It’s been a long time since a stadium update didn’t focus on lawsuits, court hearings and rulings or delays of rulings, and government votes. But the Marlins have revealed a little something about a new ballpark: its dimensions.
In the midst of design development with its architect, H.O.K., the Marlins have worked to borrow some of what makes Dolphin Stadium a difficult place for opponents to play for the new ballpark planned at the site of the former Orange Bowl. There will even be a nod to Dolphin Stadium’s “Bermuda Triangle.”
Marlins President David Samson said team owner Jeffrey Loria was very clear: “He wanted to maintain the integrity of a pitcher’s park.” The dimensions are planned as follows:
Left-field line: 340 feet
Left-field alley: 384 feet
Center field: 420 feet
Right-field alley: 392 feet
Right-field line: 335 feet
Here’s how that compares to Dolphin Stadium:
Left-field line: 330 feet
Left-field alley: 385 feet
Center field: 434 feet (slightly to the left of straightaway center)
Right-field alley: 385feet
Right-field line: 345 feet
Samson said also that Loria has a surprise planned that will make the new stadium unique just as ballparks across the country have some signature element, from Fenway Park’s Green Monster to home runs being hit into the bay in San Francisco.
“The good news about being one of the last new stadiums being built is that you get a lot of other stadiums to look at and learn from,” Samson said. “The bad news is you’re one of the last ballparks being built … We think we can have it all. A Miami experience for fans outside the ballpark, a very South Florida experience inside, the food, the in-game that will be offered. The general programming of the stadium.”
Renderings aren't expected to be unveiled until Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen issues her final ruling in auto dealer Norman Braman's case targeting the ballpark financing.
Samson said it will be determined shortly if the optimistic 2011 opening date can be met. Meanwhile, negotiations with Miami-Dade County and City of Miami officials on the definitive agreements spelling out the ballpark’s construction, financing and other details continue. Officials hope to have agreements to put before both commissions next month or in January at the latest.
Those votes certainly won’t come easily particularly in this difficult economy, but also will once again come as the Marlins are trading their players – read more in our Marlins blog. Commissioners voted on an agreement to make way for the ballpark just days after the team sent Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera to Detroit last year.