At today's home opener, a 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, fans who are used to being kept up-to-date about MLB scores were instead treated to giant advertisements for the MLB Network.
The Teal Tower, as it was affectionately known, has been removed in favor of large advertising panels. At first glance, it may have seemed to many that the Marlins were just exploiting as much real estate as possible in order to procure more advertising money, similar to when they covered the outfield wall with Miccosukee Indian Gaming ads several years ago. However, it seems that the move is just another indication of just how badly the Marlins really need to move into their new ballpark. Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post reports:
The Marlins are tenants in a stadium owned by Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross, who wasn’t about to sink money into the venue to enhance the baseball experience. And Marlins senior vice president for communications P.J. Loyello said it was “cost prohibitive” for the Marlins to replace the burned out light bulbs and to keep the scoreboard from malfunctioning.
We've long known that the under the terms of their rent, the Marlins receive little-to-no money from the sale of parking spots and concessions during Marlins games. But to think that they would be forced to replace the light bulbs in the scoreboard really sheds light on just how awful the terms of their current deal are. It's going to be a real weird season without the Teal Tower in left field. Here's to hoping that come late September, the Marlins are watching the scoreboard more than they're watching MLB Tonight.