Marlins Park. The House That Loria Built. The site of one of the most random home run celebrations in all of baseball. Home to the Miami Marlins, a team that got rain delayed at a game, despite having a fully operational retractable roof. And home to endless echoes when the few fans cheer. Going to a Marlins game at Marlins Park is enjoyable. It is modern, comfortable, and full of great food. But you will likely find sections that are far from full, so at least feeling claustrophobic won’t be an issue.
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If you want it, Marlins Park has it. Not only is there a separate food station for every different kind of food (burgers in one, pizza in another, candy and dessert by themselves, and even kosher only in another), but the stands are also plentiful. In addition, there are food stands for local foods like lobster, fresh pressed Cuban sandwiches, and café con leche. To make it even better, food stands around the stadium serve special dishes from the visiting team's city. Who can argue with authentic poutine whenever the Toronto Blue Jays come to town? The downside is the food prices are a little high. As an example, a kosher hot dog and a soda will cost you upwards of $14.
There isn't much of an atmosphere when there are so few home fans at the game. That said, Marlins Park does tend to fill up with opposing fans. Go to a Yankees or Red Sox game and the seats will be filled to the brim. Nonetheless, that does make for a less than desirable experience if you are a Marlins fan. The best part of the atmosphere at the stadium is, however, the climate control. With a retractable roof, Marlins Park protects you from the rain or the heat of the day. When the temperatures outside are nice and comfortable, the roof retracts and the panorama windows open in the outfield, providing a beautiful view of the downtown Miami skyline.
Marlins Park is situated in the middle of Miami's "Little Havana" neighborhood. There isn't a lot to see besides small houses and apartments that have seen better days. Immediately surrounding the stadium is a bar, a few small stores (Walgreens), and some hole-in-the-wall businesses. With the exception of the view of downtown Miami, there isn't very much that draws one to that location besides the stadium. It also gives off the feel of a sorta shady place with little to be desired. It isn't a place one feels 100% comfortable walking down the street in the middle of the night.
Miami sports fans are notorious for being among the worst in all of professional sports in terms of loyalty, and the biggest proof of that is the Miami Marlins. The only time Marlins fans go to games is when they are winning and have a shot at the playoffs. Despite having some of the best talent in the league and one of the most explosive and exciting power hitters in all of baseball, fans don't show up, period. When someone can yell at one end of the stadium and it echoes to the other, you know you have a problem. To make matters worse, the Marlins have only made the playoffs twice in their history, although both times resulted in World Series victories. This leaves little in terms of a history for the fans to be able to look back on with fondness. The few fans who do show up tend to try and seat jump around the stadium, showing up in the third inning a row in front of you, then disappearing two innings later. A lot of younger fans do go to games, but being 20-somethings they tend to be loud, obstructive of your view, and use less than desirable language. Bring ear plugs for your little ones.
Getting to Marlins Park is the easiest thing about the game day experience. Miami's Dolphin Expressway runs right next to Marlins Park, bridging the gap between I-95 and the Florida Turnpike, meaning you can have easy highway access to the stadium from the north, south, east, and west of South Florida. The centralized location is just one block off of the highway exit.
Parking is also easy. Parking passes for the various parking garages or parking lots around the stadium usually tend to be about $20, but can go up in price depending on the popularity of the opponent. If you wish not to purchase a parking pass or if they are sold out, every house and parking lot within a mile radius of the stadium sells their front and back yards as parking lots as well. It may be a longer walk, but you will pay less money.
Since tickets can be found for a much lower price on the secondary market, there isn't as much investment involved as some other stadiums with more popular teams. There is also much more to Marlins Park to see and do that gives it a different feel than other MLB venues. You definitely can spend a lot of time wandering the stadium to entertain yourself while also catching the game.
The extras at Marlins Park are seemingly endless. The most impressive aspect of the Marlins' stadium is The Clevelander. Located outside of left field on the field level, The Clevelander is a mini-version of the popular South Beach resort, complete with two bars, seating for fans, a DJ, scantily-clad dancers, and a pool. And, yes, you can actually swim in the pool. A ticket for the Clevelander is available for purchase like any other seat in the stadium for the game itself, but once the game ends, it opens up for free to the public.
