Will: First impressions of Marlins Park
Spectacular views; work to be done
I just got back to the station after watching a few innings of the first ever baseball game at the new Marlins Park. Simply put, it's a spectacular place.
Belen Jesuit took on Columbus in a local high school game. Yes, it wasn't quite the Marlins and Phillies battling, but it was still great to see a game played at the ballpark.
PHOTOS: Will's pics from Marlins Park
The old saying, "there's not a bad seat in the house" applies to this place. It's bright, bold and very unique. The enormous home run structure in left-center field is certainly an eye-opener, but I really think people will eventually get used to it. Of course, we haven't seen it in motion yet, so I'll reserve total judgment until I see that.
Meantime, the aquarium behind home plate is beautiful, but it's also very small in the whole scope of the action. Any concerns that it could be distracting should be put to rest. Whether behind home plate or right from the field, it's not really something that will take away from the game.
The scoreboards are huge and give some great replays of the action. The seats are very close to the field, and even the view from our 6th level press box is excellent.
Yes, the place is very bright. We better get used to it. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria wanted a place that very much represented the colors and energy of South Florida. I'd say he got his wish. To me, the place is easy on the eyes. It truly is a gorgeous field.
Another thing I noticed was the acoustics. Monday's game only had about 6,000 fans in attendance, but it sounded very loud. I was told during the construction process that getting some good noise levels was important in the building of the park. If the noise of a few thousand fans is any indication, this park should be rocking when the house is packed.
Of course, not everything is perfect.
First of all, the centerfield back-drop for hitters is just too green. It's like an apple green color, and I can't imagine any batter will feel comfortable with that background. My understanding is that the green will be painted over to black soon. Let's hope that's true.
Also, while the Marlins say the ballpark is over 90% complete, the place still has a lot of work to be done. Too many areas around the ballpark look like construction zones, which they are, and too much dust is visible on railings and stairs.
This isn't to knock the Marlins. The park doesn't officially open until April 4th, so they have a whole month to clean up the place. That said, I'm not sure the park can really be complete by the opener.
I noticed a lot of areas where the finishes were not glued on properly yet or still exposed. The outside of the ballpark is filled with barricades. It was clear, this state-of-the-art facility is still a work in progress.
Finally, I had a few fans complain to me that the handicap accessible entrances weren't' all opened or ready to go. The Marlins assured me those areas will all be complete come opening day.
Again, my overall impression is that this will be a ballpark like no other around baseball. Knock the organization all you want for using tax payer money to build the ballpark, but the bottom line is; they built an amazing place.
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