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February 29, 2012

'Mr. Miami' Estefan producing gala pregame show, theme song for Marlins' Opening Night

Before giving way to the rhythm of baseball, the rhythm and music of Miami will raise the roof on Opening Night at Marlins Park.

Emilio Estefan is producing a gala pregame show that he promises will blend energy and emotion to a distinctive Miami beat that will make South Florida proud.

“You’re going to have rhythm all over the place in this stadium. Every corner you’re going to have the old Miami feel,” said Estefan, adding the show will trace the musical history of the city with a “little bit of Latino, a little bit of Haitian, a little bit of the Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, a little bit of Pitbull.”

Fitting from a 19-time Grammy-winning producer whose autobiography is titled “The Rhythm of Success.”

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said Estefan was the “obvious selection” to set the tone for the Miami Marlins’ first official game in their new home in Little Havana on April 4 against the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. Born in Havana, Cuba, Estefan, 58, came to Miami as a teen-ager and attained fame along with wife Gloria with the Miami Sound Machine.

“He’s not Mr. Marlin, but he’s Mr. Miami,” Marlins President David Samson said.

The pregame ceremony will last about 45 minutes and culminate with the debut of “Marlins Tonight,” a theme song written for the team by Estefan.

“It has a lot of things from Miami, which is great. I think we incorporated a lot of people who feel that energy. Everybody can sing along with the song,” Estefan said.

The song, which has multiple singers, could become a staple at Marlins games. That will be up to the reception of fans, as Samson pointed out: “It’s hard to dictate a tradition.”

The National Anthem will be performed by Jose Feliciano, whose soulful and controversial rendition at the 1968 World Series between the Cardinals and Tigers still reverberates. He also sang it before Game 5 of the 2003 National League Championship Series at Sun Life Stadium, launching the Marlins’ comeback from the 3-1 deficit against the Cubs.

Estefan said the Opening Night pregame show will be an extravaganza augmented by videos and some innovative technology. It will not, however, have Gloria Estefan on stage. She has a gig in Las Vegas.

“I think it’s a day that all the people who live in Miami are going to feel proud about what we’re going to accomplish. We’re going to have a lot of surprises. There's going to be a lot of emotional moments,” said Estefan, who recalls performing in the Orange Bowl, site of the new ballpark. “I think this, for me, is going to be one of the highlights of my career.”

POSTED IN: Miami Marlins (32)

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February 21, 2012

FanFest at Marlins Park on March 3; single-game tickets to go on sale

Marlins fans will have a chance to meet players and tour the new ballpark at the Jiffy Lube Miami Marlins FanFest and Select-A-Seat event March 3 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Single-game tickets for the upcoming season, including the interleague series against the Boston Red Sox, will go on sale at 10 that morning on and at the Marlins Park Box Office, located on the north side of the ballpark, between the Home Plate and 3rd Base Entrances on Felo Ramirez Drive.

Meanwhile, fans will be able to mingle with players and enjoy live music, entertainment, games and other activities on the West Plaza throughout the day. Admission to FanFest is free. Parking in the four on-site garages surrounding Marlins Park will be $5 per vehicle.

Marlins season-ticket holders can enter FanFest at 10 a.m. and enjoy an exclusive hour of games, activities and player autograph sessions.

Tickets for the inaugural Opening Night on April 4 will only be available for fans purchasing Full Season Plans, 41-Game Half Season Plans, 20-Game Mini Plans, 20-Game Weekend Plans and the Opening Night 10-Game Pack. Seats that are available for purchase will be marked with various colored season-ticket seat tags during FanFest.

Activities for kids on the West Plaza will include bounce houses, video games, full-size batting cages, a little sluggers' zone, steal home challenge, big league speed pitch, live music throughout the day, a photograph tent with Marlins players presented by MetroPCS, Radio Disney AM 990 Family FunZone, a baseball card and memorabilia show exhibit, the MetroPCS “Crank Call” booth and much more. Fans can also sign up for the 2012 Marlins Fan Club and Billy's Bunch Kids Club for the first time.

