The Marlins are already reaping the benefits of Monday's new stadium agreement.
Long ridiculed for the poor attendance that has plagued their time at Dolphin Stadium, the team sold 15,000 individual game tickets on Tuesday.
That's "five times a normal day," team president David Samson told reporters.
Great. But will it last, or go the way of Hanley Ramirez' hair?
“People are now taking the seating priority seriously because they want to be ready for 2012. It’s great that our fans now can focus only on the field," Samson told the Palm Beach Post. "It’s hard not to recognize that the increase today was due to the stadium agreement."
That's just lovely, but the Marlins still expect to sell roughly the same amount of season tickets as they did last year - around 5,000.
And with a poor economy and fans' unwillingness to sell their firstborns to afford parking, the truth is the Marlins likely won't see a permanent increase until they put together a few more seasons like 1997 and 2003. Besides, why would anyone spend a mint on season seats when they can stay home and watch the game on their deeply-discounted flat screen HDTV (retailers are giving them away these days).
But a beautiful new stadium could change that equation and infuse a little more excitement in the the team and the fan base. At least that's the hope of the Marlins' brass when the stadium opens in 2012 (cross your fingers on that opening date).
“Our expenses will always match our revenue, and to the extent we can increase revenue in the coming years as a result of the new certainty of our franchise’s direction, that will lead to an increase in payroll," Samson said. "Certainly with the increased revenues we expect from the new ballpark, we would expect to be certainly a middle-of the pack industry average payroll but only time will tell."
Just don't be surprised if the Marlins sidle up to elected officials again in the near future if they build it and no one comes.