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Marlins to open new stadium on April 4 against Cardinals

Jun 30, 2011, 7:31 PM EDT

Billy the Marlin AP

Major League Baseball isn’t planning to announce its full 2012 schedule until sometime in September, but a source with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press on Thursday that the Marlins will open their spanking-new $515 million ballpark on April 4 with a visit from the St. Louis Cardinals.

The currently unnamed stadium is being constructed in the Little Havana section of Miami, about two miles from downtown. It’s about 75% finished.

The “state-of-the-art” baseball-only park will feature a retractable roof, a capacity of around 37,000 and seats that are “among the closest to the playing field in all of baseball,” according to the Marlins’ official website.

The franchise will be changing its name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins at some point this winter.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    I really dislike the Marlins. It isn’t just their cheap management either; the players just seem really obnoxious to me. Then you have those two joker announcers, Hutton and the other guy. I was hoping that they would be contracted, but with a new stadium that seems unlikely. Damn.

    • kiwicricket - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:26 PM

      Go home and kick your cat.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:40 PM

        Why would I kick a cat? I’m not sure how they do thing where you are from, but that type of thing is generally frowned upon in civilized society.

      • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2011 at 1:32 AM

        Don’t be ridiculous. Nobody likes cats. And the ugly truth is, they don’t particularly like us either.

      • marshmallowsnake - Jul 1, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        Is tossing them a great distance acceptable then? You can always say you were just moving it out of harms way…

    • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:49 PM

      Macondo Banana Massacre Stadium is a classic civic whoreson, a product of the Latinized brand of corruption according to which governance down here barely functions. It’s another example of how a community whose schools are among the lowest rated in the country and whose community services are imploding for lack of funding can squander its few resources on a bevy of scoundrels like Scrooge McLoria, the Chihuahua and Bud Light and company. I have, of course, nothing against southern Californians – especially the ones with long blonde hair, beautiful legs, say-hi thoracic attributes and lax (no pun on the airport intended) morals. Nonetheless, every time I drive by that increasingly more grotesque confabulation of architectural miscarriages, which conforms with the neotropical Spanish ambiance like Rosy Grier’s head on Ray Milland’s body, I have to giggle at the mess in which the commissioner finds himself these days viz. that other lowlife, Frank McCourt.

      We had an opportunity to tell Scrooge that if San Antonio was so hot for him and his K-Mart payroll team, well then go on ahead and move out there. But here they still are. San Antonio, if you’re paying attention to this, you got off real easy this time.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:57 PM

        Gator, I am curious if this will even help attendance in Miami. If I remember there were quite a few empty seats for their WS games in ’97 and ’03, and that was the f@#$ing WS. And I totally agree with you about spending public money on ballparks for any sport. (I think you have a negative view of that, if I am reading your sarcasm right). Also I read the descriptions on their website and it sounds like they will have the roof closed the majority of the time, ewwwwww.

      • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:28 PM

        My gut feeling is that their first season in Banana Massacre Field will be pretty well attended, but within a year or two at the most it’ll be poor business as usual, especially if Captain Scrooge continues to run his ship like a guano barge. From McLoria and the Chihuahua’s viewpoint, they’ll have the executive box, parking and concession income they didn’t get at Joeprodolsharklife Stuadium so even if, say, the attendance dwindles to back to current levels, they’re in a much better situation than they were.

        Two things, though, militate against their doing consistently better at the gate: (1) they have moved far off-center of their fan catchment area. At Joeprodolsharklife, they’re dead-center for Miami-Dade and Broward counties and not unreasonably far from Palm Beach, reachable by the Florida Turnpike as well as I-95. That’s a big thing, since it adds a whole bunch of road capacity to bring fans to the stadium. Being realistic about it, the only way fans from the northern reaches of their market can get to them now is to take I-95 alone and then navigate a terribly under-capacity exit ramp with a treacherous traffic crossover pattern, about which, as Craig will tell you, nothing has been done in the course of building this tin elephant. If they are successful in drawing fans in year 1, the traffic nightmare of getting to and from it will take a lot of the novelty out of the experience for a lot of people. (2) Local transportation is pretty pisspoor too. There are a few buses, and that’s pretty much it. The transit system (such as it is), Metrorail, is too far away from the stadium to be a realistic option for all but the hardiest fans – and we already know how many of them there are.

        If you go visit the stadium complex in, say, Baltimore and see how a city can think ahead and mesh a big project like the Ravens and Orioles parks with light rail, surface transit and far-thinking urban redevelopment, you look at the way Macondo Banana Massacre Field was plunked back down on the old Orange Bowl footprint and just about everything else was left as cramped and inconvenient as it had been, and want to cry. Really.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:51 PM

        Thanks for the answer.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:51 PM

        Rosey Grier’s head on Ray Milland’s body. The imagery is awesome!
        BTW, I-95 heading toward the cathedral is no prize either, but we make do. At least Robert Moses left something in the Bronx. Most urban planners yearn for the shoe repair shop on Tremont to still be satisfying their customers needs.

