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March 31, 2012

Marlins parking tips: Off-site lots offer 3,000 spaces

Reacting to concerns about inadequate parking, the Marlins have identifed about 3,000 parking spaces in lots near Marlins Park.

Space in the garages adjacent to the park are sold out for the exhibitions games against the Yankees on Sunday and Monday, as well as for Wedneday’s regular-season opener. Anyone without a prepaid pass will have to look elsewhere.

The off-site spaces are in 14 lots. Eleven are within a mile of the ballpark, with those more distant offering shuttle service.

Visit Marlins.com/parking for maps and options for transportation and parking.

The Marlins announced Saturday that parking will be available in the following lots (see locator map on the Marlins' site):

Kristi House Lot, 1355 NW 12th Ave.
Civic Center Jury Lot, 1255 NW 11th St.
Civic Center Lot 26, 1355 NW 12th St.
Mahi Shrine Parking,1480 NW North River Dr.
Highland Park Garage, 1801 NW 9th Ave.
Park Plaza East Garage, 901 NW 17th St.
RAD Property, 1001 NW 7th St.
Lyons Lot, 1250 NW 7th St.
Cardona Medical Center, 1390 NW 7th St.
Robert King High, 1401 NW 7th St.
Walgreens, 1699 NW 7th St.
St. John Bosco Church, 1358 NW 1th St.
Suntrust Bank, 100 NW 12th Ave.
Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave.

According to the Marlins, there are 8,000 off-site parking spaces with 5/8 of a mile at private residences.

For Opening Night, fans are encouraged to arrive early as gates at Marlins Park open at 4 p.m.

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Marlins Opener: Standing-room tickets available Tuesday; Pepsi, Miccosukee added as quadrant sponsors

Last chance to score Marlins’ Opening Night tickets at face value will be before the team’s workout on Tuesday.

A limited number of standing-room tickets will go on sale for $25 the Marlins Park box office at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Marlins will hold a workout open to the public with no admission charge from 6-8 p.m. General admission parking will be available in the garages by the ballpark.

The secondary market is the other way to get into the opener against the Cardinals on Wednesday night. There were more than 2,300 tickets available Saturday on StubHub beginning at $109.

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Pepsi, Miccosukee quadrant sponsors

Without fanfare, Pepsi and Miccosukee Resort & Gaming have entered into partnership with the Marlins as sponsors of two of the colored quadrants at Marlins Park.

Their logos were placed outside on the side of the roof. Marlins President David Samson confirmed the companies are quadrant sponsors, and that talks are ongoing for the other two.

It appears likely that the Marlins will play their inaugural season in the ballpark without a naming rights deal.

“You never know, but it’s Marlins Park, I think, for this season,” he said. “We’re not focused on it right now. I like [the name] Marlins Park.”

It is refreshing to have a new stadium without a commercialized name. But that is likely to be temporary until the Marlins find a partner willing to pump millions into the team’s coffers to put their name on the ballpark for the next decade or two.

There were rumors that a naming-rights deal was in the works with Pepsi that fell through.
The Mets got a record $400 million deal with Citigroup in 2006 for Citi Field, but the economy has changed the playing field for naming rights since then.

The Dodgers have operated without a corporate name on venerable Dodger Stadium, but there is speculation that could change following the teams $2.15 billion sale to Magic Johnson and Co. The Texas Rangers are another of the vanishing breed of teams without a naming rights deal.

Miccosukee has been a major Marlins sponsor since 2003. The distinctive black signs with white, yellow and red lettering advertising the resort operated by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida dominated the outfield wall at Sun Life Stadium in recent years.

Marlins’ starting lineup columns

Among the numerous fan-friendly touches at Marlins Park are the row of columns displaying the night’s starting lineup.

Coming in the main entrance on the Promenade Level, fans will see the name and a large photo of the leadoff hitter – most nights that will be Jose Reyes – on a support column atop the lower bowl. Proceeding to the left and right from there will be eight more columns showcasing the other members of the starting lineup. If a player is called up from the minors or acquired in a trade and a photo isn’t yet available, his name will be posted above the team logo.

Photo: Advertising for Miccosukee Resort & Gaming was prominent at Marlins games in recent years at Sun Life Stadium.

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March 26, 2012

Marlins' Reyes reveals nickname in new baseball book for kids

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The Marlins’ Jose Reyes is among 15 of baseball’s top stars featured in “Sports Illustrated Kids’ Pro Files: Baseball.”

The 96-page hardcover book is intended to introduce readers age 8-12 to some of baseball’s top players and provide tips on how to play like them. It went on sale earlier this month for $17.95, but was available at Amazon.com for $12.92.

