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I woke up last Wednesday in Miami refreshed and ready to enjoy the city and that night’s game. Red Sox were in town and this would be my first time seeing them play live (beyond pumped). Gautham lives in the middle of the mainland downtown and there were no trips to South Beach this time- didn’t want to risk bumping into LeBron. We spent most of the day on his apartment’s rooftop in the pool that has a view of the ocean. What a life he lives! Not sure on the parking situation near Marlins Park (read it was prepay only), we opted to ride the Metrorail to the Civic Center stop and then hopped on the complimentary trolley the mile to the stadium. While we were on the trolley I saw that many residents in the area (the park is in the middle of a neighborhood) were selling parking for as little as $6.

Once we were dropped off, we walked around the monstrosity that is Marlins Park- the place is huge! Again I should preface I’m not into domes for baseball stadiums, but I realize they’re a necessity in some of the southern and western cities. The outside doesn’t look like a ballpark, but it’s a beautiful mixture of glass and steel and I got my wish, the roof was open tonight! On either side of the stadium are parking garages that I believe are prepay only, check the Marlins’ page for exact info if you’re driving. Around the park are palm trees galore and salsa music blares out from a group performing in the main atrium giving fans a beach party vibe. Ticket windows are around the park and the Marlins cater to their Latino following with almost everything written in Spanish as well as English. In the back are the old letters from the Orange Bowl sprawled about in the garden to look like they just fell off the building when it was demolished. I had some fun OH and IO-ing with them (the proud tOSU grad came out)!

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We bought the cheapest available seats in the 300 level for $20 each. O the joys of price inflation for first-year parks! We entered into the park and rode the escalator up to the main concourse. I made a beeline down to the field hoping to catch the end of the Sox batting practice but was too late. I did get to look around the lower levels and get pretty close to those awesome fish tank backdrops to home plate. Looking around the park I, all I can say is this is the brightest ballpark in America. The outfield wall is bright green, it connects to yellow and red walls that connect to a blue and then the seats are bright blue. Don’t get me started on that outfield fixture, that thing was crazy looking! Have to hand it to the team’s owner, this place is soo Miami. Felt like I was in a club, not a ball game, but the team and fans like it so they did the city right in the design.

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I headed back up since Gautham hadn’t come down with me. He told me he had been stopped, so apparently, you’re not supposed to go down to the field unless you have a 100 level ticket, or we were just there too late. My bad, I try to follow the rules of the park, but in my defense, no ushers told me I couldn’t walk down. We then walked around the main concourse and found the Bobblehead Museum. It’s more of a display, but whatever you want to call it, it is baller! They have it up on a shaking device so all the heads are going. Every team is represented and there is a row of mascots and other randoms on the back bottom shelf.

Gautham had to pretty much drag me away from the display so we’d catch first pitch from the standing room. As we walked to the area behind home plate we passed by columns with the Marlins’ starting lineup and a ton of concession stands. The view from the standing room behind home plate is awesome! We watched some of the game from here before continuing on our loop to the outfield.

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Both right and center field have bars for fans to mingle and watch the game. Right field’s bar is covered whereas the center field bar is wide open and if the windows are open, there is an amazing view of the Miami skyline. I did see a concession stand in the outfield with kids menus and reduced pricing before parking myself in left field to watch more of the game. I ended up standing next to the grossest, foulest mouthed Boston fan in the park (all my stereotypes confirmed- just kidding I know some great BoSox fans). He annoyed me to the point I told Gautham let’s keep moving and we headed up to see the view from our seats.

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On our way up to the 400 level, we passed the Taste of Miami, a little backroom of sorts with concessions serving up the local flavor in left field. It was packed, but the food looked really good! We rode the escalator up passing by the 200 level suites to our seats in 311. Standing room at this level is limited and there are a bunch of obstructed views of the field, so just head to an empty seat (preferably your own) and you’ll be better off. We were just off to the right of home plate and had a great view of the field, scoreboard, and the city since the windows were open. These seats and really all the upper levels are really stacked up on each other allowing fans to be closer to the game action. We had a decent view of The Clevelander, the popular bar next to the Marlins bullpen. You need special tickets to spend the game in there, though it does open up to all fans following the game.

Before the seventh inning stretch, we went back to the standing room section behind home plate and caught home runs by David Ortiz and Jose Reyes, coincidentally my favorite players from each team. Both showing off for me! After the 7th inning stretch, we headed out early to get dinner and yogurt from the Mary Brickell Village, a hot spot for Miami mainlanders.

For this trip, I spent $20 on my ticket, $7 on public transportation, $22 on parking at Gautham’s apartment, and $30 on food ($79 in all). Marlins Park was a lot of fun and everything about the stadium screams Miami/South Beach- the bright colors, salsa and club music, and the sexy dance team that replaced the Miami Manatees. Fans get way more than a baseball game at this park; they’re treated to the SoBe experience!

For more pictures of my visit to Marlins Park and my other ballparks of baseball trips, check out my Flickr account. For a guide to help you plan your trip, click here!

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