You’ve got the newest ballpark in baseball, one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, and one of the most dominant teams in college football history, and still nobody in South Florida will support their hometown teams.
Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, going to Hurricanes, Marlins and Dolphin games were part of my childhood. When they tore down my beloved Orange Bowl in 2007, I felt a part of my early years were taken from me. When the Marlins announced they were going to build a new stadium, I was excited as anyone and went to see a game that summer. What I don’t understand is this, you live in one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country, why are attendance records so low in South Florida?
We’ll start off with the recently new Miami Marlins. In 2012, they released their brand new 37,000 seat ballpark. Having actually been to the stadium, I can say its one of the best in the majors. Sure, its in a bad area, and sure the Cuban sandwiches are eleven dollars, but really? You can’t sell out the third smallest stadium in the MLB? The Cubs, who haven’t won a world series since the roaring year of 1908, sell out every single game! Chicago fans pack Wrigley field in the cold windy city springs, and Marlins fans can’t put 10,000 people in their new stadium.
Next, are my beloved Miami Hurricanes. Their attendance has always been an issue. Even when they had Ken Dorsey and the best team in college football. I remember going to games in the old Orange Bowl, and Miami was in the top 10 every year, and the stadium was more than half empty. Since they’ve move to Sun Life Stadium, things have only gotten worse. Not only has the team worsened over the years, fans simply have stopped going to games. In the six years the Hurricanes have played there, they have sold out exactly one game. Let that sink in, the team with 5 national championships, the longest home win streak in college football history, has sold out one game in the last six years. I rest my case.
The Dolphins aren’t nearly as bad as the Marlins and the Hurricanes, but their attendance is definitely lacking. This year they are 25th in the league in attendance. I’ve been to Dolphins games and they are some of the craziest fans in the league. So it surprises me to see them have such bad attendance numbers.
Every year some magazine comes out with a list for the worst sports cities in the country. Miami is always on there. Having lived the first 13 years of my life in South Florida, I have as much love for that area as anyone. However, as far as sports comes, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the worst city for sports.