It remains to be seen whether fewer fans show up this season at Marlins Park if the team struggles, as most expect.
But, whether that proves to be the case, official crowd figures announced by the team are expected to plummet significantly — or at least come closer to reality.
The reason: a Marlins spokesman said Thursday that the Marlins will only count actual tickets sold in their attendance calculations.
The Marlins ranked 27th in the Majors last season with a total home attendance of 1.6 million. That averages out to about 20,000 a game, which was rarely the case based on visual evidence.
The Miami Herald reported in January that the actual number of paid tickets was about 820,000.
That figure would have ranked last in the Majors last season, well behind Tampa Bay’s final count of 1.2 million.
Plans for the roof
The Marlins played just six games with the roof open last season.
That number is expected to double — or even triple — this season, according to team sources.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has said he wants more games played with the roof open, weather permitting, of course.
The Marlins intend to play as many games as possible in April and May with the roof open. The Marlins also hope to play open-air games in September.
The Marlins went 0-6 with the roof open last season (18-32 all-time), one reason why former owner Jeffrey Loria demanded the roof to be closed, even on days when the weather wasn’t inhospitable.