Miami's taxpayer-funded, $642 million baseball stadium was supposed to be a home run for south Florida, but a watchdog group says its an error.
The investment — mostly from taxpayer dollars — for a Major League Baseball stadium in Little Havana is not paying off, according to the website FloridaWatchdog.org.
It reports the Miami Marlins are struggling to sell game tickets, retail development around the stadium hasn’t happened, and the team says it can’t sustain paying major-league salaries while suffering big-time revenue loses.
“People don’t go because the team loses,” said Gilberto Dihigo, a Marlins fan and son of a Cuban baseball star. ”Why buy a ticket, when you know your team is going to lose?”
Dihigo criticized club owner Jeffrey Loria for dismantling the team and getting rid of some of its most valuable players who actually attracted fans to the the games.
“Now he has no stars, or he traded them or pulled them off, ” Dihigo said.
According to a report by Major League Baseball, in 2012 average attendance at a Marlins game was around 27,400, while in 2013 the figure dropped dramatically to around 17,600.