Attendance issues at Marlins Park come from more than just the play on the field.
One of the headaches of the Miami Marlins in 2018 is the lack of attendance for games in the majors. The July 3, 2018 game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins came to a grand spanking total of 6,259. An April 11 game between the Mets and the Marlins generated only 6,516 people (lower than six AAA games). For 2018 in general, the Marlins are attracting an average of 9,677 people per game. For perspective, Marlins Park contains seating for 36,742 people. This is an average of 26% capacity. Yuck.
On June 10, this writer attended a game at Marlins Park between the San Diego Padres and the Miami Marlins. We were treated to a near no-hitter by Clayton Richard (alas), but the park was not very full (shocking). There was no line to get through security, even an hour ahead of game time. They were giving away Marlins 25 Years pins. There was an alumni softball game beforehand at Marlins Park. Despite that, a total of 12,984 people showed up. Still, not even 40% capacity and you could tell. The place was not booming, even from the third deck.
The immediate problem with the Marlins, as to why they do not attract fans, is the fact that the team is trash. Everyone knows about Derek Jeter tearing apart the team as part of his Wolverine plan. This dissuaded a lot of fans. Just on the verge of being a competitive team, they gutted it, angering fans who have dealt with Jeffrey Loria. That is enough of a reason to send people elsewhere. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders were a show team and the fans decided to say screw it and stopped attending.
The not so obvious problem with the park is its location. Marlins Park is on the site of the former Orange Bowl. If you take buses, the place is great with public transportation. However, the Miami Metrorail and Miami Metromover, along with Tri-Rail and Amtrak, are far away from the stadium. The problem with the idea of a lack of transportation means unless you have a car or live nearby, you are not likely to make the commute. Miami does run a shuttle bus from the Culmer station to the park. While they sit and wait promptly for riders to come to them, imagine the headache if you miss the bus?
Culmer station is a mile-long walk from the Culmer station. Compared to many modern stadiums, that is extremely antiquated. The only stadiums with less public transportation access are Globe Life Park in Arlington (none, bupkis) and Tropicana Field (some buses). These need to be fixed in general. Tropicana Field’s replacement does not have anything proposed, along with Globe Life. However, there is an opportunity to build an extension to Marlins Park.
If people are willing to help fund it, a branch line could be built from Civic Center station on the Metrorail that goes southwest through Little Havana past Marlins Park, meeting back with the Metrorail at Vizcaya station. It would bring Marlins Park from a 1-mile walk or shuttle bus to a two block walk from possibly up to two stations in the area, opening the door for quicker access. Accessing it to Little Havana will also help bring in more people to the stadium with quicker access.
Marlins Park has great opportunities for public transportation to help, but it would take community support.