Reyes, the Marlins’ shortstop, discusses his routine to prepare for each game, including massage, stretching and work in the batting cages. He also reveals his nickname: La Melaza, sweetness in Spanish. Readers also learn of his affinity for fried chicken and beans, and that the athlete he most admired as a kid was Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal.

kids-si-cover.jpgIn addition to Reyes, “Pro Files: Baseball” offers statistics and bios on Justin Verlander, Joe Mauer, Evan Longoria, Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay, Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, Dustin Pedroia, Brian McCann and other major league All-Stars. The book is packed with color photos to help illustrate skills and drills to show young players how to hit, pitch and field like the pros.

Each profile is loaded with information about the player’s background and career as well as personal info and insights into his approach to the game.

Reyes says the key to being a good base runner is “Run hard right out of the box and don’t hesitate at all. When you’re running, if you don’t think you’re going to make it [safely], you’re probably not going to make it. For me, 99.9 percent of the time, I know I’m going to make it.”
The action photos of Reyes show him as a Met, but there is a shot of him in a Miami Marlins jersey before he had the dreadlocks cut off.

He reveals his biggest on-field thrill is hitting a triple: “It’s fun hearing the crowd get louder and louder as you round each base, and nothing feels better than sliding headfirst into third base with the crowd cheering and seeing the umpire say you’re safe.”

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March 22, 2012

TimSanity, New York supreme test for Tebow

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Move over, LinSanity. Now in the flash of a news cycle it is TimSanity that has the City That Never Sleeps buzzing around the clock.

No city is better equipped to handle multiple obsessions than New York. The question is, can Tim Tebow handle New York?

He has already ridden viral waves of TebowMania and Tebowing. He has been the constant center of attention, acclaim and controversy since he was being recruited to the University of Florida.

But the trade to the Jets is about to intensify all of that exponentially to a level rarely seen, according to sports marketing expert and branding strategist Ronn Torossian.

“There’s no question that this kid’s life is about to change overnight,” said Torossian, cautioning, “That’s for good and bad.

“I think he has a potential to be a much larger star than he is. He can own this city. … But I don’t think that pressure anywhere else is the same as pressure here.”

From a marketing perspective, Tebow coming to New York “is an absolute home run,” said Torossian, President of 5W Public Relations and author of “For Immediate Release,” a book about brand building.

The companies he endorses have to be turning cartwheels, including Jockey, Nike, EA Sports and recently added FRS Healthy Energy Drink. With the Broncos, his jersey was the No. 2 best-seller behind the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers at the end of the 2011 season and has occupied the top spot.

Tebow’s Jets jersey was already being offered for sale Thursday at NFLshops.com. It was featured on the main page alongside a new Broncos quarterback named Manning.

“What is the first picture of Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow together going to be worth? The potentials are unlimited in New York,” Torossian said.

Torossian said it is premature to attach a dollar figure to what Tebow could earn in endorsements playing in the Big Apple. His success on the field will ultimately determine that. It is unclear how the Jets intend to utilize him.

While it will be intriguing to see how his style fits and his role evolves with the Jets -- Joe Namath has already ripped the idea as a publicity stunt -- more compelling will be Tebow’s interaction with New York. Fans there have little patience with erratic quarterbacking and the city can be overwhelming.

Randy Johnson is a recent example of a big fish who never meshed with the Big Apple, and there have been others.

At first glance it seems an odd match. Earlier this week Monica Culpepper, a friend of Tebow’s, was quoted as saying he had confided that he missed the South and was hopeful of ending up with a Florida team.

Yet when given final say in whether to be traded to Jacksonville or New York, he chose the Jets.

“There’s no such thing as privacy in New York City. And that’s for an everyday Joe. For Tim Tebow, he’s not going to have a minute of rest. There’s no escape from being a celebrity in New York,” said Torossian, who has represented numerous celebrities and athletes.

“The brand Tim Tebow is certainly somebody that can shine. Whether the man Tim Tebow is able to handle the constant noise, the constant attention, the constant focus, I think that is something that only time will tell.”

Photo: Tim Tebow, speaking at the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards show, has never ducked the spotlight. But he hasn't experienced anything like celebrity life in New York. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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March 21, 2012

Heat fires back at claims of discounting tickets to online retailer Goldstar

A member-based website this week began offering tickets at half price for South Florida sporting events and other live entertainment events.

It has already stirred the ire of the Miami Heat, who took exception to a media report that they have partnered with Goldstar.com to unload excessive ticket inventories and compete with other secondary ticket brokers.

