Ballpark Digest is previewing what every MLB team is doing to begin the season, both on and off the field, as the 2019 campaign is around the corner. Up next: the Miami Marlins and Marlins Park.
While there might be low expectations for the Marlins on the field as they come off of a National League-worse 63-98 finish in 2018, some revamped areas of Marlins Park could provide for a refreshed fan experience this season. Over the offseason, the Marlins have been at work completing what are not only the first big changes to the facility’s fan amenities under the Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter-led ownership regime, but perhaps the biggest alterations to the ballpark since its 2012 opening.
After an unsuccessful push to do so prior to the 2018 season, the Marlins were able to remove the ballpark’s colorful home run sculpture during the offseason. In its place will be a new three-level social space concept in center field known as AutoNation Alley (rendering above), which will include a lower level that serves as a group hospitality space. (The home run sculpture, by the way, will eventually be installed outside Marlins Park, but that will not take place for this coming season.)
The new tiered area is part of a larger plan for the Marlins to add social spaces to Marlins Park. Also new for this coming season is the SRO (Standing Room Only) Social Section, an area located in foul territory down the right field line that was estimated during the offseason to have a total spectator capacity of more than 200. Also down the right field line is an area dubbed Comunidad 305, where fans will be encouraged to bring flags, instruments, and more.
Changes were also made to a premium area at Marlins Park, with the former Diamond Club being refreshed into The Club: Dex Imaging. Over the offseason, the lounge space was redesigned into what the Marlins bill as a “contemporary club atmosphere” that includes numerous food and drink options.
The Club: DEX Imaging is complete, and all that’s missing is you!
— Marlins Park (@MarlinsPark) March 6, 2019
The changes to Marlins Park for the 2019 season are not limited to social spaces and premium areas. In addition, the Marlins and hospitality partner Levy refined the ballpark’s concession offerings, placing an emphasis on local fare and other new concepts.
Marlins Park is adding several new food partners this season, including Miami’s Best Pizza, PINCHO, Novecento, SuViche, and two concepts by Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup – Butterfly Tacos y Tortas and La Pepa. That will add some local fare to the ballpark, while giving the Marlins a few new food options.
The Marlins are also joining other major professional sports teams in the growing trend of offering some form of discounted concession pricing, as they will debut the 3o5 Menu this season. On this menu, items such as hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, pretzels, bottled water (16.9 fl oz), and soda (16 fl oz) will cost $3, with 12-ounce domestic draft beers and mojo pork tacos priced at $5. The menu will be available at sections 13 and 37 concessions.
A new grab-and-go style market will also debut at Marlins Park in 2019, with El Mercadito presented by Pepsi joining the concessions lineup. Drinks and snacks will be available in this area along with some healthy options, including wraps, salads, fruits, and gluten-free items.
Rendering courtesy Miami Marlins.