Throughout this Major League Baseball offseason, the Derek Jeter-led Marlins have shown they are not afraid of change. From moving the famous “Homer” sculpture from behind to the center field wall to redesigning the team’s logo, the new ownership group is distinguishing themselves from the previous ownership of Jeffrey Loria.
Last Friday, Chip Bowers, the Marlins President of Business Operations, published a blog post updating the status of all aspects of the ballpark renovations.
Fans of every investment level will experience a different Marlins Park in 2019, including the high rollers.
“The Club presented by DEX Imaging, the premium space at Marlins Park, is receiving a transformation into a first-class lounge experience that speaks to those seeking a uniquely refined Miami vibe,” Bowers said. “With a re-imagined food and beverage experience, The Club presented by DEX Imaging will feature an elevated casual concept with music playing (including occasional guest appearances by local DJ’s to set the stage) and a variety of food and drink options, which extend to and enhance the in-seat experience.”
On the other end of the spectrum, new outfield sections come with very low entry prices for those who aren’t prioritizing luxury.
We are two months removed from the Marlins announcing the additions of their SRO Social Section in right field near the foul pole and the Center Field Zone, which is being erected where “Homer” once stood. Although both areas feature standing room only space, Bowers describes the lower level of the Center Field Zone as “an exclusive group hospitality space.”
As of Friday, the framework has been installed, but it still needs to be painted and furnished.
Meanwhile, Marlins Park is also converting its outfield walls from lime green to a softer blue color. That particular change has been met with generally positive reviews from fans.
“One of our priorities for this offseason was enhancing the group and social spaces at the ballpark,” Bowers said. “We have been able to accomplish that goal with the addition of the aforementioned concepts as well as the expansion of the viewing platform at the Budweiser Bow Tie Bar. In addition, we wanted to utilize these spaces to create a sense of community and encourage social engagement among fans.”
“The framework for the Center Field Zone has been installed, and next comes the details that will set it apart.”— Marlins Park (@MarlinsPark) January 11, 2019
Full update from Marlins’ President of Business Operations, @chipbowers: https://t.co/hp3ti2PLJK pic.twitter.com/yf60kpXUTB
Regardless of team performance, the Marlins are aiming for significant improvements in fan turnout. Last season saw them finish with home attendance of only 811,104, by far the lowest total in the league.
The Marlins will open the 2019 season on Thursday, March 28 vs. the Colorado Rockies at 4:10 p.m. The homestand will run until April 3, when they finish a three-game series with the New York Mets. All ballpark upgrades should be ready by then.
However, as Fish Stripes reported on Monday, the annual Marlins FanFest is coming on February 9. That would be the first opportunity to see these renovations in person.