Heat President of Business Operations Eric S. Woolworth, who normally plays public comment close to the vest, called the claim “nonsense” in a written response posted on the Heat's web site. He went on to term as “idiocy” a contention in the article that demand for tickets in Year 2 of the Heat’s Big Three has fallen to the point that the team is having to offer tickets a bargain-basement prices.

“The fact is that every home game this year has been sold out and attendance on a per game basis is actually up over last year because we have sold more standing room only tickets than we did last year,” Woolworth wrote in a letter posted on the Heat website.

The announced crowd of 20,212 at Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns was the largest of the season and did include standing room viewing.

“The fact is that Goldstar.com apparently bought some limited number of tickets through our Group Ticket department at the full Group price like any other ticket purchaser could do. Beyond that we have no relationship with them,” Woolworth wrote. “It appears that they are yet another entrant into the ever-growing secondary ticketing market and that they are now trying to resell the tickets they purchased from us.”

Goldstar has been offering half-price tickets in major cities around the country since 2002. They claim to work directly with 4,000 venues, notably Dodger Stadium, Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

On Yelp.com, a popular site on which consumers post reviews of various businesses and services, Goldstar gets a rating of 4.5 out of a possible. 5.0 from 46 reviewers.

Many raved about their experience in obtaining tickets and the money they saved. Others expressed disappointment in the seats they received, service fees and customer service.

There is no cost to join, and the prices are enticing. But the inventory for South Florida events so far is limited.

The site Wednesday listed eight Heat games, but the April 19 game against the Bulls was already sold out and only 10 tickets remained for April 10 vs. the Celtics (going for $65 for $103 tickets).

Available ticket for all the games listed appeared to be for upper level seats, with prices ranging from $25 to $65.

There was one pair of tickets for Thursday’s (March 23) Florida Panthers game against Edmonton available for $15. StubHub.com was selling seats for that game as cheaply as $5 apiece.

Woolworth’s advice for everyone purchasing tickets on the secondary market is buyer beware, noting that Goldstar and other outlets, including StubHub and eBay, cannot guarantee the authenticity of the tickets they sell.

“There are other sites, big and small, that will tell consumers that they will get a refund if the tickets they buy turn out to be fraudulent; which is all well and good, except that in our experience what ticket buyers want is not a refund but entrance to the event they believe they have purchased tickets to attend,” Woolworth wrote.

“The ONLY way to guarantee entrance to a game or event when buying a ticket on the secondary market and to know with 100% certainty that the tickets are authentic is to use www.heat.com/ticketexchange.”

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March 20, 2012

Marlins Park parking options less than ideal

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A couple of weeks before Opening Day at Marlins Park, uncertainty and unrest about parking has become an intensifying tempest spinning around Little Havana.

Residents of some street near the park are furious that they will have to find parking elsewhere on game nights.

For fans, the concerns are how to get there, park and get out after the game.

The Marlins this week posted more details about parking and transportation options at Marlins.com. These plans will face the first tests with the two exhibitions against the Yankees with crowds of 25,000 and 30,000 on April 1-2 and an expected sellout of 37,000 for the regular-season opener on April 4 against the Cardinals.

The Marlins point out that the Orange Bowl, previously on the site, had twice the seating capacity with half the amount of on-site parking.

The best option is to purchase a spot in one of the garages or surface lots in advance for $15 on the Marlins site. That will accommodate about 5,700 vehicles. The Marlins estimate that many more spaces will be needed for a full house.

The practice of forking over cash for a spot on a resident’s lawn will be revived from the Orange Bowl days.

The best of the alternative options suggested by the Marlins appears to be parking north of the New River in the Civic Center/courthouse lot for $10 and ride the free shuttle to the game. That is limited to about 500 cars.

Other choices require more complex logistics. The Civic Center and Culmer Metrorail stations, each about a mile from the ballpark, will have free shuttle/trolley service before and after games. Neither station has on-site parking. Here is a link showing Metrorail stops with parking.
The City of Miami’s new free trolley service will run between the Health District and the ballpark until about 11 p.m.

Entrepreneurs have already begun to enter the picture. Ballgameexpress.com is planning to run game-day buses from various sports bars and restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

ParkWhiz.com is selling spaces in two lots on Northwest Seventh Street for prices ranging from about $19 to $26.

Photo: The best bet for parking is to secure a spot in advance in one of the four garages or six surface lots. (Reuters)

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March 12, 2012

Conine, Beinfest, McGillivray to participate in Samson's 50-mile charity run

Boston Marathon director Dave McGillivray, Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest and Mr. Marlin Jeff Conine are among 17 runners so far confirmed to join Marlins President David Samson on his 50-mile charity “Run to Honor the Workers” on April 27.

