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Marlins Open Final Season, Look Forward to New Park in Little Havana

March 31, 2011 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Sports NewsMiami: Things to Do  | 9 Comments

One more year, guys. And it starts today.

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Yep, Marlins fans, only have to endure one more year of watching baseball in a stadium designed for the Super Bowl. Only one more year of crawling up I-95 during rush hour only to spend the next three hours cricking our necks to look at home plate. Only one more year of staring at tens of thousands of ugly orange empty seats as our beloved home team battles it out. 81 more games, and SunLife/Dolphin/ProPlayer/Joe Robbie Stadium will be discarded by this team like so many underpaid, up and coming superstars.

Tonight the Marlins open their final season at the football megaplex in Miami Gardens before moving to their new home in Little Havana. And MiamiBeach411.com will be there to cover it on our forthcoming sister site MiamiBallpark.com. Yep, through the purchase of club seats for this season, we are venturing into the world of sports blogging. Creating, to my knowledge, the only large-scale Marlins fan blog not run by a major media outlet or the team itself.

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But it gets better. As the video above shows, we have been visiting the Marlins at their new sales headquarters by the new stadium, investing in some prime season tickets for 2012. So not only will we be talking Marlins on our new sister site, we’ll be at nearly every home game, all year long. Staffers are beyond excited.

We’ve had the pleasure of dealing with the sales staff over on the corner of NW 14th Ave. and 7th St. for the past few months. And despite my occasional criticism of ownership on this site, the sales staff was extremely helpful. And eager to work with us and talk about the new stadium and the Marlins’ upcoming projects.  Though few people even know about the new sales office, they report sales have been brisk.

The new park will be the smallest in Major League Baseball, an intelligent decision by a team based in a market that traditionally attends nothing well. So those games that drew 20,000 fans at SunLife and made it look like a ghost town will now make the stadium look nearly full. It will also have a retractable roof (which the Marlins estimate will only be open for about 20-25 percent of games), eliminating the stifling heat and perpetual rain we get here in the summer. And, oh yeah, the sightlines will actually be designed for baseball. So no need for that post-game neck massage on the way home.

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There will be a spectacular view of Miami’s new skyline through a retractable glass wall in left field, and an active 600 gallon fish tank behind home plate. So whenever someone is watching a Marlins game on TV, there will be no question the teams are playing in Miami.

In case the new stadium wasn’t proof enough, the team is changing its name to the Miami Marlins as well as developing a new color scheme and new uniforms. A bit of a letdown for fans of the traditional Marlins garb, but certainly a boon to marketing the new park and, theoretically, new team. I just hope they don’t pick red like every other team in Baseball. If we’re going for unique, red is not the way to go.

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So 2011 is the home stretch for long suffering Miami baseball fans. We are all optimistic about this year, and maybe this year’s crop of talent can take the Marlins back to the playoffs. But even if not, a year from now we’re going to have plenty to celebrate.

Related Categories: Miami: Sports News, Miami: Things to Do,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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9 Comments on

"Marlins Open Final Season, Look Forward to New Park in Little Havana"

Fredgarvin says:

What a great idea for a website! I’ll look forward to being a frequent visitor/contributor to http://www.MiamiBallpark.com! From experience, I can tell you that there is nothing like a retractable roof on a stadium.  Because of it, plans for a game are assured, without concerns about the weather.  Also, what a perfect site! We all miss the old orange bowl, but what a perfect, in town place for a ball park! Let’s play ball!!!

Posted on 04/01/2011 at 10:39 AM

Laurie says:

The Marlins 2011 home schedule can be found on the Event Calendar.

Posted on 04/01/2011 at 9:03 PM

Gus says:

I went to opening night with my dad, and we had a wonderful time. Gotta say, Sunlife Stadium is pretty cool. Matt picked awesome seats for us. We’re right in front of the press box, and 200’ from the mound. See the view.

It was surprising to see how many hardcore Marlins fans there are.

46,000 people we’re at the game, and would you believe, I ran into Chad Johnson, from the video, walking through the Club Level?

