The Marlins are expecting season ticket sales to be in the range of last year’s 5,000, team president David Samson said Monday.
“Our renewal rate is better than last year,” Samson said. “Our new sales are slightly below what I would have hoped. I would expect we’ll end up where we were last year, and I was hoping for an increase. It’s not over yet.”
Individual tickets go on sale during the team’s FanFest at Dolphin Stadium, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. Fans can purchase season ticket packages there as well. The Marlins plan to release additional ticket packages prior to the start of the season.
Samson called sales of tickets to the second round of the World Baseball Classic – March 14-18 – “good,” but he expects those to improve once fans know which teams will be competing.
“We are hoping they will continue to pick up as the first week of the classic happens and we make sure and confirm the teams we anticipate coming will come, which will be Venezuela, the Dominican, Puerto Rico and the U.S.,” Samson said. “It’s going to be something people don’t realize how cool it is until they see it. The environment of these games of is very special, the national pride these countries feel.”
Samson said he expects attendance to be at least 20,000 for each of the six games. And, he said, the Marlins would like to host the WBC Finals in 2013 – in a new ballpark.
As for the new ballpark, Samson says he’s spending most of the next 10 days meeting with Miami City and Miami-Dade County commissioners and answering questions about the ballpark agreements the commissions are scheduled to consider at separate meetings on Feb. 13. If the commissions approve the agreements, any of the parties can pull out of the deal until June 30. But Samson isn’t expecting that to happen – he says with approval ground can be broken between June 15 and July 15. Read more about the Marlins' payroll philosophy in a new ballpark at our Marlins blog.
The city commission meets at 9 a.m., followed by the county commission at 1 p.m.
As he typically does, Samson refused to say what will happen if the commissions reject the agreements for the $515 million ballpark at the site of the former Orange Bowl.
“That I’m not going to address until the day after at the earliest,” he said.
A ballpark is expected to open in 2012. Samson said new Dolphins and stadium owner Stephen Ross knows the team wants to extend its lease at Dolphin Stadium through the 2011 season. Samson said he’s also spoken with UM President Donna Shalala about the need to remain in the stadium the team shares with the Dolphins and Hurricanes.