Thursday, I broke a vow and went to a Miami Marlins (nee Florida Marlins) game at their new stadium located at the site of the former Orange Bowl Stadium in the Little Havana section near downtown Miami.
I had vowed not to go to Marlin games because I had been spoiled by years of attending their games at the Miami Dolphins’ cavernous football stadium which was only a few miles from my house. At times I could get to and home from a game in less than 15 minutes.
The stadium was really not suitable for baseball not only because of its rectangular layout but also because of the tropical climate. As an open air stadium fans and players were subjected to frequent rain, wicked heat and high humidity for all games, and blistering sun in day games. But it was so easy for me to get there and back, and there was overall easy fan access and ample parking. So, I could put up with the inconveniences. Besides, I only bought tickets for the Club Section which was the only section under cover and the concession area was air conditioned and I could escape the elements if they got too bad and watch the game on TV sitting on a comfortable sofa.
The new stadium is 21 miles from my house and access is nowhere as good as it is for the Dolphins’ stadium. It is shoehorned into a small square area in the midst of a residential area. There are four parking garages adjacent to the stadium plus a few small ground level lots. There are only 6,000 parking spots for the stadium that holds around 37,000.
Actually, I knew all along that I would have to break my vow. 😉 For the past ten years I have attended inter-league games between the Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays with my nephew and his wife, who live near Tampa – three games home and home series. Both of their series this year are scheduled in June. They will definitely expect to see the new stadium.
Thursday was a day game against the Chicago Cubs and midweek day games usually don’t draw large crowds. Attendance was only a little over 23,000. I was able to buy a game ticket and reserve a parking spot in one of the parking garages on the Internet – and headed for the park with my camera.
The game was played with the retractable roof closed, providing a comfortable 75 degrees and a gentle breeze from the air conditioning. And the Good Guys won 5 to 3. The stadium is magnificent. Unfortunately the going to and coming back were not so pleasant, which I’ll cover in my next post. I’ll also post some of the photos I took and another video.
Here is a short video I took when I got to my seat almost an hour before game time – panning about the almost empty stadium.