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Marlins FanFest about baseball, not ballpark

It’s been years since the focus of Florida Marlins’ FanFest hasn’t been the prospect of a new ballpark at some point on the horizon. So long that even Marlins President David Samson had to correct some fans who referred to the Marlins’ future home as “prospective.”

“This is the first town hall meeting, in our, this is our ninth season, where we no longer have to have to call it the prospective new ballpark,” Samson referring to Jeffrey Loria beginning in his ninth season as owner. “It’s the actual new ballpark.”

The team’s new home is 22 percent complete, the roof beams for the track for the retractable roof are going up and the bowl is taking shape at the former site of the Orange Bowl in Little Havana. The venue is so “actual” that several fans thanked Samson and his staff for their success in finally getting the ballpark project under way.

Most of the questions at Saturday’s FanFest focused on the field this season. When asked how many wins the team would notch, Samson responded “enough to make the playoffs.”

A few fans had business questions. Among them:

+ Will Palm Beach County residents be able to take Tri-rail to the new ballpark?

“Absolutely,” Samson said. Shuttles, he said, will carry fans to the ballpark from the Jackson Memorial and downtown Miami Tri-rail stations, and the team will devise transportation plans for all fans. “We want our fans north of Miami to follow us south and we want fans in Miami to comes to games to enjoy that beautiful ballpark, which is going to have a roof and air conditioning and everything you could ever want,” Samson said to applause.

Tommy Hutton told fans it took him an extra 15 to 20 minutes from Sun Life Stadium to get to the new ballpark’s location.

+ How soon will the Marlins host an All-Star Game?

“It has not been confirmed, but if you thought to yourself we would host the All-Star Game in 2015, you would probably not be misleading yourself,” Samson said.

+ When will the team have new uniforms as part of becoming the Miami Marlins in the new ballpark and will teal be one of the colors?

Samson said new uniforms are in development, but “no color palette has been decided yet. We’re working on it though.”

He said, “We’re lucky to have an owner who has an incredibly talented eye for art and beauty, and so we’ll be ready to unveil that maybe during the ’11 season, but probably not until after we win the 2011 World Series.”

More applause.

The team said it sold more than 40,000 individual-game tickets during FanFest – the first day individual tickets for 2010 went on sale.

Categories: Florida Marlins (193), MLB (110), Sports Team Owners (49), Tickets (126)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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