I had tried pretty often last spring to make it to a Marlins game at their new stadium before going to Philadelphia for work for the summer, but with no luck finding a good time to go. I finally was able to go to my first game at the new stadium on Friday night. The Marlins were actually hosting a charity game for Teach For America where there were discounted tickets with part of the proceeds going to support the organization, plus half the proceeds from a 50/50 raffle. Thanks Marlins!
It was cool being at the new stadium and I was glad that the Marlins have a new home that is more baseball appropriate. I’d been to many Marlins games back at Sun Life Stadium (which they shared with the Dolphins) and it was just way too big and football-centered to make it much of a baseball experience. Marlins Park gives much more of a baseball experience with a lot of great views of the field from the promenade and seats. Since it’s also still pretty hot outside right now it was nice to be inside and air-conditioned as well. I grew up seeing Mariners’ games at the Kingdome so the indoor park (when the roof is closed) doesn’t bother me and the AC is very appreciated this time of year.
I also really like the architecture of the park inside and out with a lot of really cool lines and windows. It has an imposing presence from afar from many points in the city. When it was first being built it reminded me of a a smaller Cowboys Stadium when it was almost all metal. Later in construction it became less metallic, but still shares a modern design with Cowboys Stadium (of course much smaller and no giant Jumbotron!). The location is also a lot more convenient in Little Havana to the city compared to Miami Gardens and Sun Life Stadium. Inside it has some great shots of the Miami skyline to look at along with the game.
Another great aspect of Marlins stadium is the food. There are tons of food options and stands, including a lot of ones with gourmet food. This includes one that is also gluten-free! A similar stand exists at American Airlines Arena that I’ve been to before and really loved (review is here). I’d gotten the hot dog at the AAA stand, but was excited to read an article that said the Marlins Park stand also had a pulled pork sandwich. When I got to the stand they had sandwiches, but unfortunately not a pulled pork one. From chicken, roast beef, turkey, and Cuban (ham and roasted pork) I chose the Cuban sandwich. Even though I had the hot dog at AAA I decided to get one too (YOLO right?). It turned out they use the same bread for both the sandwiches and the bun at this stand. It was different than the bun I’d had at AAA and unfortunately not as good. The hot dog at AAA was pretty moist and fluffy and this was more drier and “gluten-free.” I enjoyed the sandwich a lot more because the meat, tomatoes, and lettuce made the sandwich more moist and with more flavor.
The one downside is the kind of ridiculous fountain they have that lights up and moves when a home run is hit (see pic below). Just really not a fan. It’s a little too cheesy in general, but it especially contrasts with the modern stadium. Maybe it’s something that will grow on me.
The Marlins came out with a win over the Reds so that was another plus! It was nice to be in an actual baseball stadium for the Marlins and the AC was a major positive after a couple hot and humid Marlins games at Sun Life in the summer. I think I’ll be hitting up games more often now because of the new baseball park and more convenient location!
UPDATE: I went to a game the other night with some buddies. We checked out the bar behind center field, which gives some incredible views of the game. I also checked out the gluten-free stand again. They now have chili cheese dogs, which are awesome! They’re a similar bun to what I had before (still unfortunately not the fluffy bun from American Airlines Arena…), but the chili and the cheese added a lot more flavor and didn’t make it as dry.
Marlins Park-1390 NW 6th St Miami, FL