The Miami Marlins are in the midst of an offseason spending spree never before seen in the history of the franchise. In order for the finances to work out, the team hopes to fill the seats 81 times at its newly-constructed stadium.
"Our new Marlins Ballpark is the lynch-pin of everything we're doing right now," said team owner Jeffrey Loria. "We need to be close to capacity every night for us to make this work. It's a risk, because no one has ever come to our games. In fact, no one in Miami goes to sporting events of any kind. Why there are sports teams even here, no one knows. But the Marlins are prepared to overcome that history. And we must or we're going to go bankrupt about a week into the season."
Based on internal projections, the Marlins believe they can expect to be draw at least 75-percent capacity every game in their new 74-seat ballpark.
"Our average crowd at Sun Life Stadium was 11 people," said Loria. "Is it bold to think we're going to increase attendance by 600, 700-percent? Sure. But there's starting to be a buzz around town about this team. The Jose Reyes signing was in the newspaper and everything."
Even if the Marlins are able to fill their new 74-seat stadium, which external projections say is extremely unlikely due to the fact that absolutely no one cares about professional sports in Florida, they will still fall far short of making payroll.
"Sure, people have told me that sellouts don't matter if you're only selling 74 tickets," said Loria. "Well, what if we raise ticket prices 5-percent? Will that cover it? No? Then I have no idea. I guess we'll just hope for the best."
Sources close to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig say he has already cleared his schedule for May, when the Marlins will go broke and the league will take them over.