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)