Next is the bobblehead museum. Located on the main concourse behind home plate, the massive display holds numerous bobbleheads from over the years from not just the Marlins but for teams all over the country.
The Marlins Home Run sculpture is also something that is unique. It may be absolutely hideous in the eyes of many fans, looking more like something you would find on the shelves of a cheap street vendor than a piece of artwork when it is activated.
For art lovers, the stadium also is home to various pieces of art around the property. The Home Run sculpture is even an actual registered piece of art. These interesting works can be found all over the stadium.
Finally, one of the neatest things about the Marlins Park experience is the post game events. Not only do they have a rather well done fireworks show after various games, but they also have post game concerts. Some of the smaller concerts are on a stage on the main concourse outside of the stadium, but on occasion, a bigger-name act will perform on a stage set up on second base. Concerts are free with your ticket, but you can purchase an additional ticket to watch from on the field in front of the stage for the bigger acts.
If you want to visit every stadium in the major leagues, for sure Marlins Park is a must. If you are looking to see a road game for one of your favorite teams, Marlins Park is a must. If you are looking for a random game to catch at a stadium while you are traveling, consider Marlins Park, but understand the experience isn't exactly one that screams amazing atmosphere. For the stadium, it is a masterpiece without a bad seat in the house. For the atmosphere and fans, there isn't much to be hit out of the park.
Traffic, parking, directions and food will all need to improve. Park is different but fun, has a taste of disney and South Florida, while bringing the excitement of the Majors.
The brand new ballpark built specifically for the Miami Marlins has a unique Miami flavor to it, one that you might not see at any other Major League stadium. With the new park built near downtown Miami, the Marlins franchise made major changes to how the team looked. With a new logo and colors, new players, and a new location, the Marlins clearly decided to appeal as much as they could to the Hispanic fan base in Miami. The biggest difference between where they play now and Sun Life Stadium is the benefit of playing indoors. The retractable roof allows fans to come watch a game whenever they want now and not have to worry about sitting in 90˚ heat during day games, or risk 1-2 hour rain delays that frequently occurred in the past. In fact, they are planning on opening up the roof just 11 times out of the 81 home games this season.
On the outside of the stadium there is very little to do or see, as the surrounding neighborhood is nothing but residential. When you walk into the stadium, however, you are awestruck. There are two walkways that wrap around the entire stadium. On the lower section, you can find food vendors and merchandise any which way you turn. You can also find the Bobble Head Museum, which consists of over one hundred different bobble heads of baseball players and is interesting to look at. Something else that sticks out right away is the huge sculpture in the outfield. At a height between 65 and 75 feet, it can’t be missed. It consists of palm trees, marlins, flamingos, water, and a rainbow. I see it as resembling something that the Mets have at Citi Field with the huge apple, but even crazier. Every time a home run is hit by a Marlin player, it is activated and lights up, with the marlins going around in circles and water spurting out. I had the pleasure of seeing the very first time it went off, when Omar Infante hit the very first home run for a Marlin in the park.
There really isn’t much of a bad view in the park, as every angle offers a good look at the game.
What I noticed many fans doing was standing along the walkway viewing the game rather than sitting, which is best done behind home plate or in the outfield near one of the many bars. On the upper level, which you can get to via escalator, you get perhaps the best view of downtown Miami looking toward the outfield. Since the stadium looking toward the outfield is glass, you can find terrific views of downtown Miami. Other than that, though, the upper section does not have anything too unique. One more unique thing is the aquarium as the backstop behind home plate. It is built so that no ball can penetrate it, and it houses live fish inside. Also, in left field there is a section called the Clevelander which is basically a club scene with a pool you can swim in, a DJ, and a bar, all on the lowest section of the park. It can hold up to 240 guests, and you must be 21 or older to go in. It is only open to guests who have a specific ticket to get in during the game, but afterwards it is open to anyone of age, and is said that it will stay open much later on weekends.
