Marlins' Samson talks park naming rights, TV deal

Marlins' Samson talks park naming rights, TV deal

MIAMI -- Marlins president David Samson shed some light on the organization's quest for a naming rights deal for Marlins Park, plus a new television deal with Fox Sports Florida, while speaking at the club's FanFest at the ballpark on Saturday.

"We're looking at naming rights," Samson said. "There's still three companies, and we cannot figure out which direction we're going to go in. I still want to get it done before the All-Star Game. It's such a long-term decision. I don't want to make the wrong one."

The current TV deal runs through 2020, but the Marlins are seeking to revise it before '18.

"On the TV deal side, I spend as much time in [Los Angeles] as I do in Miami these days," Samson said. "I have great respect for FOX and for the people there. They know, and we know, that our current TV deal is in a place where it's not commensurate with the revenue that should be coming to the team, given the content that we're giving. That is no fault of anybody's but mine."

The 2017 season promises to be an eventful one for the Marlins.

In March, Marlins Park will host a first-round of the World Baseball Classic. And Miami will host its first MLB All-Star Game on July 11.

FanFest was the first day individual game tickets went on sale.

"This, to me, is a great day," Samson said. "We've got people buying tickets to the All-Star Game, and buying season tickets. There's FanFest, and a lot is going on. From my standpoint, the only thing I can talk about is what I know is real now. That is what the Marlins mean in this community, and [what] we do every day. The number of employees that we have and players who spend all their time trying to make Miami better and do our part."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.