Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
The Marlins are tanking, and dragging the MLB down with them.
Baseball is not off to a great start this year, with attendance down 2.9 percent.
There are a few reasons for this. A couple of big-market, big-spending clubs -- the Dodgers and Blue Jays -- have fallen flat. The Yankees aren't themselves. And the weather has been awful.
But one failure dwarfs them all: the god-awful Miami Marlins, and their splendid, expensive, and empty new stadium. In his column on SI today, Tom Verducci crunches the numbers and determines that the Marlins are responsible for 40 percent of baseball's attendance dip.
The Marlins, of course, are the team that Jeffrey Loria built up and then ran into the ground, but not before convincing Miami taxpayers to foot the bill for his Xanadu, a baseball stadium/con that has been emptier than a rush-hour subway train. The Marlins are 13-41, and their winning percentage is still better than the percentage of seats they fill each game.