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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.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
If you go to the ballpark hungry, Marlins Park will not disappoint. And you won't have to travel too far from your seat, since food and drink venues are abundant. They have all the ballpark standards: hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, and yes, cracker jacks. You can find BBQ Pork Sandwiches ($10) and BBQ Pork Nachos ($9.50).
Sir Pizza can also be found. An individual pizza (cheese or pepperoni) costs $10. There is a Kids Shack, where you can get a Kids Meal for $7 that includes a hot dog or peanut butter and jelly, applesauce and juice. At Burger 305, you can get chicken tenders, french fries, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and, of course, burgers. Have a need for kosher or gluten-free fare? The ballpark has those covered, as well.
Want to try a little of the local cuisine? The park offers a variety of Latin American flavors. At the Goya Latin Café, you can feast on Cuban fare, rice and beans, and assorted sandwiches. Marlins Park has an area called the Taste of Miami. You can get a Cuban sandwich or a Midnight sandwich, both served with mariquitas ($12) at Latin American Grill. Panna Café offers cachitos ($7), tequenos ($4), mini empanadas ($10) and other Latin delights. At Papo Llega y Pon, you can feast on a pork sandwich ($7) and pork rinds ($6). To wrap up the Taste of Miami area, you'll find Don Cameron Seafood Grill and Market. They serve ceviche ($10), a half-dozen oysters ($9), a Don Cameron fritter ($9) and a snapper minuta sandwich ($12).
And if none of that interests you, perhaps you might like some sushi instead ($9-$20).
In case you're thirsty for something a little stronger than soda, the ballpark has two bars to accommodate you (three if you count the Clevelander - see the Extras section below). The Budweiser Bowtie Bar is located on the Promenade Level in left field and, in right-center field, you will find the Bacardi Oakheart bar. At both bars, you can get a mixed drink or a beer ($8-$10). The Bowtie Bar is a popular meeting and gathering place that also provides a great view of the Miami skyline.
Marlins Park is definitely Miami. It oozes Miami - the artwork, the aquariums, the "nightclub". The colors around the ballpark, the food and the air conditioning make for a nice atmosphere to see a game. Marlins Park has three high-quality video boards. The main video board is in center field, with another located in left field, giving every fan a decent video board view. The third video board is located in the West Plaza outside the ballpark. The outside video board carries the game.
The Marlins ownership and the designers of the ballpark really worked on giving fans a great ballpark experience. When the roof is closed, it really does get loud when there is something to cheer about, and the Marlins use that to their advantage.
Marlins Park is nestled inside of Miami's famed Little Havana community. Unfortunately, there is not a lot around the stadium, except for houses and businesses. Across the street, you will find a Wendy's, and another block away, there are two sports bars, the Batting Cage Sports Bar and the Bowl Bar. There are street vendors set up across the street from the stadium selling hot dogs, sausages and drinks at a reasonable price.
The Marlins fans do come out and support the team. You will also find a good amount of fans cheering for the other team. Those fans are either tourists or are transplanted residents from the city of the visiting club. This makes for a fun environment to see a game.
The fans are knowledgeable and have a certain love for the game that comes from being a baseball fan all their lives. They may have become Marlins fans just years ago, but the love of the game does come through.
Getting to Marlins Park has gradually become easier. Marlins Park is off of SR 836, also called the Dolphin Expressway. If you are going westbound on the 836, take the NW 12th Avenue exit. If you are headed eastbound on the 836, take the 17th Avenue exit. You can also get to the stadium via I-95 by taking the NW 8th Street exit.
There are four parking garages and a few surface lots at the park. Parking in the garages costs $15- $25, depending on the game. Parking vouchers can be purchased in advance on the Marlins website. Depending on availability, some garages may accept cash. If you don't want to mess around with looking for parking, the best bet is to buy your parking voucher in advance.
The residents around the stadium open their front yards to allow you to park there. Most are cheaper than parking at the stadium garages.
Public transportation to the games is also available. There are eight bus routes that will get you within a few blocks of the ballpark. If you are taking the Metrorail, make your way to Culmer Station, where the Marlins Shuttle will take you to Marlins Park.
The stadium concourses are wide. The bathrooms are clean. All the seats have a cup holder and decent legroom.
This ballpark is definitely worth a visit. The Marlins have a ticket special every day of the week, so you can go to a game on the cheap. Plus, the cheapest ticket is $9. The money you save on the tickets can be put toward eating at the ballpark.
Nothing says Miami more than outrageous nightclubs. So it only makes sense that Marlins Park is home to The Clevelander, a nightclub located behind the left field fence. In addition to the food and drinks you would expect to find at any bar, the Clevelander has DJs, dancers and a swimming pool. Seating is available on the field level and is next to the visiting team's bullpen. Who knows - maybe you will catch a homerun ball while taking a dip in the pool. This is a definite hot spot after the game. Game tickets are available to sit in the Clevelander.
If the nightclub scene isn't your thing, perhaps you would be interested in what this writer thinks is the coolest thing at the park - The Bobblehead Museum. Located on the Promenade Level, the Museum has approximately 600 bobbleheads of former and current players. Some mascot bobbleheads are included, as well. The entire structure moves slightly to cause the heads to bobble. A computer is available so you can search your favorite player to see if he has a bobblehead in the collection.
Marlins Park has a very cool backstop - the aquariums. These two 450-gallon saltwater fish tanks are made of fiberglass and 1.5 inches of crystal clear acrylic panels. A special material has been applied to the front of the tanks to protect it from foul balls and errant pitches.
Marlins Park has some incredible artwork. There is the Home Run Sculpture by Red Grooms. The West Plaza was designed by Carlos Cruz-Diez. The Orange Bowl tribute on the East Plaza was designed by Daniel Arsham, who took ten-foot-high reproductions of the letters that spelled out "Miami Orange Bowl" and scattered them throughout the plaza. Art can also be found on the four parking garages around the stadium. Christian Moeller took the four main entryways and created murals that cover the sides of the ballpark that face the stadium.
Marlins Park is truly a stadium worth a visit. It's like a piece of art. I believe it was built with that in mind. Of course, that makes sense, since the owner of the Marlins is an art dealer. You can go see the art of baseball while looking at art and sitting in a piece of art. And don't forget - it's air conditioned, too!
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!
6900 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
1700 NW 7th St
Miami, FL 33125
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