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February 20, 2012

Linsanity evident in ticket prices for Heat-Knicks on Thursday

Interested in witnessing South Florida’s only brush with Linsanity during this regular season, be prepared to pay prices approaching playoff caliber.

“We’re not yet there. I imagine if things continue at this pretty fervent pace over the next couple of weeks we could get there. It’s not quite in that same realm because there’s less implications, there’s less at stake,” said Joellen Ferrer, a spokesperson for ticket reseller, but she added, “All these games surrounding the Knicks are starting to volt up to some of the top NBA events of the season thus far.”

Prices on are about twice what would have been expected pre-Linsanity, Ferrer said.

A visit to Miami by the Knicks is usually an attraction due to the numerous New York fans in South Florida. The Jeremy Lin phenomenon fueling the Knicks’ recent victory spree has amped up demand and prices for Thursday’s Heat-Knicks game. It will be the first Knicks appearance at AmericanAirlines Arena since Lin became a starter and became a world-wide sensation, and it will be the last during this compacted regular season.

As of late Monday, there were a few scattered 400-level tickets remaining on the Heat’s website. They were selling for $141.75. By contrast, there were some lower-level seats available for Tuesday’s Heat-Kings game for less than $100. Individual-game tickets vary depending on the opponent and demand for the game, and can change up to game day.

The secondary market was also reflective of playoff-like fervor for Lin’s first encounter with D-Wade, LeBron and Co. More than 1,000 tickets listed on were ranging from $123 for balcony baseline (corner of the 300 level was $125) to $971 for Row 17 in a lower-level section on the baseline.

“It’s a very much of a day-to-day play in the sense that tickets prices are constantly fluctuating depending on what happens,” she said. “Depending on what happens [Monday night] against the Nets, as well as leading into the game in Miami, we’ll certainly see prices go up and down.”

Resale prices were trending higher on the Heat’s TicketExchange, where 300 level seats were listed at $172.50. A midcourt seat in Row 4 could be had for $2,875.

The average market price for the Knicks-Heat game has skyrocketed from $235 on the first day of Lin’s breakout game to $369 now, according to, a comparison shopping site for tickets. Meanwhile, available tickets on the open market have plummeted from 9,100 to 2,100 as sales have accelerated and many sellers have taken their tickets off the market since they now consider this a “can't miss” game, said Mike Janes, general manager of event ticketing for FanSnap.

“It is interesting to see that despite the hype, Heat fans didn't really believe -- based on their wallets -- until Feb 16, six days after Knicks fans started digging deep,” Janes said. “The lowest price tickets for this game we can find after searching over 50 Internet ticket sites right now is $104.”

According to Ferrer, the turning point that sent prices soaring for Knicks tickets was when Lin hit the 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Raptors on Valentine’s night.

“There was more of a curiosity factor for the first five games. That [winning shot] was the moment fans started to see him in the same light as proven players like LeBron, etc.,” Ferrer said. “For the first five games we saw pretty similar trends where demand was up, more people were buying tickets. But interestingly enough, prices didn’t actually rise.”

That is reflected in the chart below, showing how prices for the Heat-Knicks game has skyrocketed since Lin hit that magical shot.

Janes pointed out that it may be cheaper to see Lin during All-Star Weekend in Orlando than Thursday in Miami. The average ticket for the NBA Rising Stars Challenge is $145, with prices starting at $54. But that could change.


Chart: Courtesy

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (174)

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February 15, 2012

More than 52,000 registered for Marlins' Opening Night ticket lottery

Scoring individual tickets to the Marlins’ opener will be much like banking on winning the Florida Lottery.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 52,000 fans had registered for a chance to purchase up to two tickets for Opening Night. They will be vying for as few as 1,000 tickets for the April 4 game against the World Series-champion Cardinals, although the Marlins haven’t specified the actual number that will be made available.

Online registration will continue through Feb. 20. Winners will be announced Feb. 23. There is no charge to register for this opportunity.

There are other opportunities to purchase tickets for Opening Night, including the newly added 10-Game Pack. The Opening Night 10-Game pack is on sale at, with prices starting at $250 for 10 games, including the opener.