Samson will run 50 miles to raise funds in honor of the construction workers who made Marlins Park a reality. All of the proceeds raised will be donated to the 10 Charities of Choice. To date, the run has raised more than $500,000 through sponsor and individual donations.

The run will start at Atlantic Avenue and AIA in Pompano Beach (start time TBA) and conclude at home plate of Marlins Park prior to the 7:10 p.m. Marlins-Diamondbacks game. The run will consist of five-mile intervals dedicated to a specific Charity of Choice, with a runner representing that specific charity joining Samson for the five-mile leg.

“I am extremely thankful for the support of those who have decided to run with me, as I will surely be leaning on them to get me through the day,” said Samson. “I have a great opportunity to raise awareness and money for these very deserving causes, and being able to share this day with those men and women who made Marlins Park a reality is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I want to especially thank the sponsors and individual donors for their incredible generosity and for making such a positive impact in our community and around the world.”

Sponsors are Leon Medical Centers, Jeffrey H. Loria, Pepsi, Populous & Hunt/ Moss, Rose & Harry Samson Family and the Wasserman Media Group.

How to Donate:

Pledges can be made at marlins.com/samsonrun. Log on to the site and select one of 10 charities and the amount of the donation. If you have any questions about your donation please e-mail foundation@marlins.com

Charities of Choice and Designated Runners:

Jewish Federation of Broward County (Miles 0-5) - Larry Beinfest: President of Baseball Operations, Miami Marlins and finisher of the 2010 New York City Marathon.

Stand Up To Cancer (Miles 5-10) – Dave McGillivray: Race Director of the Boston Marathon since 1988. Dave successfully ran across the USA in 1978 and has raised millions of dollars for charity through his athletic achievements.

Challenged Athletes Foundation (Miles 10-15) – Sarah Reinertsen: First female leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in 2005.

ALS Recovery Fund (Miles 15-20) – Jose Perez, Albert Perez & Allen Popowitz: Jose G. and Albert J. Perez have been raising money for the ALS Recovery Fund since 1997. After losing their father to ALS in 2001, they have continued their efforts and have raised over $3.3 million dollars for ALS Research… Popowitz serves on the Board of Directors for the ALS Association of the Greater New York Chapter and has run five marathons: four New York City Marathons and the latest was the 2009 Boston Marathon.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (Miles 20-25) – Michael Hill & John Silverman: Both Hill and Silverman are veteran marathoners having completed several with Samson including the 2009 Boston Marathon and 2010 New York City Marathon. Hill is Vice President, General Manager of the Miami Marlins and Silverman serves as the Marlins equipment manager.

The Miami Foundation – Miami Fellows Scholarships (Miles 25-30) – Javier Soto & P.J. Loyello: Soto is President of the Miami Foundation and has completed the Chicago and Boston Marathons… Loyello is the Marlins Sr. VP, Communications and Broadcasting and has run three marathons with Samson: Miami, Boston and NY City.

Miami Children’s Hospital (Miles 30-35) – Dr. M. Narendra Kini:
He is president/CEO of Miami Children’s Hospital.

University of Miami Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence (Miles 35-40) – Daryl Eisenberg, Tracy Nathanson & Allison Wallach: Eisenberg was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago and will run with her sisters Tracy, a veteran of 10 marathons, and Allison who has completed three marathons including the 2010 NYC Marathon with Samson.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (Miles 40-45) – Bret Parker: Serves as Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Elizabeth Arden, Inc. A veteran of four New York City Marathons all run with Samson, Parker was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease five years ago and has been Samson’s closest friend for over 30 years. Parker publicly disclosed his condition today as part of his participation in this run.

Liga Contra el Cancer (Miles 45-50) – Jeff Conine & Hannah Samson: Conine is a former MLB great and is known around South Florida as “Mr. Marlin” for winning the 1997 & 2003 World Series with the Marlins. He has raised millions of dollars for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and completed the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, HI in 2008. Hannah will proudly run by her father’s side for the toughest five miles of the day.

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March 7, 2012

Miami Marlins' ticket sales soar, provide platform to build future

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MIAMI The Marlins built it, and fans are buying in to Marlins Park in a big way.

Season-ticket sales are approaching 15,000, Marlins President David Samson said before the Marlins played their first exhibition in the ballpark Tuesday. That would have ranked in the top third in the major leagues last season, he said.

And where did the Marlins rank in season-ticket sales in their final season at Sun Life Stadium?

“We were three standard deviations from next to last, is the best way to say that,” he said. “We were No. 125 -- counting minor league teams.”

More than 130,000 tickets were sold at Saturday’s FanFest, the most in one day in franchise history, by far. And none of them were individual tickets for Opening Day, which are limited to a lottery.

