May 17, 2010

centerfieldmaz on the road: Sun Life Stadium- South Florida (Mets vs. Marlins)

Just got back from a great trip to Ft. Lauderdale Florida. The Mets just happen to be in South Florida, so I attended the first game of the Marlins vs. Mets series on Thursday night. I don't expect much from this team, so the running joke was how are they gonna lose tonight? Well they sure surprised us with the wild pitch walk off!!

I run a historical Mets blog & usually dont comment on the current team. I leave that to the Mets Police & all the other blogs. All I am going to say, is that I predicted a 85 loss season this year and am sticking by it. Don't expect to win until the core of this team is ALL gone. We are getting there. I hope Jose Reyes & David Wright are taking a good look at Ike Davis when they strike out, so they can see the new face of the franchise.


Here is a brief run down of the Marlins home: Sun Life Stadium. It was my second time there and I noticed a bit of a face lift since 2004. The outside has some colorful ramps as you drive up to the stadium. Remember, this is a football stadium first, and football is everything. The Marlins just happen to play where the NFL Dolphins & The University of Miami Hurricanes play, in the summer time.
The upper deck isn't even open & many sections on the lower level past the infield are also gated shut. The only food & drink concessions open are around home plate area. You can walk all around the stadiumon the lower concourse, where you will find different billboards honoring the history of sports in the Miami area.

As for food, there was just the usual fare. A bar with tropical drinks and an open eating area with picnic tables, were also located behind the home plate concession area. The best food I could find was a Boars Head cold cuts stand, which specializes in an Italian sandwich (salami, ham & provolone). I thought there would be more South Florida Cuban style food, like a Cuban Sandwich or Cuban steak but I couldn't find any. I got the waitress service at our "Founders Club" seats & settled for the loaded nachos & Italian hero.


As you enter the field of of play, you are
blinded by bright orange seats, most of which are empty. I splurged on $97 "Founders Club" tickets (after all I was on vacation) and had third row seats, behind home plate on the side of the Mets dug out.
There is one other closer section at field level right along side the dugouts. I was good where I was. Our seats were great with a perfect view of the field behind the batter.
The stadium is equipped with three video scoreboards high above the satdium next to the light towers. Thats where all the stats & pictures are posted. I didn't see any replays shown but you could tell during football games, this is very high tech.


The centerfield seats has a tarp covering some of the seats, serving as a backdrop for the hitters. This effect also helps out, by seeing less empty seats. They do sell tickets to bleacher seats in left & right field at cheap prices. The high left field wall, which used to be called "the Tiel Monster" is now painted mostly black with ads posted all over it. Along the left field foul pole there are two banners comemerating the Marlins two World Championships.
Along the outfield upper deck are all the Miami Dolphins retired numbers from Bob Griese to Larry Csonka to Dan Marino. As mentioned earlier, there are other billboards honoring the Dolphin history throughout the lower level walkways. Also honored are the Hurricanes, the Orange Bowl & various Super Bowls played in the Miami area.


There is an area down the rightfield line that has two hot tubs and picnic tables, opened on the weekends only. As for entertainmant in between innings, the Marlins are among the best in baseball. Thats right, the best! They are the only MLB team with cheerleaders; The Mermaids. They come out and do dance numbers about three times per game. That's something I think that we could have seen more of. There's also Billy, the Marlin mascot & a junior version of him that appeared waving a victory flag at the end of the game.

The sparse crowd are fun & livley. There was probably 50/50 Met fans & Marlin fans which led to some loud dueling cheering back & forth. It was all in fun & not as rowdy as the New York games get by any means. The home town crowd sure got the best of us that night. Thanks again team!

All in all it was a great night out & great trip. The beach was perfect as was the weather. It was not even to hot or humid yet. Fort Lauderdale is one of my favorite places, and I want to give mention to Pompano Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton & Coral Springs, all of which we spent time in.

johan santana pitches to hanley ramirez in the 1st inning
david wright at bat after the florida sun sets

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a Marlins fan, this article was surprisingly not obnoxious! Thank you!
I'm wondering what day you went? As the stadium has the Romero Britto artwork outside (the "colorful" patterns you saw) you must have gone recently. The stadium is usually more full on saturdays, as they offer post-game concerts. Not that really that full, but it's better. Maybe in a year, when they're not an hour away people will attend more games *here's to hoping*!