I spent two games at new Marlins Park, one with the roof and left field panels wid eoopen and one with it shut tight. Without a doubt, this is the best new ballpark to be opened in the majors in years. I did not feel that way at first glance, but the more accepting I became of the contemporary architecture style, the innovative design elements and the integrating of a strong and vibrant Latin culture to the venue, the more it became clear who magnificent Marlins Park is. But keep in mind, you will not be able to enter the ballpark with expectations similar to what you have enjoyed at other ballparks. This one is so different. However, knowing all new ballparks are going to have many of these design elements moving forward (you hear this Oakland and Tampa?), enter Marlins Park with an open mind and submit to the new world in baseball venues.
Four great things about this new ballpark:
1) Free street parking within two blocks.
2) The bakery out front and Taste of Miami inside
3) Tickets available from fans at very reduced prices
4) The Clevelander
Well worth a weekend series!
I have to say I was pretty disappointed by the new Marlins Park. The dimensions are pretty rough and everything seems way to spread out. The atmosphere was decent at best but the fans I spoke with were very friendly. Parking is an ease we found some ten dollar parking pretty close to the ballpark. Ticket prices were at the cheapest 10 bucks which is definitely worth it, just have to say wasn't blown away.
The park is really a nice and unique place to go and see a baseball game. There is an atmosphere I get walking around this park that you rarely feel anywhere else, it's refreshing! However, for those who like to hang by the park and do stuff around town before the game, you will be out of luck as this is not the best part of town. A really old neighborhood surrounds the stadium with virtually no places to eat. Food in the park is actually quite good though!
The fans to me are great, but nothing beyond your typical fan base for a pro baseball game. Access to the park is not easy, but not hard either. There isn't much designated parking, but there are so many people letting you park on their lawns for $10 right in front of the stadium it isn't that hard to find a place. In fact, the time I've had a parking pass it took me longer to get to the right lot because of how traffic was being directed.
If you like to enjoy a good baseball venue without necessarily making an outing around town part of the experience this is one the best parks in the league. Drive a little into better parts of Miami for a nice dining experience if you so desire!
Marlins Park, home to the Miami Marlins, was built on the historic Orange Bowl site in Miami’s Little Havana just west of Downtown Miami and is a beautiful state-of-the-art stadium complete with a retractable roof. The cost to build Marlins Park was $515 million, and many of those millions were spent to ensure that fans have the best stadium experience possible. The stadium is the only Gold LEED-Certified facility in the world with a retractable roof.
For the fact no one shows up, traffic was horrendous enough to back up all the way onto I-95, over a mile away from the main parking areas. Once you manage your way through the traffic jams and sketchy neighborhood, you get shocked by the price of going; thankfully, I got my ticket through work, but there's no way I'd pay $88 to sit along the first base line on my own.
Inside, it's actually a really cool park, even if it does come off as trendy and even a bit tacky. Being able to see the downtown skyline through the left-field glass wall is cool, and watching baseball in 72˚F comfort is always welcomed.
Food is a bit overpriced, but nothing out of the ordinary for a MLB park. Sir Pizza provides pizza in numerous stalls, which is really good, and everything from tacos and burgers are all available. The Cuban sandwiches are wet, though (and how that happens on a hot press is beyond me), and toward the 7th inning, hot dogs, pizzas, and burgers were all SOLD OUT THROUGHOUT THE PARK! How the heck does that happen?! Are they that non-used to 20,000 people they plan on food for only 12k?! That's pathetic.
And that "thing" in the outfield that signifies home runs is so gaudy and absurd, only Miami would be expected to try to pull it off. Somehow it works, but I still have no idea why.
Bright points are the retractable roof and glass wall, which I had the pleasure of seeing in action after the game ended when they started watering the grass and needed the sun in there, and the Clevelander, which is probably the coolest and trendiest bar in any MLB park.
It's not a bad park. As a park, it's better than Tropicana Field, but only marginally. Its neighborhood, access, food, and pricing, however, fail in making a turnaround from their old home in the sizzling South Florida sun. The fact that no one shows up underscores that point.