“It was just overwhelming,” Samson said. “In the past our FanFest was 80 percent Opening Day [sales].”

The Marlins plan to continue selling season-ticket packages through May. Samson said even if demand continues to grow, they will cap it at about 18,000. Ballpark capacity is 37,000.

“We wouldn’t sell 35,000 season-tickets, even if we could,” he said. “There is such a demand for groups and people coming from [places like] Naples and the Keys, and individual tickets are going so well. That’s part of the supply and demand that we’ve never been able to have.”

Comments of fans attending the early events suggest the Marlins’ offseason moves and apparent commitment to building a winning team have enhanced the attraction of the new ballpark.

“It’s awesome,” Miami resident Alfonso Otero said of his first game experience in the ballpark. I think this atmosphere is going to bring a lot of big crowds this year.”

Tickets already sold ensure that.

Frank Pena, who attended the high school game that opened the park, pinpointed the long-term reality.

“It is a fair-weather city. At the end of the day the Marlins are going to have to producde and they’re going to have to win. But I think people are going to be coming the first year and are going to be giving the Marlins every chance,” Pena said.

Leave it to colorful Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen to put the transformation of the franchise’ situation in perspective.

“It’s like living under the bridge for 20 years and all of a sudden you win the lottery. And the moment you win the lottery you buy a new house. That’s what it was with the Marlins,” Guillen said. “It’s a beautiful ballpark. The players are very excited. Hopefully we play and represent this ballpark the way it looks.”

The ballpark doesn’t guarantee winning, as the most recent major league team to open one showed. The Minnesota Twins sold out Target Field in its debut season in 2010 while winning the American League Central, then fell to an AL-worst 63-99 in 2011. Although they drew more than 3 million and improved their attendance ranking from sixth to fourth in the majors, average attendance was down slightly.

The Marlins prefer to emulate the Philadelphia Phillies, who have played to 204 consecutive sellouts in Citizens Bank Park and have made winning a habit since it opened in 2004.

“Sellouts breed sellouts,” Samson said. “Miami is very much a buzz town. Which is part of the all-in strategy of raising the payroll, signing some free agents and rebranding, relaunching, because it creates that buzz. Now with that buzz you combine it with a team that performs, and then you start building and building. Then hopefully it keeps going.”

A ballpark designed for baseball where fans can watch games in comfort, and the revenue it is already producing, provides a platform to construct success.

Whether Miami will prove to be an enduring baseball town remains to be seen. A new reality is already evident. The days of walking up to the ticket window on game day and having a pick of choice seats are over.

“We have had several people call and try to buy groups [for] one of the Cubs games. We say, ‘No, we’re already sold out.’ People are taken aback,” Samson said. “That’s part of the education of our fans, trying to explain that it’s not like the old days. Things are actually selling out.”

Photo: The crowd at the Marlins' first exhibition game in Marlins Park was limited to 10,000, but much bigger crowds are expected to become the norm under the retractable roof in Little Havana. (Robert Duyos, Sun Sentinel)

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March 6, 2012

It will take time to tell how Marlins Park plays

The great debate about Marlins Park has begun: Hitters park or pitchers park?

The Marlins’ first exhibition game Tuesday against the Miami Hurricanes didn’t shed much light on the issue.

The ultimate answer may be that it depends. The Marlins saw two different faces the park Tuesday, when the wind was swirling with the roof open during batting practice and after a rain squall prompted it to be closed for the game.

Hanley Ramirez was one of several players who rattled balls off the home run sculpture in batting practice and hit the only hume run during the game, an opposite-field two-run shot.

“The wind was blowing out [in batting practice]. There was a lot of wind. After they closed the roof it was totally different,” he said. “There’s no wind [with it closed], but if you hit it good it’s still going to go out.”

Outfielder Asron Rowand said, “I think you’ve got to go through a whole season before you judge whether it’s a hitter’s ballpark or a pitcher’s ballpark. Because the seasons change, the weather changes.”

Rowand, an 11-year veteran who has played in both leagues, said the new ballpark incorporates features from a number the parks built in recent years as well as some characteristics of Sun Life Stadium, such as the triangle in center field.

“They all have their personna. I think they did a great job with this one. It’s as nice or nicer than any park in the league,” Rowand said. “It’s very spacious, there’s a lot of room [in the outfield]. The space out in the field reminds me of Minnesota. It’s just big, the outfield gaps.

“I thought it played fair. The ball Hanley hit today, he hit that ball good and it got out. It wasn’t like you have to give it all you’ve got to get it out of the ballpark. He hit tha ball good, but it wasn’t his best.”

