Take me out to the ballpark, but make me walk the last mile
A story in mid-December highlighted the disconnect between what clubs will pay for players and a stadium vs. what they are willing to pitch in for transit. The Miami Marlins just completed a new stadium, and the county lent the team $35 million for the project, but a proposed shuttle from the closest Metrorail station – just shy of a mile away – needs $234,000 to get going.
Marlins management has said that they expect that a large percentage of fans will arrive by transit. Let’s hope so, because between 5,500 on-site parking spots, aimed at season ticket holders and players, as well as about 4,000 off-site private spots and 500 bicycle parking spots, they are going to need most of the 37,000 people the stadium can hold to arrive by walking or transit. Yet walking a mile from the rail stop in the Florida summer heat, or back at night after the game, may be a significant deterrent to attendance.
As one editorial noted, the minimum salary for MLB players is $480,000, and the Marlins paid an extra $8 million to have the stadium be up to LEED standards. Maybe the Marlins could fund a shuttle to the second closest station – exactly one mile away – as well?