Attendance has gotten so bad at Miami Marlins games the team has begun closing off the upper deck during certain weeknight games.
The Miami Herald reports that Marlins officials will reduce capacity at Marlins Park by about 10,000 seats by shutting down the entire upper bowl, a procedure they began implementing last week -- just 16 games into the team's second season at the majority taxpayer-funded $630 million stadium:
Closing the upper bowl some games “will give an overall better fan experience,” [Marlins representative P.J. Loyello] said, adding from a standpoint of concessions, restrooms and other services, “it will be better for fans” than if they were scattered in a larger area...
The Marlins are averaging 18,864 fans per game, fourth-lowest and ahead of only Seattle, Kansas City and Cleveland. That number includes people who bought or received tickets, not those who actually show up.
How bad might the actual attendance numbers really be? According to Deadspin, the team claimed more than 27,000 fans a game last year, but the actual number of bodies through the turnstile was nearer 17,000. The Oakland A’s, who have covered their own upper deck since 2006, are ahead of the Marlins in attendance so far in 2013 according to Field of Schemes.
Naturally, not even CBS Sports feels bad for Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who managed to lie about the team's finances while convincing local politicians to fork over what will eventually be $2.4 billion in public funds to build the stadium without a public vote.
...They [closed the upper bowl] last year, but this year it's funnier.
When your team is lousy and your owner is a mendacious corporate-welfare enthusiast contemptuous of all that he surveys, people aren't going to show up -- especially when said people have only occasionally embraced baseball as a landing spot for their disposable incomes.
But if you make the ballpark look smaller it totally fixes everything.
We sense some sarcasm on that last part. Check out photos of mostly-empty Marlins Park so far this season: