The Marlins seek to get closer to the Latin public through the Caribbean Series

The Caribbean Series returns to Miami after 33 years, but this time it will be played in a Major League stadium: LoanDepot Park, home of the Marlins. The event will take place from February 1 to 9, 2024 and massive attendance is expected to support the champions of the leagues of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Curacao, Nicaragua and Panama.

“It is no secret to anyone that we are looking for a way to have more attendance at the stadium. We offer different ticket offers, we have always said that we are the cheapest ticket in Miami for entertainment, but we always seek to penetrate that Latin market in the right way,” said Chema Sánchez, Commercial Development Manager of the Marlins, in an interview with DIARIO LAS AMÉRICAS. from Miami about the organization of the Caribbean Series in the house of the fish.

“Bringing events like this that are so close to the people, because it has history – it is not a World Classic – is an event of a lifetime, it is something that gives pride to each of those countries,” continued the executive of the Miami team. . “Bringing that grain of sand, those roots here to Miami for many who have not left the United States for many years, bringing them a little closer, should help us (the Marlins) to be that Latin American team, to be that team of Latinos in Miami who come from many diverse places, should bring us a little closer to that community.”

Although the Miami team seeks this approach with Latinos, they hope that many Americans who enjoyed the “Caribbean atmosphere” in the 2017 and 2023 World Classics “come to experience what a Caribbean series is like. “We want people to come in and live the experience of what it is like to be at LoanDepot Park and, God willing, it will translate into members for the Marlins,” the executive said.

Cuba and Colombia, the big absentees

The delegations of Cuba and Colombia, countries that have a large number of immigrants in Miami, will not participate in this edition of the Caribbean Series.

“We believe that when it came to thinking about which teams (countries) were going to be, we had to put many things into the balance and not just population density,” Sánchez commented. “There was also a lot to do with the level of play, the talent on the field, as well as the logistics and economic commitment that each league has to have. It was important to know that they could support it. There are many things that were taken into account so that at the end of the day the Caribbean confederation, the commissioner, decided which were the best countries to do this.”

In the absence of Cuba and Colombia, for the first time in history Nicaragua will be present in a Caribbean Series where Curacao and Panama will also participate, as special guests.

“I imagine that they (Cuba and Colombia) will be considered for Mexicali 2025 and the following tournaments, but I repeat for the Caribbean Series product, I believe, the confederation has a plan for it to change and begin to be marketed in the correct and more organized way. ”the Marlins executive continued. “We are super happy with the decision we have made, I think they are the best teams we can bring for a Series in Miami to ensure the health of the tournament, but also the health of the confederation and the economic model so that everything continues to work” .

Cuba’s participation in the Caribbean Series has been full of controversy since their first return to the event in 2013. After participating from then until 2019, they were absent for three years.

Since the dictator Fidel Castro eliminated professional sports in the largest of the Antilles, Cuba stopped belonging to the Caribbean Baseball Confederation and since its “surprise” returns as a guest, some of the members want it to return as a permanent member.

The Marlins hope to have a full house

“Expectations are always going to be high and even more so after having had two World Classics and in the last one having caused the impact in box office, broadcasting and everything else that was done, that all records were broken. We are trying to keep that bar super high. In terms of attendance, we are expecting 350,000 people in those nine days that the tournament lasts,” said Chema Sánchez.

According to the Marlins executive, there are games for which more than 25,000 tickets have already been sold, 67.57% of the capacity of LoanDepot Park.

“For us, the response we have had from the local fans, as well as from other states and the fact that we are already in the numbers we are, without even knowing which teams are going to participate is super important. I think those last two weeks of the winter seasons will be crucial for the momentum and success of the Series.”

Third time the tournament is held in Miami

The idea of ​​creating the Caribbean Series as an official tournament arose precisely in Miami, in the mid-1940s, although the city did not see the execution of the project itself until the early 1990s.

With the plan to attract the Hispanic public to the stadium in 1990 and 1991, the editions were held in the city of the sun. However, the project ended up being an unexpected failure at the box office. The first was played at the Orange Bowl, a former American football stadium located where LoanDepot Park now stands.

In 1991 the tournament moved to “Bobby Maduro” in Miami, which was a genuine park to play baseball. However, this will be the first time it is played on a Major League stage.