      • addictedzone - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM

        “If I remember there were quite a few empty seats for their WS games in ’97 and ’03″

        With all due respect, you remember incorrectly.

        For 7 World Series home games the Marlins have averaged 66,659 fans per game.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:51 PM

        Addicted,
        I stand corrected. Those numbers you posted are spot on and actually the highest attended WS in history outside of the LA Coliseum in 1959. My bad.

      • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2011 at 1:41 AM

        Len: this absurd pairing of Rosy and Ray occurs in the B (or C, or D) horror movie The Thing with Two heads. Look it up on IMDB. I saw it when I was still pretty impressionable – which is an oblique way of saying stoned on my ass – at a repertory cinema in Chicago when I was just a meeserable estudiante. It’s so bad it’s funny – not Ed Wood bad, but not far from it.

  2. kiwicricket - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    How come a brand new ‘state of the art’ stadium costs $500M in Miami, and $1Billion in N.Y?
    Has there been any decisions on the fish-tank behind home plate??

    • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM

      One million dollars, Mr. Bond.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:56 PM

      Unfortunately, the graft and labor function in Miami hasn;t been the same since Hyman Roth’s premature passing.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:06 PM

        Love the Godfather 2 reference!

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:14 PM

        Stick with me and Gator, son. You remind us of a young prospect from Kalamazoo.

      • kiwicricket - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:27 PM

        Nice.

      • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2011 at 1:24 AM

        Funny you should mention him. My father used to take me to Wolfie’s on Collins Avenue on Miami Beach for breakfast pretty frequently – most Saturdays, in fact (best damned corned beef hash ever made, from scratch, and they smoked their own kippers, and the miniature rolls and danish were free and…why am I thinking about this? I’m making myself ravenous). Wolfie’s was also the preferred breakfast of Hyman Roth’s real life inspiration Meyer Lanksy, his bitch on wheels of a wife Teddy and their foul little dog. Saw them many times. Lansky was a quiet guy but Teddy had a voice like an air raid siren and she used it to bark orders at the waitresses. One waitress told my dad they put up with it because…well…because it was him, and because he made it up to them with beeeeg teeeps.

        No one ever told him to leave the dog outside that I’m aware of.

  3. Elwood Larf - Jul 1, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    The Marlins always outperform expectations, they’ve won two series, they’ve built and rebuilt and built again, they have a core of good players, and yet they can’t get people to the games. I’m not sure a new stadium is going to help. I think the answer was contraction or relocation. Des Moines would probably draw more fans.

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2011 at 1:29 AM

      Traditions form slowly in the tropical sun. You should go to a University of Miami football game some time. If you can find a ticket, I mean. You need to do two things: win consistently over an extended period of time and respect the fans. Whether the Feesh “outperform expectations” or not, they don’t win consistently. Right after both world championships, the team’s owners at the time, first ole Pineapple Face and then Scrooge McLoria, demolished the teams right in our faces. No such thing as patience when it comes to building a fan base down here. Scrooge and the Chihuahua deepened the insult by scamming the county for the new stadium and then by insulting our collective intelligence with phrases like “market correction” and making the team payroll into a national joke. If Loria had just steadied the course and held onto his best players, we’d be well on our way to having a pretty solid fan base by now. But no-o-o-o-o, the little Bud Light Hatchetman in him took over and you see what a joke we have to live with this time around.

  4. Robert - Jul 1, 2011 at 4:17 AM

    Will they call it “Elian Gonzalez Field?”

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2011 at 10:12 AM

      About as likely as calling it Fidelandia or Chez Che. You haven’t been paying attention. Leetle Eelian has done growed up. He’s already the group leader of his local Young Pioneers chapter, frequently appearing in public with his little red scarf, militaristic uniform and a hot babe on each arm. I mean hot. He’s a national hero and he’s obviously getting laid like one these days. More power to him, say I. He’s clearly being groomed for beeger theengs. You mention his name over the chessboards in a Little Havana neighborhood park these days and you might get your shoes pissed on or, at least, the dregs of your chessmate’s colada dumped in your lap. His father has become something of a local party beegweeg too.

      Try and imagine if he had stayed in Macondo and been raised by Tio Borracho, Tio Félon, the Prozac Preencess and the rest of that cast of Noche de sábado viva characters? He’d be a sophomore at Macondo Junior College with a girlfriend who bears a striking resemblance to a bipedal five-banded armadillo, a packet of coke in his pocket and looking towards a brilliant career behind the checkout counter of a Seven-Eleven.

      • kingbuccaneer - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        As a life long Floridian, you sir are pure greatness behind the keyboard.

      • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2011 at 2:57 PM

        blush

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