With construction bonds sold and grading work started at the former site of the Orange Bowl, the Marlins officially announced their “ceremonial” ground-breaking with a release this afternoon. It’s at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 18 at 1501 NW 3rd St., Miami.
There will be all the usuals you’d expect: team, Miami, Miami-Dade County, state and Major League Baseball officials, Billy the Marlin, the Mermaids, the Manatees. Marlins broadcasters Dave Van Horne and Felo Ramirez will host. New renderings and a video will be shown.
The first 1,000 fans to show up at the free event will get a coupon for a “ballpark-style lunch” and a ground-breaking pin to commemorate the occasion. Original Marlins Charlie Hough and Benito Santiago are to conduct a ceremonial first pitch, in honor of their role as the “first ever ‘battery’ in franchise history.” All fans will be able to shovel dirt where home plate will be in the new ballpark.
But here’s my favorite part of the press release – a sports business sentence like I’ve never seen - ENJOY:
“The Badia Spices Groundbreaking Ceremony, built by the Florida Carpenters Regional Council, is presented by South Florida Ford Dealers, Preferred Care Partners and Baker Concrete Construction.”
Meanwhile, the team is holding a “groundbreaking” essay contest. The prize? Serving as honorary participant in the groundbreaking ceremony and getting a groundbreaking shovel, personalized Marlins jersey and four infield box seats to a 2009 regular season game at Land Shark Stadium.
The contest is open to kids ages 6 to 12, who must describe in 500 words or less – in English or Spanish - what a new Marlins ballpark in Miami means to them and why they want to play a role in the groundbreaking. Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. July 13 online at marlins.com or in person at the team’s offices at the stadium, 2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens.