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Why can't baseball succeed in Florida?

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  • Why can't baseball succeed in Florida?

    Florida is a nice, big metropolitan state. You think of Florida, you think warm and sunny beaches, girls in bikinis, palm trees, and fast cars.

    You figure it would be a major sports place like NY, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

    Now, the NBA franchises Heat and Magic do well, as does the Miami Dolphins.

    Why can't the baseball franchises enjoy success too? The Rays and Marlins have both had successful seasons, but Florida fans failed to embrace either team.

    In 2009, the year after the Rays made the World Series, they were 11th / 14th in the AL in attendance. In 1998 and 2004, the two years after Marlins' championships, the team was 13th / 16th and 14th / 16th in attendance.

    People said it was because of the ballparks and the lack of committment by ownership.

    Well, the 2012 Marlins got a brand-new, beautiful ballpark, and the ownership spent loads of money on star players. Yet, the Miami Marlins are drawing the worst attendance of any first-year ballpark in MLB history.

    Is Florida simply a bad place for baseball?

  • #2
    The Heat and Magic play indoors. The Dolphins play in the fall/winter when things are a bit cooler, although I would not want to play an afternoon game in Florida during September.

    I would assume that the Marlins and Rays play most of their game at night. If not, I can see why people don't want to go to day games.

    Having said that, the Dolphins, and NUMEROUS college football teams do just fine in the south. You don't see empty seats in September at Dolphin games, and U.of Florida seems to draw just fine.

    I don't know what the problem is. Baseball is very popular in terms of youth participation in Florida, I would think those kids would want a team to root for.

    Comment


    • #3
      - Transplants from other cities/state who root for old teams
      - Terrible ownership by Jeffrey Loria

      I have a theory: Tampa attendance was high in 1998 but sank down as Vince Naimoli, the team's first owner, alienated locals and have hurt the team to this day. The market could support a higher attendance but there are too many burned bridges. Also the stadium is another issue for the Rays.

      Tampa Bay Rays attendance:
      1998: 2,506,293 (Naimoli era)
      1999: 1,562,827
      2000: 1,449,673
      2001: 1,298,365
      2002: 1,065,742
      2003: 1,058,695
      2004: 1,274,911
      2005: 1,141,669 (Sternberg era)
      2006: 1,368,950
      2007: 1,387,603
      2008: 1,811,986
      2009: 1,874,962
      2010: 1,864,999
      2011: 1,529,188
      The Mets have the best, smartest fans in baseball.

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      • #4
        Tampa fans are different from Miami fans. It would be different if the Rays had an actual ballpark in TAMPA, not St. Petersburg.

        Comment


        • #5
          *Three NFL teams: Jaguars, Dolphins, and Buccaneers
          *NBA teams: Heat and Magic
          *Big college football teams such as University of Florida, Miami, and Florida State
          *Two MLB teams split the fan base

          People spend their money going to other games, which I will admit are more exciting, and don't ever go to baseball games.
          Chop! Chop! Chop!

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          • #6
            Florida is a nice, big metropolitan state. You think of Florida, you think warm and sunny beaches, girls in bikinis, palm trees, and fast cars.


            not me been there twice, I think of humidity, hurricanes, alligators, old northeasterners who retired there and even a co-worker (who is from there) admits away from the few major metro areas there is a lot of "white trash" How anyone thinks of this as a nice place is beyond me
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            • #7
              Marlins have won two World Series in the last 15 years that's better than most teams.

              No complaints. Watch the Marlins shock everyone next year and win the series and then sell all their players again. Where's Trader Jack at?
              My Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrBaseball91

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              • #8
                The main reason is because about 10,000 people per day move here from other states. In order, they tend to come from New York, New England, Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. It takes more to convert a Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Braves, White Sox, Cubs, and Phillies fan into a Rays or Marlins fan than driving over the state line. It takes generations of gradual support.

                The Rays owners are doing their best. Since '08 they've great TV ratings but have a long, cheap TV deal while many other teams are cashing in on fat cable contracts. The Trop location is an issue for lazy Tampa fans and it will be an issue for disgruntled St Pete fans if they switch cities. The switch would open up Orlando market and it's 50 million tourists per year (to come support the visiting teams).

                A better question is how in the name of Zeus did the Yankees and Red Sox have such poor attendance in the 70's and 80's?

