One more year, guys. And it starts today.
Yep, Marlins fans, only have to endure one more year of watching baseball in a stadium designed for the Super Bowl. Only one more year of crawling up I-95 during rush hour only to spend the next three hours cricking our necks to look at home plate. Only one more year of staring at tens of thousands of ugly orange empty seats as our beloved home team battles it out. 81 more games, and SunLife/Dolphin/ProPlayer/Joe Robbie Stadium will be discarded by this team like so many underpaid, up and coming superstars.
Tonight the Marlins open their final season at the football megaplex in Miami Gardens before moving to their new home in Little Havana. And MiamiBeach411.com will be there to cover it on our forthcoming sister site MiamiBallpark.com. Yep, through the purchase of club seats for this season, we are venturing into the world of sports blogging. Creating, to my knowledge, the only large-scale Marlins fan blog not run by a major media outlet or the team itself.
But it gets better. As the video above shows, we have been visiting the Marlins at their new sales headquarters by the new stadium, investing in some prime season tickets for 2012. So not only will we be talking Marlins on our new sister site, we’ll be at nearly every home game, all year long. Staffers are beyond excited.
We’ve had the pleasure of dealing with the sales staff over on the corner of NW 14th Ave. and 7th St. for the past few months. And despite my occasional criticism of ownership on this site, the sales staff was extremely helpful. And eager to work with us and talk about the new stadium and the Marlins’ upcoming projects.� Though few people even know about the new sales office, they report sales have been brisk.
The new park will be the smallest in Major League Baseball, an intelligent decision by a team based in a market that traditionally attends nothing well. So those games that drew 20,000 fans at SunLife and made it look like a ghost town will now make the stadium look nearly full. It will also have a retractable roof (which the Marlins estimate will only be open for about 20-25 percent of games), eliminating the stifling heat and perpetual rain we get here in the summer. And, oh yeah, the sightlines will actually be designed for baseball. So no need for that post-game neck massage on the way home.
There will be a spectacular view of Miami’s new skyline through a retractable glass wall in left field, and an active 600 gallon fish tank behind home plate. So whenever someone is watching a Marlins game on TV, there will be no question the teams are playing in Miami.
In case the new stadium wasn’t proof enough, the team is changing its name to the Miami Marlins as well as developing a new color scheme and new uniforms. A bit of a letdown for fans of the traditional Marlins garb, but certainly a boon to marketing the new park and, theoretically, new team. I just hope they don’t pick red like every other team in Baseball. If we’re going for unique, red is not the way to go.
So 2011 is the home stretch for long suffering Miami baseball fans. We are all optimistic about this year, and maybe this year’s crop of talent can take the Marlins back to the playoffs. But even if not, a year from now we’re going to have plenty to celebrate.