Meanwhile, tickets to the two exhibitions against the Yankees at Marlins Park will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. at For the April 1 game, approximately 25,000 tickets will be available, with about 30,000 tickets for the April 2 game.

POSTED IN: Miami Marlins (32)

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February 14, 2012

Dolphins host trade show to rally business leaders

Building brand value will be the mantra Thursday at the Miami Dolphins Business Alliance at Sun Life Stadium.

Featured speaker Bruce Turkel will discuss strategies he has used in helping a number of Fortune 500 companies elevate their brand over the past quarter century.

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, general manager Jeff Ireland and CEO Mike Dee will also make appearances, the first of four trade shows hosted by the team this year.

The objective is to bring together business leaders, corporate partners, vendors/suppliers, suite holders, club seat and season ticket holders to create meaningful introductions and connections to positively impact their respective businesses.

The events is 3 to 8 p.m. on the club level at the stadium. There will be more than 70 booths, several speakers, music and appearances by Dolphins players, alumni, cheerleaders and front office personnel.

Tickets are complementary for Dolphins season-ticket holders, $10 for non-members. Visit the Dolphins web site for details.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186)

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February 12, 2012

Broken Sound, Allianz Championship show what it takes to be green

BOCA RATON Success in golf tournaments center on the greens, and golf courses depend on maintaining a lush, green landscape.

To do so stresses the enviroment. So the sport hasn’t been able to claim to be all that green in the that regard.

Broken Sound Club and the Allianz Championship have undertaken an admirable effort to do something about that through various recycling energy conservation initiatives. The tournament and the club were lauded Saturday with a citation from the Golf Environment Council and a Florida state Senate proclamation praising their green energy initiatives.

Broken Sound last year became the first among more then 1,100 Florida golf courses and the second in the United States to earn GEO certification, part of an effort that also includes this week's tournament. The club has also earned certification by the Audobon Cooperative Sanctuary.

The Allianz has set a goal of reducing waste from 50 tons last year to zero.

“We are striving to be the greenest golf tournament on the Champions Tour,” said tournament director Ryan Dillon. “This is not a light undertaking at all. We’re not just doing this to get P.R. out of it.

“What we’re trying to do here is teach the golf world that you can do this without having raised costs that are going to take away from our charity. It can be done. We can streamline operations. It’s now becoming economically viable to be more efficient and more green without taking away from the golf tournament or the charity dollars.”

To that end the tournament partnered with the Smart Group, an organization of ecologists, scientists, educators, and academic researchers who help clients make sound decisions about environmental management.

To keep The Old Course green, an environmentally “green,” all irrigation is done with reclaimed waste water.

“It is performing a community and environmental service because this final treament of waste water is happening on the golf course. There is nothing nasty in the water that we’re irrigating with. It just that it has some elevated nutrients, which of course the grass does very well with” said Russ Bodie, a scientist with the Smart Group.

Broken Sound composts all clippings and food waste, and uses it as fertilizer on the course.
“I talked to the superintendent, and it looks like they’re going to be able to reduce their fertilizer budget and fertilizer use by about 30 percent,” Bodie said. “Not only are they taking something normally sent to the landfill, they’re using as fertilizer on the golf course.

“A lot of the power for the generators is bio diesel which is generated from used cooking oil from restaurants in the area.”

About 65 percent of the food served at the Allianz was produced in South Florida. All of the plates and utensils are plant-based and recyclable. Even the signs are made from recycled material and will be recycled.

Dillon said the goal is to send no waste from the tournament to the landfill, and to expand the effort in future years.

“Everything looks pretty much the same. Underneath the skin of everything it is compeletly different, from the plates to the forks and knives and napkins. Everything was made from recycled material and is going to be re-recycled,” Dillon said.

“We’re minimizing our carbon footprint as an event, because it is very vast. But we’re working with our vendors to try to minimize that.”

A notable first step for a South Florida club and tournament, the hope is it will fit in with a greater effort around the world. The Golf Environment Organization is attempting to mobilize 50 million golfers and 35,000 golf courses around the world to make the sport environmentally sustainable by 2020.

