Results tagged ‘ Bud Selig ’

Attracting All-Star interest

Bringing the All-Star Game to South Florida remains a strong possibility.

With their new stadium set to open in 2012, the Marlins have openly talked about their desire to someday host the All-Star Game. The year 2015 has been discussed as a possibility.

newpark2.jpgOn Thursday, MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy noted that South Florida is on the league’s radar.

“As has been talked about repeatedly, the commissioner has been committed to rewarding communities with All-Star Games for persevering and getting new ballparks,” DuPuy said.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has discussed with Commissioner Bud Selig the possibility of hosting the All-Star Game. DuPuy and team president David Samson have had similar conversations.

“I know Jeffrey has talked with the commissioner. David and I have talked about it,” DuPuy said. “I’m confident that South Florida will be in the queue.”

DuPuy was at the Marlins-Cardinals game on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium. Earlier in the day, he toured construction of the new ballpark Miami.

The Marlins are two years away from moving into their 37,000-seat retractable-roof building in the Little Havana section of Miami.

The league was instrumental in the ballpark being approved. Throughout the long process to find the Marlins their own home, MLB has stressed that South Florida could blossom into a prosperous baseball market.

The new staidum is crucial for the growth of the franchise.

“They’ve had location issues. They’ve had climate issues. They’ve had weather issues,” DuPuy said. “Even though they don’t get a lot of rainouts, I think the most important part of how the market is set up is that fans are going to know that games are going to start at 7:05, and they’re going to be over in a normal time period. Fans are not going to have to wait through an hour rain delay or an hour-and-a-half rain delay.”

The hope is that there also will be development around the ballpark, such as restaurants and shops. The long-term vision is to make the area a destination.

“I think the stadium is great for baseball. It’s great for this franchise,” DuPuy said. “It’s great for the community.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Marlins home attendance increase

A story in USA Today on Wednesday outlined how Major League Baseball overall is experiencing a 6.5 percent drop in attendance, based on numbers obtained through Baseball-reference.com.

The Marlins, however, enjoyed a 9.7 percent increase, averaging 18,075 in 78 dates at Land Shark Stadium. Instead of 81 dates, that number was down three due to three doubleheaders, two caused by rainouts.

The Marlins wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday against the Mets, and the team drew more than 30,000 in its final four home dates.

“Our attendance is up,” Marlins president David Samson said in a recent interview.

If not for rain delays, the team feels the crowds would have been bigger. In all, the Marlins attracted more than 1.4 million fans.

“There is no question, I think it would have been closer to 1.8 [million],” Samson said if not for the weather. “We [were] in the race until the final week. The definition of in the race is when there is no ‘x’ next to our name.”

That Marlins were officially eliminated on Tuesday night.

Other teams to see a dramatic increase in attendance are the Royals (13.9 percent) and Rangers (10.8 percent).

Teams on the decline are the Nationals (22.8 percent), Blue Jays (21.8) and Padres (21.6).

Overall, however, the league projects more than 75.2 million fans, the fourth most in baseball history, according to USA Today.

“Given that we are in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it’s stunning,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA Today of still attracting more than 75 million people. “This year is a great testament to the huge popularity of our sport.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

Groundbreaking set for Saturday

 

One of the most anticipated days in franchise history will take place on Saturday.

The much-anticipated ceremonial groundbreaking is slated from 10 a.m. to noon on the Orange Bowl grounds in the Little Havana section of Miami.

Open free to the public, fans are encouraged to arrive early to witness the festivities on the site of the future home of the Marlins. The first 1,000 fans will receive a coupon for a ballpark-style lunch and a commemorative groundbreaking pin.

The ceremonial portion of the event will begin at 11 a.m., and it will feature the unveiling of videos and renderings of the new ballpark. The hosts of the event will be broadcasters Dave Van Horne and Felo Ramirez.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig will be among the VIPs at the event, as will be officials from Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami.

A ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Charlie Hough to Benito Santiago, the “battery” in the franchise’s inaugural game in 1993.

Groundbreaking will feature entertainment and refreshments for fans.

The new ballpark is scheduled to open in 2012, and the retractable-roof facility will seat 37,000.

– Joe Frisaro

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