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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

loanDepot park - Miami Marlins


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

loanDepot park 501 Marlins Way Miami, FL 33125

Year Opened: 2012 Capacity: 36,742


 

Fish Fans Are Not Taking The Bait

loanDepot park opened in 2012. The stadium has a retractable roof to protect fans from the frequent rain that occurs in the evenings and the oppressive heat and humidity of summers in Miami. It has a seating capacity of 37,446. However, this includes the 300 level of the ballpark. The 300 level is only opened when there is a game with a heavy demand for tickets. When the 300 level is closed loanDepot park is the third smallest ballpark in the MLB. There are 44 suites in the park. The dimensions of the field are 344L, 400C and 335R.


loanDepot park is by far the most international stadium in the major leagues. All screens in the park feature both English and Spanish messages. The foods available at the concession stands feature many Latin dishes. Heritage nights dot the schedule with special salutes to members of the Cuban, Haitian, Puerto Rican, Bahamian, Nicaraguan, Venezuelan, Columbian, and Mexican communities.


Food & Beverage 4

The concessions offerings at loanDepot park give fans both the traditional ballpark far as well as many Latin specialties due to the large Hispanic population in the Miami area. There are also several stands that offer Kosher foods, as South Florida also has a large Jewish population.


Traditional ballpark fare is available at Top Dogs, the Fowl Pole, Fat Tuesdays, Magic City BBQ, and Family Fav’s. Latin-inspired foods are available at El Mercadito, PINCHO, Bites de la Calle, and Street Taco. If you are open to trying new foods, check out the Change Up STAND. This stand offers a test kitchen menu of possible future food offerings at loanDepot park. The menu is always being rotated so it is a good place to check out every time you attend a Marlins game.


The Biscayne Brew Hall is located between sections 15/16. It features the Marlin’s own lager, as well as an assortment of craft beers. It includes a full-service bar, tables, a performance space, and a video wall, so you will not any of the action.


The one negative as far as this component is that many concession stands are closed if low-ticket sales are estimated for a particular game or series.


Atmosphere 4

loanDepot Park is an arts-oriented facility on top of its sports purpose. A former Marlins owner was a patron of the arts, and he also had major input into the building of the park. He wanted the Marlins ballpark to be different from any of the traditional parks around the league.


This is apparent before you even enter the stadium. Instead of sharp angles the park has rounded curves. Instead of steel and brick, the stadium exterior has glass, and stucco and is clad in a bright white color that is very popular in buildings in South Florida. You will also see pavers outside of the venue that features the blues and greens that suggest the colors of the nearby ocean.


Once inside you will see lots of art installations along the concourses. The seats in the park are cobalt blue, another color that is popular in this coastal area. When the stadium opened, a Pop Art installation in center field was the talk of the league. It included all sorts of elements that are suggestive of South Florida… including swordfish, flamingos, beaches, the sun, and nightlife.


When a Marlin hit a homerun the elements of the piece would light up and go into motion, with the swordfish diving in and out of a moving wave. A later owner had the piece taken out of the outfield area. Since it was public art it was protected by local ordinances and could not be disposed of. The art installation is now relocated to the exterior of the ballpark, where it is still activated when a Marlin hits a home run.


Another interesting feature at the stadium is the glass wall in left field. The six glass wall panels provide you with a stunning view of the Downtown Miami skyline.


loanDepot park Glass Panels, Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


The Marlins have several activities scheduled throughout the year to celebrate the club’s 30th Anniversary Season. This includes a Marlins Museum and Timeline along the concourse in center field.


Neighborhood 3

loanDepot park is in the Little Havana section of Miami. There are not many choices in the way of restaurants or entertainment in the area. The stadium is surrounded by residential buildings on three sides of the park.

A great place for a pre or post-game drink is the Nightlife Brewing Company, which is located next door to the ballpark. It offers a wide range of craft brews.


Fans 2

The Marlins are plagued by low ticket sales. The Marlins average attendance is just over 11,000 per game. Some of this is due to the performance of the team on the field. A second issue has to do with issues involving the front office. The team has a history of splurging on free agents, going to the playoffs and even the World Series, with a strong roster, only to trade them away the next season when the team has salary issues. This tends to hurt the team’s ability to be competitive on an ongoing basis.


Another issue with fan support is the location of loanDepot park. It is not convenient to get to from the suburbs south or east of Miami. Traffic in Miami can be a bear, making it hard for a large portion of the population to get to the ballpark in time for the 6:40 pm start time of weekday games.


Access 3

The ballpark offers easy access from both I-95 South and I-75 South. However, Miami traffic is legendary for its traffic jams and frequent accidents that can close the roads down. We suggest that you use the WAZE app to determine what route you are going to take to the ballpark. Just use the 501 Marlins Way address as your destination address.


loanDepot park has four parking decks and six surface lots near the stadium. You must prepay for parking.

Taxi pickups and deliveries are outside of East Lot 3. Rideshare pickups and deliveries are out of East Lot 1

The nearest Metrorail station to the ballpark is the Culmer and Civic Center Stations. It is just under a mile from the ballpark. There are four main entry gates into the park. The gates at loanDepot park open 90 minutes before the first pitch.


Return on Investment 3

Ticket prices at loanDepot park are quite reasonable, except for marquee games against popular opponents. Tickets start as low as $8 for the home run porch, with tickets in the bullpen/outfield areas at $15. Tickets in the Legends level (200 level) are $19 and tickets behind home plate are $49.


Parking fees are determined by the day of the week and the popularity of the opponent. Weekdays (M-F) are $15. Weekends (Saturday-Sunday) are $20. Marquee games are $25.


Concession prices are reasonable compared to most MLB ballparks.


Extras 5

loanDepot park hosted the semi and quarterfinals and the Championship Game of the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The Marlins team store offers WBC merchandise in addition to Marlins goods. The 2024 Caribbean World Series will also be held at the park.


loanDepot park is built on the site of the former Orange Bowl Stadium. There are numerous installations within the ballpark highlighting the history of the stadium.


One of the more popular elements of the ballpark is the bobblehead museum on the concourse. It includes more than 600 baseball-related figurines, including players, managers, umpires, broadcasters, and mascots. The collection is housed in a Lucite display case that rotates, ensuring that the movement will always keep the bobbleheads’ heads shaking.


Bobblehead Museum, Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


The ballpark has a great area to entertain the kids if they get restless. Billy’s Boathouse is located in Section 34 of the stadium. It has a foam-surface playground that is very safe for the kids to play on. Billy the Marlin, the team mascot, visits the Boathouse during the fifth inning, and he will be happy to pose for photos with your child.


loanDepot park is one of the most accessible parks in the MLB. All signs in the park are tactile and offer information in Braille. This includes concession stand menus, restrooms, and exit signs. The video boards and ribbon boards around the park offer closed captioning.


Final Thoughts

loanDepot park is one of the most unique ballparks in the MLB, as it offers a very different look from the traditional steel and brick structures favored by most of the other clubs. Its smooth lines and use of bright colors fit in very well with the Miami vibe of clean lines and the neon colors of South Beach.


The Marlins are one of the newest franchises in baseball and already have two World Series Championships to show for it. Unfortunately, those championships are now in the distant past. Both the resurgent Dolphins and the always-hot Heat have become the fan-favorite franchises in South Florida. This has left a lot of bright blue seats empty at loanDepot Park.

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