The Miami Marlins are hoping to pack LoanDepot Park with New York Mets fans when they welcome the Atlanta Braves into town for their regular season series from Oct. 3-5.
The 97-57 Mets hold a one-game lead over the 96-58 Braves for the National League East crown with eight games to go. Both teams are headed to the playoffs, but the winner will earn the National League's No. 2 playoff seed and a bye through the NL Wild Card Round.
The 63-90 Marlins' season has long been over. The team has long struggled to draw fans, to the point where the franchise has only welcomed 2,000,000 or more patrons in a single year three times since its 1993 MLB debut.
Miami has not drawn well this year. The Marlins have the second-lowest home attendance in the league at 11,158 fans per game, according to ESPN.com. However, they draw better when the Mets roll into town, with an average attendance of 15,790 for those games, per Baseball-Reference.
Therefore, give credit for creativity with the Marlins playing out the string at this point.
Of course, South Florida residents and Mets fans can simply decide to stay at home and watch their own team play if they get out-of-market games. The Mets also host the Washington Nationals on Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. The same structure holds for the Marlins-Braves series.
Then again, those same fans can also enjoy some live baseball and hope Atlanta stumbles down the stretch as the Mets try to hold off the Braves for the coveted division crown.