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Vilma in battle with Marlins over BBQ
Apparently the lack of quality baseball at the Miami Marlins' new ballpark is rivaled only by the lack of quality food, and that has the team in a battle with one tough opponent: New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
The lack of quality standards is one of Vilma's biggest complaints in a lawsuit filed against the Marlins. See, Vilma co-owns a barbecue restaurant called Brother Jimmy's — Jimmy is his brother — which reached a deal last year to sell its barbecue out of the concession stands at the Marlins' new stadium. The new place was a palace and the team was supposed to be good. Brother Jimmy's, like everybody else in Miami, was betting on the hype.
Those are just about the only facts that aren't in dispute.
The Marlins started this by suing Vilma, claiming he and his brother failed to pay the $75,000 sponsorship fee and shut down the stand. The Vilmas say they gave the Marlins $25,000 on good faith, but never agreed to any such sponsorship fee. Further, they are counter-suing, saying Brother Jimmy's pulled its pulled pork from the Marlins' stadium because the people running the place did such a bad job cooking it that it was ruining Brother Jimmy's reputation.
"We did voice our concerns and we actually personally went there, we went to the games and we wouldn't let them know who we were, we'd go and taste our own food and we'd tell them 'Look, this food is not to our standards,'" Vilma told Miami's 560 WQAM. "It hurts us as a business because if for the first time a fan goes to Marlins Stadium, they taste Brother Jimmy's, they say 'This food is terrible,' and all they're gonna remember is the bad food and/or service that they got at the Marlins stadium, and we expected better than that."
A cynical mind might want to know just how many people actually were attending Marlins games last year. Just 27,401, on average, which went down as a huge disappointment to everyone, including anybody who set up a business in the concourses.
It's difficult to say who's right about this, but it's easy to see nobody got what they bargained for.