The Orioles and Marlins set records as they played in near-empty stadiums

  • The Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles both set record lows in attendance on Monday night, due to a combination of poor play, bad weather, and a string of recent poor results.
  • The Chicago White Sox also hosted an almost empty game, as the team decided to play through snowy conditions.
  • The empty stadiums led to some surreal images of fans occupying entire sections themselves.


Baseball season has just begun, but the Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles are already having trouble drawing a crowd.

On Monday night, both teams broke long-held records for crowd size. The Marlins posted a paid attendance of just 7,003 fans — the lowest number since 2006 when the team switched to recording attendance based strictly on tickets sold. For the Orioles, the crowd of 7,915 was a record low at Camden Yards, discounting their 2015 game when fans were not allowed into the stadium amid protests in the city.

For the Marlins, the lack of fans isn't all that difficult a problem to diagnose. The franchise is going through growing pains after a new ownership group helmed by Derek Jeter stripped the team for parts and sent superstars Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich off to greener pastures in return for prospects and hopefully, future success.

The Marlins have long been one of the lowest-drawing teams in the majors and were also coming off of their worst loss in franchise history over the weekend — a 20-1 drubbing against the Philadelphia Phillies. Lacking star power and recently embarrassed by a division rival, it's no wonder that the Miami faithful — however many of them remain — didn't feel like lugging themselves out to the stadium on a Monday night.

The problem for the Orioles felt a bit worse. With less than 8,000 fans in attendance, Camden Yards felt like a ghost town. Built to seat 45,971, the stadium was as empty as it has ever been since opening in 1992.

Photos posted from inside the stadium showed a lonely scene.

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Record-low attendance at Baltimore Orioles game
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Record-low attendance at Baltimore Orioles game
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 9: Fans look on as starting pitcher Dylan Bundy #37 of the Baltimore Orioles throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 9: Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles bats against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 9: Fans look on as starting pitcher Dylan Bundy #37 of the Baltimore Orioles throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Apr 9, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Steve Pearce (28) is tagged out on a fielders choice by Baltimore Orioles third baseman Tim Beckham (1) during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy (37) throws the ball during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 9: Starting pitcher J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws to a Baltimore Orioles batter in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 9: Starting pitcher Dylan Bundy #37 of the Baltimore Orioles throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Estimated attendance at Camden Yards is 87 #Birdland #Orioles https://t.co/XX2IflsSlE
.@Orioles fans are enjoying 44 degree weather tonight https://t.co/WLfaqUjmYZ
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To be fair, it was a 44 degree Monday night in Baltimore — not the best conditions for a night out on the town. It's possible that when summer comes around attendance will pop back up into more respectable numbers. But at 4-7 and already five games back on the division-leading Red Sox in an AL East packed with talent, there's no guarantee that the Orioles will still be in the hunt even as soon as July.

The low mark is especially depressing when you consider that the Orioles sold out spring training games with better attendance numbers.

But baseball's attendance problems didn't end with the Marlins and Orioles on Monday. Earlier in the day, the White Sox hosted the Tampa Bay Rays in front of another dismal crowd. While the team announced a paid-attendance of just over 10,000, bad weather — the Cubs decided to cancel their game outright due to snow in Chicago — led to some estimates of just hundreds in the stands.

It's easier to forgive the White Sox for their poor showing as they were competing against precipitation, freezing temperatures, and school and work hours. But the images from the game are still quite jarring. 

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White Sox play snowy game in front of tiny crowd
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White Sox play snowy game in front of tiny crowd
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: A young fan watches the Tampa Bay Rays warm up prior to a game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: Snow falls at first base prior to a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: Workers cover the field for a snow delay prior to a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: Mallex Smith #0 of the Tampa Bay Rays is tagged out at home plate by Omar Narvaez #38 of the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning of a game at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: Rob Refsnyder #8 of the Tampa Bay Rays beats a tag at second base by Yoan Moncada #10 of the Chicago White Sox during the second inning of a game at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09: Miguel Gonzalez #58 of the Chicago White Sox throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
There might be 200 people at White Sox game (not exaggerating) and I don’t blame them... freezing, overcast and pe… https://t.co/ADExcQDivB
#WhiteSox fans are fed up. Bottom of the first. I better get a foul ball today. https://t.co/kpxgLqdihE
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The Marlins and Orioles both lost in front of their home crowds, while those that braved the freezing temperatures in Chicago were at least treated to a White Sox win on the day. Hopefully some fans were able to finally snag some foul balls.

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