“Golf must take advantage of its popularity to be a catalyst for re-educating its spectator following about the importance of good environmental stewardship,” said Ralph Avallone, president of the Green Energy Council. “More courses across the land must follow suit.”

POSTED IN: Golf (12), Golf (12)

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February 8, 2012

PlayStation gives glimpse of game action at Marlins Park in MLB 12 The Show

The Marlins are weeks away from playing their first games in Marlins Park, but PlayStation offered the first animated look Wednesday on how it will look in game action with the stands full of fans with a sneak peek of MLB 12 The Show.

The graphics are excellent, and the trailer, just over a minute long, offers a glimpse of the unique features of the park, including fish swimming in the tanks behind the plate and the home run extravaganza going off with jumping marlins, flying gulls and lights flashing.

On the PlayStation blog, Jody Kelsey, senior producer for the game, wrote: “Before we could add this new ballpark to MLB 12 The Show, we had to gather as much information as possible in order to faithfully recreate every inch of this stadium exactly as it stands in Miami.

“Project Coordinator Jennifer Kacizak and Environment Artist Anton Napierala each started compiling blueprints, architectural concept models, and other data (thanks to our friends at MLB and the Marlins front office) of the ballpark which allowed us to get the shell or skeleton of the stadium in place. From there, more information was found via reference photos and even live online video streams. From all of this combined reference material, we’re able to bring the Marlins new home to life in MLB 12 The Show.”

The video shows the Marlins in their new home whites against the Phillies. It’s a day game with the roof open. Must be very early in the season.

POSTED IN: Miami Marlins (32)

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February 7, 2012

Sparano's Davie mansion marked down $100,000; other NFL personalities desperate to sell


Success in the NFL can be a burden. That is, when it becomes necessary to unload the mansion that seemed like a good idea when the big bucks started to roll in.

As a Super Bowl special, last week featured 13 mega-homes that NFL figures are attempting to sell, some significantly marked down from their purchase price or original listing.

Curiously, the list of owners included a dozen players and former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.

Sparano’s five-bedroom, six-bathroom manse (pictured above) in Davie’s Stonebrook Estates went on the market in October after the Dolphins’ started 0-6. Sparano said he and his wife were simply looking to downsize and move closer to the beach. They will have to do so in a colder climate now that he has moved on to the New York Jets as offensive coordinator.

The need to relocate has prompted a reduction of more than $100,000 from the original asking price of $1.499 million. Take a photo tour Sparano’s digs here.

The “Baker’s Dozen of NFL Luxury Homes” on includes players with 16 Super Bowl titles and 21 total appearances.

Joe Montana is seeking a buyer for his $35 million estate in Napa Valley. The handy mortgage calculator estimates a monthly payment of about $109,000. Pretty steep for a villa with only three bedrooms, but it has a skeet-shooting range, olive farm and equestrian stable.

Troy Aikman is newly divorced and looking to part with his $24 million Texas estate. Terry Bradshaw, with four Super Bowl rings, has three Florida properties for sale, including a $1.4 million villa in a golf community near Bradenton.

Deion Sanders has two Texas homes on the market, a 29,000-square-foot “Ultimate Party and Family Ranch” as well as a $7.5 million Dallas penthouse. Former Seahawks tackle Walter Jones is selling his expansive property in Huntsville, Ala., that features a full-size football field. is another place to peek inside the lives of the rich and famous. No. 1 on this week’s real estate hot list is Tom Brady’s Boston townhouse for sale for $10.5 million.

According to the site, Tom and Gisele are selling it because they just completed construction on a $20 million, 22,000 square foot mansion in Los Angeles with eight bedrooms, two wings connected by a covered bridge, a weight room, wine cellar, and a lagoon-shaped swimming pool.

Wonder how long before that turns up on the market.

One NFL figure who could afford it is Eli Manning, whose marketability will soar since he bested Brady for his second Super Bowl ring and MVP trophy.

Photo: Tony Sparano's house from the listing on


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February 3, 2012

Super Bowl ads have become an early show via social media

The measure of the magnitude the Super Bowl has become as a cultural event is that the hype for the game is matched by the hype for the commercials that will air during the game.

