Marlins Park – Miami Marlins
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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. And home to endless echoes when the few fans cheer, though that trend is slowly going away as crowds return.
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.
Food & Beverage 4
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), the concessions stands are also plentiful. There are even 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. But the quality for what you get and the options that are there are worth the price you pay.
There used to not be much of an atmosphere, since there were so few home fans at the game. That said, Marlins Park does tend to fill up with opposing fans, so the crowds have steadily gotten larger as the last few years have progressed. Go to a Yankees or Red Sox game, and the seats will be filled to the brim, which does make for a less than desirable experience, though, if you are a Marlins fan.
The best part of the atmosphere at the stadium is the climate control. With a retractable roof, Marlins Park protects you from the rain or heat of the day. When the temperature outside is nice and comfortable, the roof retracts and the panorama windows open in the outfield, providing a beautiful view of the downtown Miami skyline.
The seats are also comfortable, and all sections are individual seats with backs to them. By far, the best seats are those on the middle deck, aka the Legends Level, where the majority of the seats have padded backs.
Marlins Park is situated in the middle of Miami’s “Little Havana” neighborhood. There isn’t a lot to see here besides small houses and apartments that have seen better days. Immediately surrounding the stadium is a bar, a few small stores (such as 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 this location besides Marlins Park. The area also gives off the feel of a sort of shady place with little to be desired, so isn’t a place where one feels 100 percent comfortable walking down the street in the middle of the night. However, the stadium isn’t far from Miami proper, South Beach, or the airport.
Lodging may be an issue immediately around Marlins Park, but hotels and resorts are plentiful in Miami itself, as well as near the airport area to the west. For food, visit the quintessential Miami eatery, Versailles Bakery in Little Havana. Or, head downtown or to South Beach for the upscale tastes of Capital Grille, et al. For hotels, one could actually stay at the real-life version of The Clevelander in South Beach, or opt for something nearby like the Springhill Suites on 9th Ave. For fun, visit Key Biscayne’s Bill Bagg’s Cape Florida State Park to the east, or the Miami Seaquarium.
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.
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. This trend of disappointment has started to lessen, however, as crowds begin to make their way back.
The Marlins have plenty of promotional games, including various heritage nights to celebrate the local Hispanic community.
Getting to Marlins Park is the easiest thing about the game day experience. Miami’s Dolphin Expressway runs right next to the venue, bridging the gap between I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike, meaning you can have easy highway access to the stadium from the north, south, east, and west of South Florida; Marlins Park is just one block from the freeway exit.
Parking at Marlins Park 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 don’t wish to purchase a parking pass, or if they are sold out, every house and parking lot within a mile radius of Marlins Park sells parking spaces in their front and backyards – it may be a longer walk, but you will pay less money.
Return on Investment 3
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 at Marlins Park to see and do, which gives it a different feel than other MLB venues. You can definitely 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 Miami 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, but is fun to watch when activated.
For art lovers, the stadium is also 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 out on the main concourse outside the stadium, but on occasion, a bigger-name act will perform on a stage set up on second base. Concerts are free with your game ticket, but for bigger acts you can purchase an additional ticket to watch the concert from the field in front of the stage.
If you want to visit every stadium in the major leagues, Marlins Park is a must, for sure. 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.
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