Marlins Parking Problems?
Marlins Revitalize Neighborhood, Provide Cultural Experience Through Visionary Lack of Parking
It had been a while since I’d gotten to park my car on an ex-convict’s front lawn.
Lo, our new friend in Little Havana, pulled up a chair after directing us into his driveway and cracked open a Heineken.
“Just got done doing 19 years for running guns to New York,” he told us as he sipped his beer on a cool March evening before the Marlins played their first exhibition game against the University of Miami. “Definitely missed beer in there.”
And such is the charm of the parking experience at the new Marlins Ballpark.
Revitalizing Little Havana one parking spot at a time
Much has been made in the media about the parking – or lack thereof – at the new stadium. The most fan-unfriendly organization in sports somehow decided that 6000 parking spaces would be more than enough for the new 37,000 seat ballpark. And with no real public transportation to the stadium that leaves the front lawns of ex convicts as your most viable parking option.
I’m not sure why everyone is complaining so much. The Orange Bowl, which seated twice as many people, didn’t even have a garage. And part of the game experience there was negotiating a parking spot with one of the fine residents of Little Havana. I’m pretty sure it’s how half the students at UM learned to speak Spanish.
The Marlins used the old “neighborhood revitalization” argument when they swindled the taxpayers out of a half billion to build this thing. And what better way to put money back into the hands of Little Havanians than to give them a cash business they can run 81 times a year? They’re doing a community service.
Guys like Lo won’t have to run guns anymore. Sell four spaces on his lawn at $10 a pop and that’s a cool $3240 a year. He could probably charge us $2 for the Heineken he gave us, and double those profits.
So maybe the Marlins really DON’T hate Miami.
Maybe their colossal lack of vision when it came to parking was actually a plan to help the lower-income residents of their new neighborhood. That David Samson is goddam humanitarian. The stretch pant and hoop earring industries thank you.
A real team will bring real crowds
That all said, I think Marlins fans are a little spoiled. We were used to showing up ten minutes before the first pitch and being able to park ten feet from the front gate. We were used to having entire sections to ourselves and never having to wait in line for beer, hot dogs, or the bathroom.
But those days are over. Now we’re trying to be, like, a real baseball team. And now our fans will have to deal with what fans in every other major league city not called Oakland have dealt with for years.
Are people really complaining about how crowded the city’s stadium trolleys are? Have you ever tried to catch a subway after a Yankee game? Or jump on the Red Line after a long day at Wrigley? You’re lucky if you don’t end up pressed next to someone who steals your wallet.
Cities with downtown ballparks don’t have space for parking garages either. You know what people do? They find places to park. And sometimes, you ready for this, WALK as much as a whole MILE to get to the stadium. I know, Miamians, it may involve using a mode of transportation other than your car. But you’ll get used to it.
So much as I love to mock the Marlins and their complete lack of good PR, this is one thing they may have actually gotten right. Neighborhood parking is part of the Little Havana charm. Think of a game in the new stadium as a cultural experience. Because if you weren’t parking your car with a convicted gun runner, well, it just wouldn’t be Miami.
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