There was some discussion in recent days that hitters, particularly left-handers, might be distracted by the huge home run sculpture in left-center. Marlins President David Samson said officials of Major League Baseball have inspected the ballpark and are satisfied with the location of the sculpture. One concession, the wall above the center-field fence that was apple-green was repainted black Tuesday.

“We have guidelines we have to follow. And The batter’s eye we have is bigger than required by Major League Baseball,” Samson said.

Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison said after the game that he had no trouble picking up the ball out of the pitcher’s hand.

Another unique feature is the two fish tanks offset in the wall behind home plate.

“I thought maybe I was going to stare at the aquariums more,” shortstop Donnie Murphy said. “I didn’t notice them. I think they did a good job of not making them not bright. That would be not good if I was staring at a fish and a ball’s coming my way. The views for hitting and defense is really nice.”

Morrison was so eager to check out his new domain that he arrived at noon for the night game. He got his first bit of culture shock in Little Havana at a sandwich shop down the street.

“I got a Cuban sandwich, but didn’t have any idea to communicate to the lady. Somebody knew who I was and said ‘I’ll order for you,’” he said.

More confusion ensued when he tried to order two order a Cuban coffee for himself and a companion.

“She said, ‘no, one, one.’ She’s like, ‘You Americans, you don’t know what real coffee is.’ I’m glad I only had a half of one.”

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Marlins Park opens: Roof shows merit; long wait for pizza

MIAMI It didn’t take long to see the benefit of the retractable roof at Marlins Park.

A half-hour before the Marlins played their first exhibition there against the University of Miami, a rain squall blew in. Unlike at Sun Life Stadium, where the grounds crew would have been rushing out with the tarp and fans scurrying for cover, it took the push of a button to solve the problem.

The roof rolled over the field in about 13 minutes and the game went off on schedule with fans and players dry and comfortable.

If a storm moves in during a game, the roof can be closed immediately.

“If you’re doing it for an aeshtetic standpoint or a comfort stnadpoint, not a delay-of-game issue, you have to do it at the beginning of an inning,” Marlins President David Samson said.

The Marlins expect the roof to be closed for about 70 games a season.

“It is so humid and hot, we’re going to close it at 4 p.m. every day and keep it closed for the majority of the summer,” Samson said.

Long wait for pizza

The Marlins’ first game provided the second test of stadium operations. The main glitch during Monday’s high school game were lengthy lines at a concession stand. Only one quadrant of the ballpark was open, and the wait for pizza was 20 to 32 minutes.

“We’re looking into how to make those lines go faster,” Samson said. “We only had one entrance open. What they did is all went to the first concession stand. There were other concession stands where the lines were much shorter but people had not ventured out.”

More areas were opened Tuesday, and services will be extended again for Wednesday’s game against FIU with a crowd of 15,000 expected. But the delay for pizza was still an issue. Alfonso Otero, of Miami, said he waited 35 minutes for a couple of pies at the Sir Pizza stand.

“I’m pretty sure as the games go on they’ll get better at it and quicker,” said Otero, otherwise raved about the ballpark. “It’s awesome. I think this atmophere is going to bring a lot of big crowds this year.”

The consensus in the concourse was a resounding cheer for the ballpark experience.

“The fact that you can get to the concessions and still watch the game, it’s a really open feel. I like it,” said Ricky Paula, who was on his way to get his second hot dog of the night.

On Monday, a woman was attended to after being struck by a foul ball.

“Our EMS responded immedately, and she was OK,” Samson said. “This is sort of a different ballpark in terms of how close you are to the field. We need our guests to pay attention.”

Food with out-of-town flavor

One intriguing food feature to look forward to during the season is a concession stand themed to the visiting team.

That is, when the Brewers are in town, that will be the place to go for brats. For the Phillies, cheesesteak. The Giants will bring out the garlic fries.

As for regular fare, the Miami shrimp burger will provide a distinctive South Florida taste treat.

Cutoff for beer

Beer sales will cease after the seventh inning, except in the Clevelander nightclub behind the left-field fence. Access that is by a special ticket. But after the game anyone can pay a cover charge to enter the Clevelander, which will stay open late.

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March 1, 2012

Marlins fan promotions schedule: Plenty of music, fireworks, giveaways

Friday night concerts, Saturday night fireworks and laser shows and numerous giveaways highlight promotions for fans at Marlins games throughout the 2012 season.

Monday home games will be designated as Outback Steakhouse Military Mondays, which will include in-game entertainment and ceremonies involving and honoring our U.S. military throughout the season. Outback will also be the presenting partner for Military Appreciation Day on Sunday, July 1.

Each of the 13 Wednesday home games will be a Giveaway Wednesday, featuring a variety of premium fan giveaways. Opening Night (4/4), the Wednesday game against the Red Sox (6/13) and Closing Day (10/3) will all feature special giveaways for all fans in attendance at Marlins Park.

