class organization is honesty, and we have been and we will continue to run this organization, we’re going to be transparent and we’re going to be honest about it,” Jeter said. “And reporting paid attendance as the number of tickets sold is the way we’re going to report it. Our focus will continue to be increasing the turnstile numbers here at Marlins Park.”
Jeter, who will not be returning to Yankee Stadium next week when the Marlins face the New York Yankees, is not happy with the low attendance numbers.
“We’re going to report tickets sold as our paid attendance,” Jeter said. “I don’t want to get into what was done in the past, but that’s how we’re going to do it here. We’re not happy with it. We have to grow those numbers, but I think reporting it that way gives us an opportunity to show some growth over time.”
The Marlins are last in the majors in attendance at 12,641 a game and have the second-worst record in baseball at 3-9.
“Our No. 1 focus is how we can win more games in this park, and winning more games is a part of it,” Jeter said. “We have to win some more games. I’ve heard people say, `Miami is a tough sports town.’ I think that’s every sports town. If you put a winning product on the field, then people will come. We have some exciting young players and hopefully we can get on a little streak starting tonight.”
The Marlins begin a three-game series with Pittsburgh on Friday, which could be another series of low attendance numbers.
After the Pirates series, the Marlins will play two games at Yankee Stadium, where Jeter spent all 20 years of his outstanding playing career. He will be in New York, but won’t be attending the games.
“I went to a spring training game when we played New York, but it would be an awkward situation for me to actually go to Yankee Stadium,” Jeter said. “I’m just being honest with you guys, so that’s why I’m not going.”
The Marlins have struggled with a cast of new faces after stars Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Dee Gordon were dealt in the offseason when Jeter took over.
“I like the grit and the fight the team is showing,” Jeter said. “We’ve been tied or had the lead in 10 of those 12 games. We’re developing a winning culture here. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time, but I like how the guys are at least going about their business. No one is happy with the results. If you go in the clubhouse, they’ll tell you the same thing, but it’s a long season.”
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