loanDepot park - Miami Marlins
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00
loanDepot Stadium 501 Marlins Way Miami, FL 33125
Year Opened: 2012 Capacity: 36,742
Beautiful But Boring
loanDepot Park has been the home of the Miami Marlins since 2012. The park used to be known as Marlins Park until 2021 when it was renamed loanDepot Park. There are things to like about this park and also things that are major drawbacks. The park is truly unique with various features and amenities that you can’t find anywhere else in MLB. However, the lack of fans also creates a lack of atmosphere which hurts the overall fan experience.
Food & Beverage 4
There’s something for everyone at loanDepot Park. One place I would recommend is Sweets. They serve things like bubble waffles, and ice cream sandwiches. Get to this stand early though on the hot Miami days because they sell out fast. In addition to the usual stadium fare, there are some specialty places like Novecento and SuViche. At Novecento you can find empanadas that are made from scratch. At SuViche you can find sushi rolls, ceviche and other Peruvian dishes. loanDepot Park does a good job of providing food that fits the culture and cuisine of Miami itself. The only downside to the food at loanDepot Park is the prices. As is the case with most major league ballparks, it might be more cost effective to eat outside of the park.
It was difficult to get an accurate picture of the atmosphere since I visited during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the stadium didn’t seem to have much energy in it. The game presentation was fairly boilerplate. The team tries to add a Miami flair to the game proceedings but in the end the atmosphere was very lackluster. One nice thing about the park is the climate control because it gets incredibly hot and humid in the summer in Miami. Although the team removed the home run sculpture, there is a nice view out of the back of the park that shows the skyline of downtown Miami.
loanDepot Park is located in Little Havana. This is a portion of Miami with a large presence of Latin Americans, particularly Cubans. There are a few nice places to eat in the area as well as some local shops. The area around the stadium isn’t a place to hang around in late at night though. There is a dedicated area for ride sharing apps that is manned by police to make sure fans can get home safely. There aren’t many hotels in the immediate vicinity of the park, but you can find plenty of hotels in the surrounding area. Whether you want a 5 star hotel or simply an economy option, you can find it in Miami.
If you want to eat before the game, I suggest finding a place in downtown Miami where there are numerous options. Miami is known for fresh seafood and there are plenty of places to get some. There are many restaurants that serve seafood fresh off the dock so it is certainly something to check out.
The Marlins fans don’t pack the ballpark. You have some diehards who know their stuff, but a large section of the fans at the games are just enjoying Miami and looking to have a good time. I could chalk up the lack of attendance at least in part due to COVID, but it was still shockingly empty at the park. If you’re rooting for an opposing team, you won’t have any troubles with the Marlins fans. There were no incidents or fights that I could see around the park.
It’s really easy to get to loanDepot Park. If you’re driving, the highway is very close to the park so you won’t have to go far once you take the exit. There are 4 garages that the Marlins operate. Parking on weekdays (M-F) costs only $15. Weekend games cost $20, and marquee games cost $25. Many homes in the vicinity of the park also allow you to park in their driveways for $10-20 depending on the house and the location. You can also get to the park via a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft that will drop you off at the entrance. Once inside, the concourses are nice and wide. There are also abundant bathrooms that are very clean and the lines are always minimal.
Return on Investment 3
You can get into a Marlins game for as low as $10. That’s a very cheap ticket for a Major League baseball game. The food and drinks are pricey at loanDepot Park but there are also a lot of extras that you can see while also watching the game. If you add up parking, food, and a ticket, you can probably go to a game yourself for about $50. Also, the views are pretty good from every seat, so you do not need to worry about any obstructions.
One of my favorite things about loanDepot Park is the bobblehead museum in center field. It is a truly unique feature that you don’t see anywhere else. You can find bobbleheads from every team in the league. There’s a good mix of older player bobbleheads and current players. It is definitely something to check out.
The other really unique feature of this park is the large sculpture that used to be in center field. The colorful sculpture that used to come to life after home runs has been moved outside of the stadium. It is a colorful and vibrant feature that really captures the flavor of Miami.
loanDepot Park is a very interesting place. It has some unique features that make it stand out from the pack of bland ballparks. The park does a good job of showcasing Miami culture and cuisine. The fans and atmosphere really drag things down though. The laid back vibe of Miami really does show at the games. The fans and atmosphere are all very laid back. Bottom line, check out loanDepot Park to see some unique features but don’t expect much from the fan experience