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What the Move Has Meant for South Florida
- Updated: April 11, 2012
Does a fifteen-mile move from one stadium to another really change what the Marlins mean to South Florida? Did the ownership really care where the stadium was put as long as they got to pay dirt-cheap for it? I think not. Did the ownership care that they slapped Palm Beach County and Northern Broward County in the face by moving to Little Havana basically saying we do not care for your business even though it was your two counties who had supported us for 18 years? Did the ownership care about the way the fans would react to the ridiculous logo change and color scheme change? When the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers moved to California, did they change everything about their franchise including colors/logos? No because it was tradition.
As a South Florida Native, I was born in Miami, raised in Sunrise, and live in Palm Beach County. I was so excited when the Marlins were told they were given a site for the Stadium, thrilled for the last four years waiting for “Marlin’s Park” to open their doors. South Florida got to keep the Marlins instead of moving to San Antonio, Las Vegas or other cities.
The Marlins are my team, I watched them grow from expansion to World Series Champions twice. I had the honor of seeing Lomo strike out for the last pitch at Sun Life (Joe Robbie, Pro Player, Dolphin, Dolphins, Landshark) Stadium and now had the honor of seeing Josh Johnson throw the first strike at the new ballpark. One thing was different though, I looked down at the gorgeous green field, and brand new baseball diamond, I saw familiar faces, but were these my Marlins that I was watching? I will support the Marlins because I am a diehard fan (my house and my car can signal that to anyone who sees them) but I couldn’t help but feel punched in the gut a little.
The Miami Dolphins represented football in this state for many years prior to Tampa Bay and Jacksonville receiving NFL Franchises. It was ok for you to root for Miami because they represented a state. When the Florida Panthers moved from Sunrise, no change was needed to the name. The FLORIDA Marlins represented a state, but in long term it really represented South Florida. The arenas and stadiums down here in South Florida are not filled with just Miami residents, or Broward residents, or Palm Beach Residence, they are filled with a mixture of all the above.
We are a Tri-County fanbase; we share the South Florida economy; residents travel for work, and they travel to see the teams we love so much. Why didn’t the ownership keep the South Florida tradition alive? Are they so naive to see that we are a community and whether it is a sporting event or political speech, the tri-county residents fill the stadiums?
I feel like the Marlin’s tradition is gone. Turquoise has been replaced with orange. The Fish is different, and the way of spending money has changed. I promise you this though: if the Marlins fail to be contenders in the NL East and the League in general, the Miami fans who never came to Sunlife, will stop coming to the new Marlins Park, and since you slapped the rest of South Florida in the face, who will fill those seats? The move to Miami could have been just that: a move to Miami, and a new stadium may have changed baseball in South Florida forever.
Written By: Trivia Chase