There are few Major League Baseball clubs that have quite the tumultuous history that the Miami Marlins do. Founded in 1993 as the Florida Marlins, the team came into existence and shared ownership and a stadium with the NFL's Miami Dolphins. It became clear quickly that the Florida Marlins would not have a smooth ride. Shocking everyone by winning the 1997 World Series with a large compliment of expensive free agents. Possibly a greater shock to the baseball world was how most of those players were sold or traded off the following year.
Ownership would also change and the NFL stadium that the Marlins called home, did not seem quite that homey any more. The Marlins would again shock the world and win the 2003 World Series, but long-term financial success was again not present for the Marlins. Marlins ownership and Major League Baseball cried for a new stadium for the Marlins, and even the Dolphins got involved giving the Marlins notice that their occupancy of Sun Life Stadium would be temporary. In one of the most controversial public funding debacles for a stadium ever, the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County stepped up and funded Marlins Park, which would be built on the site of the Miami Orange Bowl.
Current Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria again found himself in a bit of public hot water as one year after the opening of the Miami-Dade County owned Marlins Park, the renamed Miami Marlins made a huge trade with the Toronto Blue Jays essentially moving almost all of their high-priced, high-profile talent. The Marlins organization have found themselves in a position where they have to win back the public trust and create more incentives for patrons to come out to the ballpark. In their corner, is one of the most unique and wonderful parks in all of Major League Baseball. However, to win back this jaded fan base, the Marlins will have to do more than just periodic deep sea fishing.
It is an expensive venue but deals can be found. The one game I attended had $1 hot dogs and cheap domestic beer. The Taste of Miami down the third base line has the best food. Saw the roof open for a fireworks show. A drumline paraded the concourse another game I attended.
Took the train and the mentioned shuttle and had no problems. The shuttle did take a while but I was in no rush.
Except for the Wendy’s there isn’t any place to go for a bite close by.
I’d go back if I was ever in the area.
Marlins Park, through all the hassles of getting the place built, is/was supposed to be the new trend of baseball parks. Modern, retro parks were becoming out of style as the newer ones like Citi Field and Busch Stadium were not really a hit at the times they were built. So through some shady moves by the Marlins and the city of Miami, Jeffrey Loria built a place that he thought would be the new benchmark of baseball.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe Miami and the style of the area would suit a retro-style ballpark, but what you got out of the place was a giant sterile ballpark with a feel of that of a football stadium. And the whole idea of the Marlins was to get away from their previous park, which was a football stadium (at least that is how it came out for me)
THE POSITIVES: The food is probably the saving grace of the ballpark. The variety of fare from the normal foods to fish tacos to Mexican cuisine is wide. The quality of the foods is excellent and I would actually prefer the Marlins Parmesan and Garlic fries over to San Francisco's fries. That is where I would rank Miami's food. I will applaud the effort of trying to make the place feel "Miami-esque" of more of a modern look as well. Parking is fairly easy as you have 3 major parking decks around (all cost $20 to get in).
THE NEGATIVES: It doesn't feel homely or warming as you have major slabs of cement and save for the Clevelander in LF and the oddball thing in left center (which I admit, I kinda liked), the place just has a sterile feel to it. The sound system is subpar and the sightlines at the place is pretty rough in most places unless you are near the field on the lower level. Underhang issues, overhang issues, upper level makes you feel like you are in a canyon, and prices are through the roof here. Getting out of the park is not too hard, but not really easy either and there isn't much in the way of places near the park after the game. And the fans, well, whenever you need the scoreboard to tell the base to make noise and get up, especially when the Marlins have the lead, doesn't bode well, but the Marlins base doesn't have a good rep as it is and had a few fans with children kick me and not do anything either.
OVERALL: I wasn't expecting Marlins Park to rank near the top of my list of MLB parks, but not near bottom either. To me, this was a giant misfire for a park that was supposed to be the new wave of parks.
6900 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
1700 NW 7th St
Miami, FL 33125
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