The Marlins have the third-smallest stadium capacity in baseball, and that's still way too large for the anemic crowds they've been drawing. So they're going to shut down the entire upper deck for certain weeknight games. This, according to a team spokesman, "will give an overall better fan experience."
Who likes math? Marlins Park holds 37,442. Average announced attendance, through 16 home dates, is 18,864. (That's the number of tickets sold and otherwise distributed. The actual number of people in the park, judging from the difference between last year's "announced" and "turnstile" attendances, might be somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000.) There's really no reason that few people deserve an entire Major League Baseball stadium.
Decisions will be made before each homestand, but the Marlins have already announced the restricted capacity will be in place for their next two weeknight series. It's not clear if they'll physically cover the entire level with tarps, a visually striking symbol of hopelessness that was a common sight at Sun Life Stadium.
Not too many folks will be affected: the Marlins say fewer than 500 people have season tickets in the upper bowl, and they'll be moved down at no extra charge. You can still buy upper bowl seats to upcoming games but again, if they close the level, you'll be upgraded for free.
A win-win situation? Not quite. A smaller ballpark means fewer hours for concessions, security, and other stadium staff. Not exactly the "economic impact" the Marlins promised when the place was built.