Thursday, July 23, 2009

A little more on the Marlins

Something odd happened yesterday.  The Baltimore Orioles moved their spring training home from Ft. Lauderdale to Sarasota.  And you're thinking "so what?"
 
Well, let esplain.  That means that there are NO baseball teams who call South Florida home during spring training.  None in Miami-Dade.  None in Broward.  And none in Palm Beach.  For being three of the most densely populated areas in the state, that's pretty unbelievable.
 
Spring training lasts for about 6 weeks, and the team brings in about 30 players, a dozen coaches and trainers, a slew of media people and a following of fans who come down to see their team. And all of them are spending money in our towns for that period of time.  Its money that otherwise wouldn't be in our economy.  There are also some jobs created for that period.
 
Each of the counties put off building a spring training complex because they felt it wouldn't help the local economy.  And yet, the city of Miami is building that monstrosity for the Marlins, where it doesn't pump much *new* money into the economy, it simply redistributes what wealth is already being spent.  Sure the opposing teams come down for a short stay, and some fans follow.  And that's never a bad thing.  But its not like a 6-week stay where players and fans come to soak in the weather at a great time of year.
 
And what of the Marlins?  Their spring training home is in Vero Beach, which is ~2 hours north of Miami.  And I think they have a long-term lease on that new stadium.
 
So....in summary, it didn't make economic sense to build a ballpark for any team to train in South Florida, but it makes sense to build a ballpark for regular play in Miami.  Baseball isn't big enough to draw another team to a great location for a few weeks, but is big enough to draw attendance all summer?  Riiiiight.
 
 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Allrighty then

Two guys were dragging a shark around Miami.  We can not confirm the rumor that they were trying to bring a new mascot to LandShark stadium.

Not sure what that's all about

First it was Jimmy Buffet.  Then the Estafans (Gloria and Emilio) bought a minority stake in the team.  Now Marc Anthony buys in as well.
 
They're all moves to make the team more representative of the local community.  But what the heck does that mean, anyway?  In Anthony's case, they had a big press conference in NY, and the commish was there.  It was also announced that he (Anthony, not Goodell, though that would be funny) was going to sing the national anthem at a MNF game this season as a part of Spanish Heritage month.
 
It all just seems so....I dunno...forced?
 
I was amused that Anthony also brought his wife (one J Lo) to the event, since "she owns half of everything, anyway."
 
Now as for J Lo, you may recall a movie called "Out of Sight" where she played a federal agent tracking George Clooney's character.  It was set in Miami, and in one scene she was wearing a Marino jersey.
 
So here's life imitating art....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tick tick tick

Players start reporting for camp in just 9 days.

Football season is nearly here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I stand slightly corrected

About the Marlins ballpark.
 
It will, in fact, have a "plaza," on four acres of land on the west side of the ballpark.  'It will be open year round and will be the largest of any stadium in the history of the United States....I envision a fountain with an area for people to congregate during lunch, after lunch, during work, after work. It will be the signature park of Miami, with some sort of outdoor exhibit areas. I hope when we open the ballpark, it will be completed.' [partly paraphrased]
 
So says team president Ralph Sampson.
 
But....just remember that what he "envisions" and what will be delivered are probably different.
 
Also, his last comment that he *hopes* it will be open when the ballpark is seems telling - or is it that you hope everyone is so thrilled with the ballpark they'll forget about it?
 
I'm still trying to figure out who might use it during the day - or at lunch - since its pretty far away from downtown, and there isn't much industry in the immediate area.
 
But at least he bothered to mention a park around it.