For some the anticipation of the ads tops that for the game. Viewers who normally reach for he mute button during commercials view the Super Bowl ads as a big part of the show.

In the social media age, it isn’t even necessary to wait for them. Many that will make their television debut Sunday during Super Bowl XLVI have been playing for weeks on YouTube, Facebook and elsewhere on the Web.

(See lineup of this year’s ads after the jump.)

Some folks like an early peek at their Christmas presents, but it does take some of the luster off Christmas morning. And what’s the fun of wondering which sponsors will roll out the most entertaining commercials when you’ve already seen all of them? There will be plenty of kill-joys at parties who will spoil the suspense for those who haven’t seen them.

Also seems odd that sponsors who will be paying $3.5 million for a 30-second spot in this year’s game would want to play their hand early. Marketing experts say that companies get more mileage from their investment by making the ads available early.

The ad game has gone from McLuhan’s “medium is the message” to immediacy of the media. The idea is to get it out early and have it go viral well before game day.

That has happened this year with Matthew Broderick’s “Ferris Bueller” reprise for Honda and one with Jerry Sienfeld vying to own the first Acura NSX. Ads with a shirtless David Beckham, dogs and polar bears have already have already received considerable play.

It remains to be seen if the strategy pays off for those writing the big checks to get their message across to the massive Super Bowl audience. If it expands their reach, sponsors could care less if it takes some of the fun out of the game.

According to a survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association conducted by BIGinsight, 173 million people will watch the game Sunday, up from an estimated 171 million last year. Consumer spending for the Super Bowl will also reach an all-time high, with the average game-watcher expected to shell out $63.87 on related merchandise, apparel and snacks, up from $59.33 last year. Total Super Bowl spending is expected to reach $11.0 billion.

Nearly three-quarters of viewers (73 percent) say they reard the commercials as entertainment. The survey found 16.9 percent say the commercials make them aware of the advertisers’ brand and another 8.4 percent say the commercials influence them to buy products from advertisers – the highest percentage reported in the survey’s eight-year history.

“Television’s influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions is clearly not suffering from web, social and multichannel influencers – in fact, it seems to be more important than ever before,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, BIGinsight. “Though commercials are king on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll likely also see many companies use more cross-channel methods to draw viewers’ attention, including drawing viewers to their own website and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.”

Many of the ads and details about them can be found at The site also has videos of all the Super Bowl ads from the past 14 years.

Here is the advertising lineup for Sunday, according to


:30 Century 21
(2) :30 Relativity Media “Act of Valor”
:30 Hyundai “Victory Lap”
:30 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec: Faster Acting
:30 Sony Pictures “21 Jump Street”
:30 Sony Pictures “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengance”
:30 Lionsgate “The Hunger Games”
:30 Downy Unstopables “Amy Sedaris and Mean Joe Greene”

Coin Toss

:60 Hyundai “All for One – Workers sing Rocky theme”

1st Quarter
:30 Budweiser Platinum “Factory”
:30 Budweiser Platinum “Work”
:60 Audi “#SoLongVampires”
:30 Hyundai “Cheetah”
:30 Mars M&M’s “Ms. Brown”
:30 Walt Disney “John Carter”
:30 Coca-Cola “Superstition”
:30 Lexus “The Beast”
:30 Best Buy “Inventors”
:45 General Electric “Power and Beer”

2nd Quarter
:60 Budweiser “Clydesdales – Return of the King”
:30 Teleflora “Adriana Lima – Valentines”
:30 H&M “David Beckham”
:60 Coca-Cola “The Catch”
:30 Hulu “Will Arnett – TV Star”

2 min warning end of first half
:30 Sketchers “Mr. Quiggly”
:30 Bud Light “Use Shazam app for free song”

Half-Time Show Sponsored by Bridgestone
:30 Bridgestone “Time to Perform”

