It’s far from certain that Marlins Park will be a success – see the tiny crowd in attendance on the beautiful evening I was there in mid-May 2013. There may not be large crowds or economic development spurred, but in terms of the ballpark’s structure and aesthetics I have to give it rather high marks.
Marlins Park stands out from most of the ballparks in MLB based on its white exterior and the extremely bright (garish?) colors used inside. What’s cool is that these elements work so well because they are such a good fit with the city of Miami – if Marlins Park was anywhere else it simply wouldn’t work.
The Miami feel goes beyond the white concrete, blue seats, and lime green walls to include the home run feature that features multiple dolphins and the fish tanks behind home plate. One of the park’s best highlights is the view of the city behind the left field seating. While the location isn’t right downtown the skyline at least provides a good backdrop for the game.
One more notable highlight is the width of the concourse wrapping around the first level. Tons of room to move around and first-come, first-serve places to stand with tables for food and drink. The concourse is especially nice in left field where you can find a spot to watch the game or turn around and admire the city lights if the Marlins aren’t keeping your attention.
A Tip of the Cap
- Numerous elements (e.g., lime green walls) that say “Miami” and would only work in Miami
- Wide concourses and plenty of room to stand throughout the first level
- Architecture that preserves the city view even with a retractable roof
Swing and a Miss
The fish tanks behind home plate don’t do much for me. Feels like they would have to be a lot bigger to make a true visual impact, and that’s not very practical.
Trip to the Mound
Try to go when the roof is open. Seats on the first base side or behind home offer some of the best views of the entire park and the city beyond. Stroll around the outfield concourse to take in additional views for an inning or two.
Overall Rating: B+
- Setting (B-): It does have the view of downtown going for it, but the location itself isn’t a very exciting area (economic development hasn’t happened around the ballpark yet) and it isn’t convenient to get to from popular hotel areas such as South Beach – I took a taxi to and from.
- External Appearance (A): The white exterior fits in well with Miami and the unique support system for the retractable roof provides some interesting architectural angles/designs for photographs, especially when the roof is open.
- Internal Appearance (A): This wouldn’t get an A if it were anywhere else, but the park’s design simply works for Miami.Bright blue seats, lime green walls, and the use of multiple colors of tiles combine to make for a cheery place.
- Atmosphere (C): A ballpark in its second year and there is virtually nobody there on a beautiful evening. Hard to even grade atmosphere until the Marlins organization puts a competitive product on the field and hopefully draws solid crowds. Though that may not even matter based on the history of the franchise.