501 Marlins Way
Miami, FL 33125
August 24, 2016
Before we talk about the stadium, it's worth noting that we forced Mamadukes to listen to four hours worth of Blackstreet, LL Cool J, Elvis, Buck Cherry, Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch, and Salt N Peppa on the drive down from Tampa to Miami. As well as our singing. She may never forgive us or invite us back.
Marlins Park is located in an area of Miami known as "Little Havana" on the site of the former Miami Orange Bowl. We stayed at the JW Marriott Marquis, which is located in downtown, only a few miles east of the ballpark, but with rush hour traffic, it still took us roughly 30-45 minutes to get to the stadium. In actuality, it should've only taken us 10. Knowing that traffic would be an issue (thanks to the advice of our awesome concierge), we left the hotel early so that we arrived at the stadium with plenty of time to spare.
We circled the stadium before parking in the center field garage (third base, home plate, and first base garages are prepaid parking only). Parking cost $15 and accepted both cash and credit.
As you can see, from the outside, the stadium looks like an aquarium. Or a fish bowl. Basically, it doesn't look like a stadium (though, in their defense, it's not nearly as bad as Hard Rock Stadium where the Dolphins play. THAT looks like a friggin' space station). We did not have high hopes for this place, truth be told.
Outside the stadium, lining the sidewalk, are the letters from the Miami Orange Bowl. This is actually a pretty cool concept, but unfortunately, the letters are scattered around in such a haphazard way that there's no way you'd figure out what the hell they're trying to spell without asking someone.
Once inside, we did a tour of the entire promenade area before getting food. Unlike our stadiums in New York, Marlins Park was pretty empty. Yes, it was early, but when we go to a Mets or Yankees game, as soon as the gates open, fans pour into the stadium. Here, not so much. Therefore, we moved pretty quickly through the place.
The first item of interest that we found was the Bobblehead Museum, which is located across from sections 14 and 15. Needless to say, it was not what we expected. Granted, there are a ton of awesome bobbleheads on display and that was cool to see. here are some of our favorites:
The disappointing part about the museum is that it's not really a museum. It's more like a bobblehead display case. That trembles slightly so that the dolls nod for all time, which is probably really uncomfortable for them. We took video of the entire display case so that you could see what we mean, as well a photo:
Right next to the homerun "sculpture," is the FOX broadcast booth. It's right there for anyone to walk up to and stand next to, which is kind of weird and interesting at the same time.
After that, there was really nothing left to do but get food and go to our seats. Mamadukes is obsessed with Don Mattingly, so as a surprise, we bought field level seats behind the Marlins' dugout. The tickets were only $76/each. Do you know what you get in New York for $76? Parking during a postseason game. You non-New York people are spoiled.
The stadium boasts a nightclub called the Clevelander. This is not a joke. It's legitimately a nightclub. It's open during the game and after the game, the fans either exit the stadium or continue the party at the nightclub. As we left the stadium, we could hear the dance music blaring from inside.
Behind home plate, is a fish tank. Somewhere, PETA is having a shit fit over this. How is this an acceptable location for a fish tank? When you visit an aquarium, there are signs everywhere, "do not tap the glass." What about foul tips? What about these a-holes sitting in the seats right behind the tank? You don't think that in all of the games that are hosted in this ballpark, at least one fan isn't going to kick or tap the glass? If you're going to have a random fish tank at a ballpark, it should be located in a place where fans can safely view the fish and the fish are kept out of harm's way.
Lisa's mascot was nearly $22, while Serena's hat was $20. Perspective.
As the game went underway, there were a few things that stood out to us. For starters, the stands are empty. The Marlins are in contention for a Wild Card and yet this is what the stands look like:
Here's another item of interest: cheerleaders. Why on earth would a baseball team have cheerleaders (please see our post on Miller Park for another rant on this subject)?
They weren't even good. They didn't dance in sync with one another, they're outfits were heinous, and we're pretty sure that Rick Astley could've choreographed better dance routines. Also, men are pig birds. Every time these poor girls paraded out onto the dugout (just to pay for college), the men in our section would stand, whistle, hoot, and take video on their cell phones. It was bordering on embarrassing. Like they'd never seen a girl before.
We left our seats in the 6th inning because Lisa really wanted mini doughnuts. We found a little stand that served a bag for $6. Lisa got the cinnamon mini doughnuts, but you can also get powdered sugar or chocolate. Serena got herself a churro for $4 at a nearby stand.
On the way back to our seats, there seemed to be a commotion on the field. Everyone on their feet and cheering. Thinking we missed something important, we pushed our way through a group of people to get a view of the field. Apparently, what we missed was the majority of The Great Sea Race.
By the way, did we mention that the Marlins were playing Lisa's favorite American League team, the Royals? Did we also mention that there was a ridiculously high number of Royals fans in attendance? No? Well, the ridiculously high number of Royals fans acted like buffoons. Giant ones. They were so aggressive and obnoxious that we felt compelled to become #1 Marlins fans. Serena found herself barking orders at the players on the field and calling Fernandez's pitches. Lisa trash talked Royals players as they stepped into the batter's box. We high-fived fellow Marlins fans like total imposters. Go home, KC. You're drunk.
The game itself was a good one. The game was tied 0-0 into the bottom of the 6th when the Marlins finally scratched across 3 runs. Fernandez worked himself in and out of a couple of jams and truly earned his W. Since the Royals' fans behaved like such dicks, it was pretty easy for us to cheer for the Marlins.
And here's one more of Don Mattingly for Mamadukes: