4/8/2018, From the management: We have moved the Bullpen over to a new temporary server and a new permanent type of setup. It's a bit much to explain here, but I think it's working. Please let me know on User_talk:Admin if you see any issues. Thank you as always for your support.
- First Hit (single): Carlos Beltran
- First Double: Lance Berkman
- First Triple: Anibal Sanchez
- First HR: J.D. Martinez
- First Run: Carlos Beltran
- First RBI: David Freese
- Highest Attendance: 37,446 on March 11, 2017 (2017 World Baseball Classic)
- Left field: 344 feet
- Left-center field: 386 feet
- Center field: 422 feet
- Right-center field: 392 feet
- Right field: 335 feet
Marlins Park is the ballpark used by the Miami Marlins beginning in 2012. Located in downtown Miami, FL's "Little Havana" neighborhood, on the site once occupied by the Orange Bowl, it replaced Dolphin Stadium, used by the team since its creation in the expansion of 1993. Because the city of Miami invested a significant amount of public funds in the baseball-only stadium, it insisted that the then Florida Marlins change their name to reflect that of the city. It was thus with a new name and logo that the Marlins began play in their new facility.
The first major league game played at Marlins Park was an exhibition game between the Marlins and the New York Yankees on April 1st. Tickets went on sale on February 18th and sold out within 4 hours. There were also a pair of spring training games played between the Marlins and local college teams put on to test the park's new facilities with limited crowds on hand; the first of these was against the University of Miami on March 6th. The first regular season game was the April 4th Opening Day game against the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, also serving as the National League's official season opener. The Cardinals won that game, 4-1.
Marlins Park cost $634 million to build, three-quarters of which came from public funds. The funding mechanism was in fact so complex that the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation into the issuing of the bonds that were sold to investors, looking for evidence of misleading information that could amount to securities fraud. The ballpark is equipped with a retractable roof, an important feature given how much rain delays were a plague at the Marlins' previous home. There are also window panels that can be opened or closed to allow fresh breezes to come in from the outside. Contrary to most parks built in the previous two decades, it makes no attempt at capturing a retro look. Reflective of team owner Jeffrey Loria's background as an art dealer, the park features a number of works of art, including reproductions of paintings by Joan Miro and Roy Lichtenstein done as huge mosaics. There is also a bobblehead museum in one of the concourses. The ballpark also features a pair of large aquariums behind the backstop, but its most visible feature is a huge, garish sculpture in centerfield that Miami Herald columnist Linda Robertson described as follows:
It is so tacky, therefore so Miami. Red Grooms designed it, complete with pink flamingos, a seagull, a sun, ocean waves, and two mechanized marlins that will jump and swim when a Marlins homer is hit.
The sculpture got some additional publicity early in the 2017 season when a stray cat was seen in the area, and eventually elected to take a nap in the sculpture while a game was going on. The Marlins announced that to ensure the cat would not be hurt, the mechanism would not be used were one of their players to hit a homer in the game. In 2018, after the purchase of the Marlins by Bruce Sherman and the installation of Derek Jeter as team president, stories began to circulate that the Marlins wanted to get rid of the statue (which officially belongs to the city of Miami) because the top two executives reportedly hate it. This was seen as symbolic of the pair in trying to get rid of anything distinctive associated with the team, starting with the star players that had been traded away in a fire sale earlier that off-season.
The attempt to find a modern look for the stadium was no accident. As team President David Samson explained:
"We used Miami as an excuse to do things that other cities couldn't get away with. We did that with our uniforms, our logo, with the design of the ballpark … Everywhere you look, it's things that if they were anywhere else, people would say, 'You can't do that.' In Miami, people say, 'Oh, that's Miami.' You have to take advantage where you are."
This bold direction, combined with the new team name and uniform design, was part of an attempt to build a completely different identity for a franchise which had never conquered the hearts of fans in south Florida in spite of its two World Series titles as the "Florida Marlins". However after the Marlins were unsuccessful in fielding a truly competitive team after spending freely before the 2012 season, ownership conducted a fire sale before the 2013 season started, creating a lot of bitterness among the fan and depressing attendance. As mentioned above, another fire sale followed the sale of the team at the end of the 2017 season, further angering the fan base.
First indications were that the ballpark could be a home run haven with the roof open, but more neutral with it closed, which should be the most frequent condition during the summer given south Florida's frequent rainstorms. However, it turned out that homers were hard to come by in all conditions as batted balls traveled poorly, slowed down by Miami's humid and heavy air (given the city's low elevation and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean). The outfield is asymmetrical, with the right foul pole being 9 feet closer to home plate than the left one, but the right field power alley is 6 feet deeper than its counterpart. The fence follows a regular curve in right field, but curls toward home plate left of center field before assuming a regular arc.
In February 2015, Commissioner Rob Manfred awarded the 2017 All-Star Game to Marlins Park; it was the first time the game was to be hosted by the Marlins. They originally were supposed to host the 2000 All-Star Game at what was then called Pro Player Stadium, but the National League, angered over the Marlins' fire sale following its 1997 World Series win, took the game away from the team and awarded it to the Atlanta Braves. The ballpark also hosted first-round games of the 2017 World Baseball Classic; the March 11th game between the Dominican Republic national team and Team USA set an attendance record at the ballpark, with 37,446 paying customers.
The ballpark features two large fish tanks behind home plate, where most ballparks have a brick or other type of wall. Colorful tropical fish swim in the tanks, in full view of the crowd. On June 2, 2017, the Marlins' J.T. Realmuto hit a foul ball off the supposedly shatter-proof glass that caused a crack, and soon water was leaking out of the tank. The leak was quickly fixed and the fish were unhurt in what was the first incident involving this feature.
- Mike Dodd: "Marlins see future in modern, artistic park", USA Today, April 3, 2012.