On Friday, the Marlins hosted a wiffle ball game (see photo) on the grounds of the former Orange Bowl, which they hope will become the location for their new home.
On Saturday, renderings of that home – a proposed $515 million retractable roof ballpark – were up in select spots around their current home, Dolphin Stadium, during the team’s annual FanFest.
The team also handed out fliers depicting the new home and encouraging fans to show up on Friday (Feb. 13) at the Miami City (9 a.m.) and Miami-Dade County (1 p.m.) commission meetings to show their support for a new ballpark. The two commissions are scheduled Friday to determine whether ground will finally be broken for the long-sought ballpark. The commissions are considering five agreements that spell out the details of the financing and construction of the ballpark. The vote – at least at the county commission, where the team needs 9 of 13 votes – is expected to be close and is not assured.
According to an announcement in Miami Today, a group called “Coalition Against Marlins Bailout” has scheduled a protest at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, outside the county government center, 111 NW 1st St., Miami. And the Miami Herald writes opposition to the use of county hotel bed tax dollars to fund the ballpark has surfaced again from Miami Beach officials who want bed taxes used to upgrade the Miami Beach Convention Center.
But Saturday at Dolphin Stadium was about celebrating baseball, the Marlins and their players and to ask questions about certain elements of the ballpark. Among the ballpark details that Marlins President David Samson shared and were applauded:
Food: A “Taste of Miami” concept in which offerings are to represent the range of ethnicities and tastes of South Florida from croquetas to sushi to stone crabs to hamburgers. “It’s going to be a pleasure watching people eating stone crabs, while they just got something from Café Versailles,” Samson said.
Roof: Opening and closing the roof should take 11 to 16 minutes, depending on wind and other factors, Samson said. He said during the rainy and boiling summer months, the roof should be closed most of the time to ensure games are played and fans are kept cool in the air conditioning.
Dimensions: Similar to Dolphin Stadium, the new ballpark will be a pitcher’s park, Samson said, but with the short porches reversed, so that right field is shorter and left field is farther away. These are the dimensions: Left-field line: 340 feet; Left-field alley: 384 feet; Center field: 420 feet; Right-field alley: 392 feet; Right-field line: 335 feet. There will a “Bermuda Triangle” sort of feature with a surprise being planned by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.
Parking: Season ticket holders will be assigned spots in four garages based on where they live or will be coming from to the ballpark to make it easier for them to get in and out of the location, Samson said. For example, he said, West Broward residents who take the 836, will be assigned west side garage spots; fans traveling south will be in east side garages.
Design: The renderings don’t give the full effect of the glass and color planned for the venue, Samson said. He said there will be a glass wall facing downtown Miami.
Meetings: The Miami City Commission meets at 9 a.m. Friday at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive, Miami; the Miami-Dade County Commission meets at 1 p.m. Friday at the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st St., Miami.