Friday games will be known as Jiffy Lube Friday Night Live. All 13 Fridays will feature a pregame party on the West Plaza, including live music on the main stage, corporate partner activation areas, interactive games and entertainment.

On the first Jiffy Lube Friday Night Live of each month, fans will be able to stay in their seats after the game and experience a live post-game concert on the field with top recording artists and entertainers. For the remaining seven Friday games, the post-game party will be on the West Plaza, with live music and entertainment, food and beverage kiosks, appearances from the Energy Team.

Saturday Spectacular pregame activities will begin with a party on the West Plaza beginning two hours before the first pitch, and will include radio broadcasts, live music on the stage,
performances from Billy The Marlin and the Marlins Energy Team, corporate partner activation areas and interactive displays, food and beverage kiosks and additional entertainment throughout the season. Following each Saturday Spectacular night game, fans will be able to experience a variety of fireworks and laser light shows from the comfort of their seats.

All 13 Sunday home games will be Marlins Family Sundays. Radio Disney AM 990 will be hosting activities and entertainment on the West Plaza pregame, including face painters, inflatables and interactive games for kids. Additional activities will be taking place inside the ballpark pregame at Marlins Fan Headquarters, including Snapshot Sunday, allowing fans to take a photo with a Marlins player.

In addition, Family Sundays will feature giveaways for kids 12 and under, with the exception being May 13, when the giveaway will be for moms in honor of Mother’s Day. Kids will be allowed to run the bases and after all Sunday games.

FanFest this weekend

Single game tickets, including the Interleague series against the Boston Red Sox, will be available for purchase Saturday during FanFest at Marlins Park, beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets will also be available online at marlins.com and marlinsbeisbol.com.

A variety of ticket plans will also for sale during FanFast. Seats that are available for purchase will be marked with various colored season ticket seat tags throughout the park.

2012 Marlins fan promotions schedule

APRIL
DAY DATE OPP. TIME PROMOTION/GIVEAWAY QUANTITY

Su April 1 Yankees
(Exh.) 1:10 PM Miami Marlins 2012 Magnetic Schedule All Fans
M April 2 Yankees
(Exh.) 7:10 PM Miami Marlins 2012 Magnetic Schedule All Fans
W April 4 Cardinals 7:05 PM OPENING NIGHT
Marlins Commemorative Opening Night Lanyard courtesy of Pepsi and Miccosukee
Resort & Gaming
All Fans
F April 13 Astros 7:10 PM Friday Night Live – post-game concert (artist TBD)
Sa April 14 Astros 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Su April 15 Astros 1:10 PM Commemorative Opening Night Poster
Jackie Robinson Day
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
T April 17 Cubs 7:10 PM Dominican Heritage Night
W April 18 Cubs 7:10 PM Miami Marlins 2012 Calendar 1st 15,000 Fans
Th April 19 Cubs 12:40 PM Active Seniors Day
F April 27 D’Backs 7:10 PM Friday Night Live
Sa April 28 D’Backs 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Su April 29 D’Backs 1:10 PM Omar Infante Kids T-shirt courtesy of MetroPCS
Baseball for Autism Awareness Day
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
M April 30 D’Backs 12:40 PM CBS4 Weather Day
Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse

MAY
DAY DATE OPP. TIME PROMOTION/GIVEAWAY QUANTITY

F May 11 Mets 7:10 PM Friday Night Live – post-game concert (artist TBD)
Teachers Appreciation Night presented by Office Depot
Sa May 12 Mets 1:05 PM Saturday Spectacular
Nurses Day
Marlins Foundation “Dollars and Strikes” benefitting the Boys & Girls Club
Su May 13 Mets 1:10 PM Marlins Moms Charm Bracelet courtesy of Goya Foods
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Moms
M May 14 Pirates 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
M May 21 Rockies 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
Cuban Heritage Night
W May 23 Rockies 7:10 PM Marlins Ear Buds and Free Music Download Card courtesy of Budweiser 1st 15,000 Fans
(21 and older)
F May 25 Giants 7:10 PM Friday Night Live
Sa May 26 Giants 4:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Su May 27 Giants 1:10 PM Mark Buehrle Kids Wall Flag courtesy of Stanley Tools
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
M May 28 Nationals 1:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
Memorial Day
W May 30 Nationals 7:10 PM Ozzie Guillen Bobblehead courtesy of Leon Medical Centers 1st 15,000 Fans