3rd Quarter
:60 Volkswagen “The Dog Strikes Back” – “The Bark Side” Teaser
:30 Century 21
:30 Dannon Yogurt
:60 Budweiser “Eternal Optimism”
:30 Toyota “Reinvented”
:60 Acura “Transactions”
:45 General Electric “Something Big”

4th Quarter
:60 Kia “Drive the Dream”
:30 Hyundai “Think Fast”
:60 Honda CR-V “Leap List”
:30 Relativity Media “Act of Valor”
:30 Bud Light “Here Weego – Rescue Dog”
:60 Samsung “Galaxy Note”

:30 Relativity Media “Act of Valor”

First Half
:30 Go Daddy “The Cloud”
:30 Lexus

Second Half
:30 Go Daddy “Body Paint”

Schedule Undisclosed
TaxACT “Feel the Free”
:30 Cadillac “Green Hell”
:60 Chevy Sonic “Stunt Anthem – We Are Young”
:30 Chevy Sonic “Joy”
:30 Chevy Volt “Aliens”
:60 Suzuki “Sled”
:30 CareerBuilder “Business Trip”
:30 History “Swamp People”
:30 Etrade “Talking Baby – Fatherhood”
:60 Pepsi “THE X FACTOR Winner”
:30 Pepsi “Pepsi MAX – Regis Philbin”
:30 Paramount Pictures “The Dictator”
:30 Paramount Pictures “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”
:30 Universal Pictures “Battleship” or “The Lorax”

POSTED IN: Super Bowl (53)

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February 1, 2012

Must-see TV? Reyes to cut his hair on MLB Network


ESPN had LeBron and The Decision.

Now the MLB Network hopes to captivate a national audience by featuring another Miami-bound free-agent acquisition in The Haircut.

The all-baseball, all-the-time network obviously has a lot of airtime to fill during the offseason, and they will devote some of it to new Marlin Jose Reyes having his dreadlocks cut Friday at 6 p.m.

The Marlins have changed almost everything in rebranding the franchise for the move to Marlins Park in Miami. But they are sticking to their long-standing policy against players sporting long hair. Ironic, considering the team president is named Samson.

The policy once upset resident superstar Hanley Ramirez. But Reyes, after signing a six-year, $106 million contract in December, said he had no problem shedding the locks he sported with distinction while playing for the Mets.

Agent Chris Leible revealed Reyes’ plans to comply on camera via Twitter, where all momentous announcements are made these days.

Curiously, the above photo of Reyes at bat in his new Marlins uniform was part of the rotation on the giant video board in Marlins Park last Saturday during a Select-a-Seat session. He and his dreads also graced the cover of the sales brochure.

No problem for selling tickets, but once the games begin Reyes will have his hair closely cropped like the rest of the Marlins. Seems rather silly for a franchise that has elected to adopt a bold, colorful look and emphasize the diverse spirit of South Florida. Reyes racing around the bases with dreads flying would seem to amplify that image.

Photo: Jose Reyes won't be sporting dreadlocks once the games start for real. (Craig Davis, Sun Sentinel)

POSTED IN: Miami Marlins (32)

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Lottery begins for tickets to opener at Marlins Park

Those looking to score tickets for Opening Night at Marlins Park without committing to a partial- or full-season plan can register for a lottery through Feb. 20 at

After that date, fans will be selected at random based on available inventory for the opportunity to purchase two tickets to the April 4 opener against the Cardinals. Those selected will be notified by February 28.

This will be the only opportunity to purchase individual tickets for Opening Night. There are other opportunities to ensure a seat for Opening Night. The Marlins announced Wednesday an Opening Night 10-Game Pack. It includes tickets to Opening Night and nine other pre-selected games, starting at $250. The 10-Game pack in available at

Single-game tickets with the exception of Opening Night will go on sale March 3 at 10 a.m. at and at the Marlins Park Ticket Office.

Tickets for Yankees exhibitions available Feb. 18

It was also announced that individual tickets for the two exhibitions against the Yankees at Marlins Park will go on sale Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.

There will be 25,000 tickets for the April 1 game on April 1 (1:10 p.m.) and 30,000 for the April 2 game (7:10 p.m.).

POSTED IN: Miami Marlins (32)

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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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