Jeter’s Plan to Rejuvenate Marlins Park
Marlins Park is just six years old. Opened to much fanfare in 2012, the modern baseball stadium has quickly become a laughingstock in sports due to its consistently empty seats. However, just half a decade after its opening, the facility is set to get its first renovation thanks to the new ownership of Derek Jeter in Miami.
The first project on tap? Removing the oft maligned center-field home run sculpture; in its place will be a brand-new fan zone to give fans a new view of the field. The removal of the sculpture was a significant obstacle for moving forward with the project. “Homer” was designed by Red Grooms under a $2.5 million contract with Miami-Dade County, and Grooms was vocal in his opposition to any changes to the home run sculpture, the piece he created. “Moving ‘Homer’ anywhere else is destroying it,” Grooms and his wife, Lysiane Grooms, wrote in an email to the county during debate over its future. “Please keep ‘Homer’ doing its job and let him be part of the celebration of the Marlins right where he belongs.”
Despite their pleas, the county board approved a plan that includes moving the sculpture to the outside plaza of the stadium. The sculpture will still turn on for home runs and home victories, as well as go off at 3:05pm in celebration of the team’s home area code. The area around the sculpture’s new home will be part of the stadium’s new art walk featuring local artists.
Replacing the former site of the sculpture will be the stadium’s new Center Field Zone and SRO (Standing Room Only) Social Section. This multi-tiered area will feature tickets that start as low as $10, with the top-most level open to all fans on the main promenade in the outfield. The middle level will feature standing room only with a drink rail for SRO Social Pass holders, while the lower level will feature a brand new group hospitality area. In total, the new area will allow for 400 fans.
The new SRO Social Section will also include a newly renovated section in right field’s foul territory corner. 10 rows of sections 1-3 will provide a gathering spot for SRO Social Pass holders that will include a five-tiered drink rail. The outfield walls will also see a change as ivy will now cover the once-brightly painted walls in the outfield, improving the sight-lines to the outfield window view of downtown Miami.
Marlins Park will also be adding a new premium suite experience with the new ‘The Club: DEX Imaging’ space. The interior of the contemporary club will include a dedicated host, a casual design concept, a variety of food and drink options, and music that plays throughout.
The team also will be creating the new Comunidad 305, a dedicated area in the park where the Marlins plan to celebrate culture every game. Membership is set to start at just $8 per game, and will be the only place in the ballpark where flags and musical instruments are welcomed and encouraged during every game.
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