Miami has had a Major League Baseball team since 1993, but it can be argued Miami wasn't a Major League Baseball city until 2012, when Marlins Park opened in Little Havana. The two-time World Series Champion Marlins (1997, 2003) played their first 19 seasons in Sun Life Stadium, which was designed for football, but they now have a state-of-the-art ballpark to call their own: Marlins Park. Along with the brand new stadium, the Marlins also changed their name, uniforms and colors. The Florida Marlins became the Miami Marlins and the logo and colors were changed to reflect their new beginning.
A Miami Stadium
Sitting on the 17-acre plot of land where the historic Orange Bowl once stood, Marlins Park is as modern and high-tech as any stadium in the world and perhaps one of the best looking. It has a retractable roof, making rain delays, once commonplace in the rainy summer season, a thing of the past. It is the first ballpark in Major League Baseball to be designed in a contemporary style, bucking the trend in stadium design of the past few decades to design a stadium with a "retro" feel. Marlin's Park features futuristic white curves and a glass facade.
In many ways, the ballpark was built to reflect Miami: modern, bright, colorful and looking toward the future. Every detail in the stadium aims to represent the city, from green and blue concrete pavers, meant to symbolize grass and ocean, to actual sand in landscaping, echoing the beach. Marlins Park succeeds in resonating the unique feel and culture of Miami. The ballpark is also environmentally friendly: it is the first retractable-roof stadium in the world to achieve LEED Gold Certification. The roof opens along with six giant glass panels beyond left field, allowing a natural breeze and uninterrupted views of Downtown Miami's skyline - from your seat at the stadium you'll see a sweeping view of the city skyline. The lower seating level of the park, where roughly 75% of the seats are, boasts a completely open and unobstructed view of the baseball diamond from the concession stands. Just imagine, while you grab a hot dog and soda you can still see the baseball diamond, you don't have to miss a second. The open design allows fans to keep up with the game while touring the park; there are multiple stand-up counters facing the field to eat a snack while watching the game.
More Than Peanuts And Crackerjacks
The design of Marlins Park is definitely unique and impressive, but the ballpark's food selection is where it really separates itself from other professional stadiums. The Taste of Miami section features Miami staples, Papo Llega y Pon, Don Camaron, and Latin American Grill; serving local Latin favorites such as ceviche, pan con minuta (fish sandwich) and pan con lechon (roast pork sandwich). Another local favorite, Sir Pizza, has several concession stands around the park, as well as specialty concessions such as Goya Rincon Habana and Kosher Korner. Maybe the most unique aspect of Marlins Ballpark's food options is the rotating menu at Burger 305 in section 19. For each home series, the concession stand will offer a menu item representative of the visiting team, such as Chicago style hot dogs for the Cubs, corned beef reubens for the New York Mets and St. Louis style ribs when the Cardinals come to town.
The Marlins have always been somewhat of an underdog, but in 1997 they shocked the baseball world when they suddenly put together a championship contender by signing proven veterans around their young core and won the 1997 World Series in their first ever playoff appearance. That team was disbanded a year later, but the Marlins quickly turned it around and by 2003, came out of nowhere to win their second World Series title over the New York Yankees. The 2003 team is a fan favorite, with hometown hero Mike Lowell, Mr. Marlin, Jeff Conine, veteran Pudge Rodriguez, rising star Josh Beckett and eventual Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera leading the way.
From Florida to Miami
In 2012, the Marlins finally moved into their own stadium in Little Havana, Marlins Park. The stadium isn't the only thing that changed, though. The Florida Marlins became the Miami Marlins, and the old teal and black logo was changed to a modern "M" with an abstract marlin jumping over it. The colors were changed from teal and black to blue, orange, yellow and black.
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