Marlins Park not living up to expectations for Miami
“The ballpark is great,” Corbin says. Then he sighs heavily. ‘I just wish they hadn’t completely screwed over taxpayers to build this thing.”‘ said Miami Marlins fan, Steve Corbin. Ouch. That is one thing that you don’t want the community to think about your new stadium which promised to bring economic development to Little Havana. Especially when the on-field product has been as dismal as it has been this year.
The Miami Marlins made some large promises to the struggling Little Havana community on the outskirts of Miami in order to justify the heavy pricetag that the stadium would cost to build. Although the stadium is beautiful, it has not delivered on the economic revitalization as promised. Here is a list of the promises and subsequent actions that resulted from the new ballpark:
- Revenue Sharing: Dade County taxpayers paid 70% of the $515 million cost to build the new stadium, but the county has only received $2.3 million in rent, plus $40,000 toward building some new youth fields. Seems a little lopsided to me.
- Increased attendance leading to more spending in the community: The terrible record does not help, but only 1 sellout on the year which came on Opening Day against the St. Louis Cardinals will definitely not turn the needle for the community. ”Essentially, they spent $500 million and only lured a few hundred thousand extra fans,” says Neil deMause, author of Field of Schemes, a book about modern stadium deals. “They could have just stood outside and handed out five-dollar bills to get people in the gates and accomplished about the same thing for a hell of a lot less cash.” 2.2 million people attended a game at the Marlins Park this year, the lowest season total for a team opening a brand-new park since the 1982 Minnesota Twins, according to Forbes - which was 500,000 less than projected.
- New Entertainment District: A selling point of the stadium was that there would be many businesses and restaurants surrounding the stadium. But there has been none of that so far, despite a claim from Commissioner Frank Carollo, that the city is close to signing a lease with the Tilted Kilt. Nothing like a Irish styled Hooters that screams Little Havana.
All in all, it’s looking like the Marlins new stadium is going to cost taxpayers $2.4 billion including the skyrocketing interest rates. Double ouch.