Marlins Ballpark: an Experience unto Itself
At the end of April, I flew from San Francisco to Miami to go to a baseball game. Well, not just a baseball game. I went to experience the new Miami Marlins ballpark, which just opened in time for the 2012 baseball season. While the stadium has more than enough appeal for typical baseball fans—big screens, brightly lit scoreboards and plenty of concessions—it has just as much for the atypical ones.
Take the Bobblehead Museum for instance. There are 588 wobbling heads that represent a variety of big-name baseball stars on display for guests to visit. Plus, there’s a pool. The Clevelander, a South Beach icon, has taken residence in the park as a hip field-side nightclub. Guests can, yes, swim, dance and even watch performers being covered with glowing body paint. This excitement alone will give guests so much entertainment that there’s a good chance they won’t remember the score of the game.
The ballpark is also filled with colorful artwork. The Home Run Feature in the outfield, for instance, is a pop-art ode to Miami. Every time a Marlins player hits a home run, the mechanical sculpture lights up and Marlins jump out of the water, while the sun rotates and seagulls flap their wings. The concessions at the park are beyond ordinary, too. Yes, the nachos, popcorn and hot dogs—with toasted buns! —are there, but baseball goers can also opt for a literal taste of Miami. In Section 28, visitors can choose from a Cuban sandwich, Ceviche or even oysters on the half shell.
For planners, the event options are endless, too. I took a three-hour tour and was still thinking up ways that the ballpark space could be used—including the field itself on non-game days. I think my favorite, however, was the Bullpen space. The space is on the ground level, where up to 150 attendees can mingle while watching the visiting team practice. There’s nothing like conducting business while standing within 10 feet of the competition.
While the Marlins ended up losing that night—I have to be honest, I don’t remember the score—there were so many other sights, sounds and tastes to experience that it didn’t matter in the end. And I believe that to be the perfect testament to a quality venue: Baseball fan or not, the Marlins ballpark, true to Miami culture, is sure to show you a good time.