One thing to mention, they don’t have vendors walking around selling food in our section.

I did purchase a $12 carved pastrami sandwich at the VIP food court that was big enough for three people, and they gave me an extra roll, so I was able to make two sandwiches for my dad and I. =)

Posted on 04/02/2011 at 9:51 AM

Simon aka Zippyjet says:

To my Miami friends; I’m really happy for you and hope this starts a new bright chapter for your team. And, it’s about time the team is the Miami Marlins! And Miami on their uniforms. For many years in Baltimore, our sometimes despotic owner and his family exorcised Baltimore from Orioles uniforms and merchandise. I wish, MLB would swap the Rays and Marlins; therefore placing Miami in our division the fierce American League East division. Imagine the new rivalries created: Miami vs. the despsed Redsox and Yankees (the sentiments of 99.9% of us O’s fans.) And it would be cool for the Orioles to return to Miami for baseball on a regular basis. For those of you old enough to remember. The Orange Bowl and Miami were the spring training home/base exclusively for the Orioles. And there was a Miami link and following. Even those damned Yankees were up in FLL for their spring training. BTW, where do the Marlins have their Spring Training base?

Posted on 04/03/2011 at 12:15 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Simon, didn’t the O’s play at Bobby Maduro stadium for S.T.? I remember when Cal Ripken came here to play the Marlins during his final year he talked about all his memories of Sprint Training and AAA ball here. With the old Miami Marlins.

Gus, I’m not sure how hardcore any of those people are. They may just use up all their energy for one game. but, yeah, the seats were great even if the Marlins blew the game. Goddam pen….

Oh, and the bar on the club lever outside 242, a few sections away? Open until the end of the game.

Posted on 04/03/2011 at 1:07 PM

Simon aka Zippyjet says:

Matt: You are correct. Was Maduro stadium close to the Orange Bowl? Back in 1980 my cousin who is an avid fan got to spend a couple weeks with the O’s and stayed at the now defunct Dupont Plaza. I remember tales that the neighborhood was shall we say not in the same league as Star Island. If MLB “did as Simon says,” the American League East would consist of : The Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins and N.Y. Yankees. I would put it up for a vote for the final team in this division between the Washington Nationals (a great Baltimore, Washington rivalry) or keep the Rays (Imagine a Marlins Rays rivalry and a really hot Miami, N.Y. Yankees rivalry). I believe our O’s will finally break their seasons of Murphy’s Law and finish above .500. In this division, Toronto last season had 85 wins and came in 4th.! Talk about fierce competition. So, the Blue Jays or Rays would say ba bye to the American League East if I had my way and welcome the Marlins and possibly the Nats.

Posted on 04/03/2011 at 2:53 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Bobby Maduro Stadium was actually just called Miami Stadium to locals. It was at 2301 NW 10 Avenue. My dad was a big Orioles fan, so he would take me to the spring training games in the 1970s.

I was a Red Sox fan and I remember one time we saw the Red Sox play the Orioles and we sat by the visitors dugout and I saw Carl Yastzremski up close and I was in awe. He was one of my favorites. He had gray hair at that time because he was old.

I remember another time when I played baseball for a local Christian school (one year before they kicked me out), we got to play a game in the stadium. I was playing left field and a fly ball was hit to me and I ran up to catch it, but the ball bounced out of my glove.

I was so pissed. I always wanted to replay that ball. Never got a second chance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_Stadium

Posted on 04/03/2011 at 3:25 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Simon,

I agree with you. Miami has always been an American League East city.

As I mentioned, my dad was a huge Orioles fan because he was from Virginia, so it was the closest they had.

Many of my friends were Yankee fans because they were transplanted NYers.

I became a Red Sox fan because I wanted to be different than my dad and my friends, but also because I wanted to remain competitive with them.

Posted on 04/03/2011 at 3:30 PM

Miami Fan says:

Things just don’t last as long as they used to. How long did the Vet in philly stick around? Hope the new stadium is as good as it’s hyped to be and that it brings in some fans to fill in those seats.

Posted on 04/04/2011 at 2:46 PM

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