Step aside, Sun Life Stadium, for the latest king this side of downtown Miami. While the renowned Sun Life Stadium is still hosted by the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and is home field for the Miami Hurricanes college football team, that is what’s precisely the challenge for the Florida Marlins, Major League Baseball’s Miami-based franchise. How do you solve that problem? Spend more than $500 million on a new stadium which caters specifically to a baseball team and its fans.

Marlins Ballpark Opens in March 2012

The new baseball facility, under the title of “Marlins Ballpark”, has been undergoing construction since the summer of 2009, is slated for completion in March 2012 and plans to open its gates for professional baseball games in April. The new stadium’s site rests approximately two miles west of Downtown Miami, which can be clearly viewed from within the park. Marlins Ballpark is expected to offer south Florida baseball goers, or lack thereof, a completely different experience to cleanse much of their distaste leftover from the old Sun Life Stadium, where the Marlins have played since their founding season in 1993.

Football Versus Baseball

Baseball fans in Miami recognized, most popularly in the Marlins’ two World Series appearances in 1997 and 2003, that Sun Life Stadium fit a better purpose with football, in which it was originally designed for anyway. When Dolphins founder Joe Robbie renovated the stadium for baseball games, many left and center field sections were added and fans at ballgames complained that they could barely see or were distant from the action. Many of these upper deck seats aren’t sold during the Marlins’ seasons. In case you haven’t seen what’s to be Marlins Ballpark, it’s quite a turnaround. Its exterior is an even more futuristic offering of the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, which was built and opened just two years ago.

Features From The Best in the Business

The park’s features are likely to be the most attractive aspect for visitors and fans, as it acts as a hybrid super-stadium, borrowing features and interior design from other MLB parks. Similar to Minute Maid Park in Houston, the new stadium has an enormous retractable roof made of 8,300 tons of steel, featuring a sliding glass wall in left field that can open up to a beautiful view of the Miami skyline. Left field also has a swimming pool, as does Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and right field has a porch like Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The new park is already making history, as the plaza set to surround it meets the length of four football fields, and is considered to be the largest of any sports stadiums’ in U.S. history, according to Marlins President David Samson. The total cost of this masterpiece rings up at $515 million, with the most contributions coming from Miami-Dade County, who own the stadium. As an agreement with the city, the Marlins changed their affiliation from Florida to Miami, hence they are now known as the Miami Marlins.

Bringing Back Professional Sports For Miami

It will be exciting to see if this new south Florida facility can restore fans and interest back in the area’s baseball team, especially since their attendance took a hit after the 1994 MLB strike in particular. Without a doubt, this new haven has what it takes to impress any sports fan around.

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