- Twitter/Dan Kolko
The Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals squared off in a nearly empty Marlins Park on Wednesday as Hurricane Irma bears down on south Florida.
State officials have already issued evacuation orders to residents in the Florida’s most vulnerable areas, including Miami Beach and other barrier islands along the state’s east coast.
Irma – a Category 5 hurricane that forecasters are calling one of the strongest storms in Atlantic history – has already ravaged islands in the Caribbean and is expected to reach Florida this weekend.
With the hurricane looming, it’s understandable if Marlins fans had bigger things on their mind on Wednesday. Photos from the game showed an unusually thin crowd 15 minutes before the first pitch:
A game will be played here in 15 minutes…and I cannot blame anyone in the Miami area for not attending. Bigger things to worry about. pic.twitter.com/IonWRBnkHC
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) September 6, 2017
Things didn’t look any better by the time the game got underway:
South Florida, obviously, has way more important things to do tonight than go to Nationals-Marlins. Here's a photo at first pitch. pic.twitter.com/20nlhzj2fR
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) September 6, 2017
And here’s a look at the crowd around the game’s midway point:
- Screenshot/Mark Abadi
Attendance figures for Wednesday’s game are not yet available, but the turnout is clearly lower than the Marlins’ average of 20,000 this year. The team regularly ranks among the worst in attendance in Major League Baseball, although Wednesday’s turnout warrants no criticism.
Wednesday’s game is the Marlins’ last in Miami before Hurricane Irma is expected to hit. The team is traveling to Atlanta and Philadelphia for a seven-game road trip and is scheduled to play its first game back in Miami on September 15.