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Marlins Parking Problems?

Marlins Revitalize Neighborhood, Provide Cultural Experience Through Visionary Lack of Parking
March 18, 2012 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local NewsMiami: Sports News  | 8 Comments

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News, Miami: Sports News,

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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8 Comments on

"Marlins Parking Problems?"

Joe says:

Yep just checked to see what I normally walk when the Seattle Mariners are decent to good and its just shy of a mile. When they suck like last year, half a mile. Beats paying $20 for parking.

Posted on 03/19/2012 at 2:34 PM

Blackford Oakes says:

Based on 1200 patrons at last years games, maybe they overbuilt the parking structure

The other parking oversight is nobody knew the city’s or Marlins tax liability for parking revenue.

Having said that, I don’t plan to attend a game there. The Rays have ample parking and they don’t charge for it.

Posted on 03/19/2012 at 5:10 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Yeah, Joe, I remember as a kid walking from my uncle’s office to the Kingdome and it taking a solid 15-20 minutes going downhill. Longer to Safeco, I guess.

Blackford, the state has actually exempted the City from the tax liability for this since they got hosed on the deal. Downright nice of them.

Posted on 03/19/2012 at 9:27 PM

Blackford Oakes says:

Just out of curoisity is there a nearby parking lot the Marlins can arrange for shuttle services on anticipated overflow days ? Similar to what’s happening this fortnight in Key Biscayne.

The team I follow also has a parking controversy. By April, the Dodgers will have new owners. What’s not known is if McCourt gets tp keep the parking lots. If that happens, I’m walking up and down a hill like you did in Seattle.

Posted on 03/20/2012 at 9:04 AM

Michelle says:

If many visitors go to the games, parking shouldn’t be much of an issue as they’ll take all different kinds of transport to get to the game versus a car.

Hoping this will be a great season!!

Posted on 03/22/2012 at 8:35 AM

Gus says:

Just read that the Walgreen’s across from the ballpark is selling parking spots on game days for $32.50. There’s also motor coach coming down from Port Saint Lucie that costs $55, including the game ticket and transportation.

Posted on 03/29/2012 at 7:54 AM

Blackford Oakes says:

The Marlins just came up with alternative parking.

The park and shuttle I suggested a few days ago will be offered.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/01/2725453/marlins-add-3000-parking-spaces.html

Posted on 04/02/2012 at 8:14 AM

Otto says:

I WENT TO ONE GAME I WONT BE BACK PARKING IS A NIGHTMARE AND ALL THOSE UGLY SHACKS THAT ARE AROUND THE STADIUM SHOULD BE RAZED AND PUT IN A PARKING LOT

Posted on 06/11/2012 at 4:51 PM

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