Earlier this year, I told myself I would boycott the Marlins this season, but since I was entertaining a friend who had never seen the park and I had discounted tickets to acquire, I figured I would go.
But the park will never be the same following the fire sale of 2012. The stadium itself, center field Monstrosity included, is still a beauty of a park, but it will be hard to enjoy the 2013 Marlins knowing that the team was dismantled directly to benefit the pockets of owner Jeffrey Loria. There are still fans who wonder if the Marlins will ever be competitive again after the team got public funding and full stadium profits and pocketed all of them without providing a proper group on the field.
So why am I going today, just a few days before I leave south Florida until near the end of the regular season? Cheap tickets and entertainment help, but that is not all. I miss the stadium, the appearance of a park Marlins fans can at least be proud of after playing in a cavernous football stadium for years. Most of all, I want to support a team that I truly care about, not only as a blogger but as a genuine fan. You really have to be a true fan of the Marlins to want to support them in a time like this, when the light at the end of the losing tunnel seems furthest away.
But I still want to maintain as much of my boycott nature as possible. The Marlins have put up attendance numbers that are not the worst in the league, so Marlins fans have been enticed by the giveaways and promotions the Fish have handed out. Still, I do not want to participate in putting money into Jeffrey Loria's pockets, no matter how irrelevant my $20 may be to him.
To that end, I jumped through a few hoops to make sure I avoided paying Loria directly.
- I bought my tickets online through a secondary vendor. That means those tickets were already previously purchased, but were unlikely to be of anyone's service tonight. That avoids me handing Loria ticket money myself.
- Paying for parking around the neighborhood. While I prefer using the Marlins' stadium parking, this time around I will be parking in one of the houses in the local area. The prices of housing parking are between five and seven dollars cheaper than the Marlins' $15 price, and they may provide an easier exit from the stadium. In return, there's a little less certainty, but it is worth the discount and not paying Loria.
- No food. As much as I love the food available at Marlins Park, I will be refraining from it this time around in favor of a pre-game dinner. At best, I may get a drink.
This is not a major effort, and it certainly is not going to keep Loria up at night. But if you want to enjoy the Marlins without helping Loria in any way, this may be the best way to do it. And while it will not make any real financial impact, it may help you with your concerns about supporting the Marlins without supporting Loria. It is the very least you can do to still see a Marlins game live this season, and it is not difficult to do. If you are in the area and want to show your spirit, give it a try. I will tonight.