JUNE
DAY DATE OPP. TIME PROMOTION/GIVEAWAY QUANTITY

W June 6 Braves 7:10 PM Miami Marlins Travel Tumbler courtesy of Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 1st 15,000 Fans
F June 8 Rays 7:10 PM Friday Night Live – post-game concert (artist TBD)
Sa June 9 Rays 7:15 PM Saturday Spectacular
Su June 10 Rays 1:10 PM Hanley Ramirez Kids T-shirt
Bark at the Park presented by The Humane Society of Greater Miami
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids

M June 11 Red Sox 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
W June 13 Red Sox 7:10 PM Drawstring Bag courtesy of MLB Network All Fans
F June 22 Blue Jays 7:10 PM Friday Night Live
Sa June 23 Blue Jays 1:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Caribbean Heritage Night
Su June 24 Blue Jays 1:10 PM Heath Bell Kids Jersey
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
M June 25 Cardinals 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
W June 27 Cardinals 7:10 PM Josh Johnson Bobblehead courtesy of Preferred Care Partners 1st 15,000 Fans
F June 29 Phillies 7:10 PM Friday Night Live
Sa June 30 Phillies 4:10 PM Saturday Spectacular

JULY
DAY DATE OPP. TIME PROMOTION/GIVEAWAY QUANTITY

Su July 1 Phillies 1:10 PM Marlins Stars & Stripes Kids Bucket Cap
Military Appreciation Day presented by Outback Steakhouse
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
F July 13 Nationals 7:10 PM Friday Night Live – post-game concert (artist TBD)
Sa July 14 Nationals 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Su July 15 Nationals 1:10 PM Logan Morrison Kids Toothbrush Holder
Star Wars Day
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
M July 16 Nationals 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
M July 23 Braves 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
W July 25 Braves 12:40 PM Marlins Silicone Kids Sports Watch
Summer Camp Day 1st 25,000 Kids
F July 27 Padres 7:10 PM Friday Night Live
Fragile X Syndrome Awareness Night
Sa July 28 Padres 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Venezuelan Heritage Night
Florida Young Scholars Night
Fan Club Annual Autograph Session (Noon-2PM, registration only)
Su July 29 Padres 1:10 PM Marlins Kids Swimming Tube
Bark at the Park presented by The Humane Society of Broward County
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids

AUGUST
DAY DATE OPP. TIME PROMOTION/GIVEAWAY QUANTITY

F Aug. 10 Dodgers 7:10 PM Friday Night Live – post-game concert (artist TBD)
Fans Care Night
Sa Aug. 11 Dodgers 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Billy’s Bunch Clinic (10AM-Noon, registration only)
Su Aug. 12 Dodgers 1:10 PM Marlins Back to School Kids Binder courtesy of Office Depot
Jewish Heritage Day
ALS Day
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
M Aug. 13 Phillies 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
T Aug. 14 Phillies 7:10 PM FS Florida Fantasy Auction
W Aug. 15 Phillies 12:40 PM Marlins All-Star Poster 1st 15,000 Fans
W Aug. 29 Nationals 7:10 PM Giancarlo Stanton Bobblehead
Puerto Rican Heritage Night 1st 15,000 Fans
F Aug. 31 Mets 7:10 PM Friday Night Live

SEPTEMBER
DAY DATE OPP. TIME PROMOTION/GIVEAWAY QUANTITY

Sa Sept. 1 Mets 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Su Sept. 2 Mets 1:10 PM John Buck Kids Pillow Case
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
M Sept. 3 Brewers 1:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
Labor Day
W Sept. 5 Brewers 7:10 PM Miami Marlins Inaugural Season Canvas Print 1st 15,000 Fans
F Sept. 14 Reds 7:10 PM Friday Night Live – post-game concert (artist TBD)
Sa Sept. 15 Reds 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
Su Sept. 16 Reds 1:10 PM Gaby Sanchez Kids Jersey Wallet
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids
M Sept. 17 Braves 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
T Sept. 18 Braves 7:10 PM Hispanic Heritage Night
W Sept. 19 Braves 7:10 PM Jose Reyes Bobblehead courtesy of The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism 1st 15,000 Fans
F Sept. 28 Phillies 7:10 PM Friday Night Live
Sa Sept. 29 Phillies 7:10 PM Saturday Spectacular
MDA Jerseys Off Their Backs
Su Sept. 30 Phillies 1:10 PM Marlins Kids Ice Cream Helmet Bowl
Family Sunday 1st 5,000 Kids

OCTOBER
DAY DATE OPP. TIME PROMOTION/GIVEAWAY QUANTITY

M Oct. 1 Mets 7:10 PM Military Monday presented by Outback Steakhouse
W Oct. 3 Mets 4:10 PM Closing Day
Miami Marlins 2013 Magnetic Schedule

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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