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                • #9
                  "Haven't" and "Can't" are very different things.
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                  • #10
                    May i ask what automatically makes the follks who don't go to games Rays fans or baseball fans in general? Aren't the folks that go to the games and support the teams the fans? Also don't even try and compare the marlins to us...... They have firesales after ownership said they were committed to winning that ownership has lied and lied big time to the folks in miami..... Also we are in Florida we have the Bucs the lightning we have beaches nascar i could go on and on and on this state is more a football state College football here rules all. Also first ownership for the Rays burned a lot of bridges in the community that simply can not be repaired also the Rays have been around for 13-14 years we need a couple generations to build a fan base and we are doing that we have so many transplants who come here and root for there old teams.
                    All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. -Unknown

                    A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. -Nelson Mandela

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Yaz View Post
                      The main reason is because about 10,000 people per day move here from other states. In order, they tend to come from New York, New England, Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. It takes more to convert a Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Braves, White Sox, Cubs, and Phillies fan into a Rays or Marlins fan than driving over the state line. It takes generations of gradual support.

                      The Rays owners are doing their best. Since '08 they've great TV ratings but have a long, cheap TV deal while many other teams are cashing in on fat cable contracts. The Trop location is an issue for lazy Tampa fans and it will be an issue for disgruntled St Pete fans if they switch cities. The switch would open up Orlando market and it's 50 million tourists per year (to come support the visiting teams).

                      A better question is how in the name of Zeus did the Yankees and Red Sox have such poor attendance in the 70's and 80's?
                      I'll second that, across the board. As a kid, I spent several Christmas vacations and a couple of summers visiting relatives who were well into their retirements. The state revolves around transplanted citizens, and this means that those people with time on their hands and a great deal of income to spend will have loyalties in their "home" states. A 'home' state may have numerous definitions, such as where the retired folk grew up, where they worked all their lives, or wherever their children live today.

                      The real question is how MLB doesn't understand this.

                      MLB will probably trot out the old analogy to the Diamondbacks, in that the Diamondbacks have the same challenges. However, it is not true at all that the Diamondbacks have the same core fan base. In addition to retirees, the Diamondbacks have plenty of working age people who are relocating to start careers in the Southwest. This element is what Florida does not have.

                      Everything in baseball moves more slowly than it does in the other team sports, and probably too slowly on this issue in this case. Can this be fixed? Maybe, but only with changes that all the other owners would have a snitfit about.
                      Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

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                      • #12
                        It's not just the transplants, but who they are. You have a lot of immigrants with very little money and seniors who are putting their money elsewhere. No one with a connection to Marlins baseball. The problem for the Marlins is you now have a generation of locals who grew up not going to Marlins games. You'll never get them in consistently.

                        First post, BTW. Hi to everyone.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by aztecsince79 View Post
                          It's not just the transplants, but who they are. You have a lot of immigrants with very little money and seniors who are putting their money elsewhere. No one with a connection to Marlins baseball. The problem for the Marlins is you now have a generation of locals who grew up not going to Marlins games. You'll never get them in consistently.

                          First post, BTW. Hi to everyone.
                          Ello Newbie Welcome
                          All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. -Unknown

                          A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. -Nelson Mandela

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by aztecsince79 View Post
                            It's not just the transplants, but who they are. You have a lot of immigrants with very little money and seniors who are putting their money elsewhere. No one with a connection to Marlins baseball. The problem for the Marlins is you now have a generation of locals who grew up not going to Marlins games. You'll never get them in consistently.

                            First post, BTW. Hi to everyone.
                            Originally posted by Yaz View Post
                            The main reason is because about 10,000 people per day move here from other states. In order, they tend to come from New York, New England, Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. It takes more to convert a Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Braves, White Sox, Cubs, and Phillies fan into a Rays or Marlins fan than driving over the state line. It takes generations of gradual support.

                            The Rays owners are doing their best. Since '08 they've great TV ratings but have a long, cheap TV deal while many other teams are cashing in on fat cable contracts. The Trop location is an issue for lazy Tampa fans and it will be an issue for disgruntled St Pete fans if they switch cities. The switch would open up Orlando market and it's 50 million tourists per year (to come support the visiting teams).

                            A better question is how in the name of Zeus did the Yankees and Red Sox have such poor attendance in the 70's and 80's?
                            Then why do the other sports do well? Floridians support the Jaguars, Dolphins, Heat, Magic, Buccaneers, etc

                            Why did the fans of the Jets, Giants, Bills, Knicks, Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Braves, Hawks, Falcons, Bulls, Bears, Eagles, and Sixers convert into fans of Florida's basketball / football teams?

                            In other words, the Florida "transplants" support Florida's basketball + football teams; why not their baseball teams?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'll take a stab at it, Redban.

                              The NFL offers just 10 opportunities per year between home games and preseason exhibitions. The Jags will be playing in LA in a few years and the Dolphins have decades of tradition. For the Heat, I really have no idea why anyone attends an NBA game. FSU and Fla, like the Jags, are upstate and the Floridians on here seem to think that's significant. The U support for football, per my understanding, is actually pretty inconsistent.

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