Will: Fans need patience at Marlins Park

Parking questions and long lines a problem

By Will Manso - Sports Director
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I hear the complaints coming from Marlins fans about a number of issues at the new Marlins Park.  Yes, I understand your frustrations, but everyone must understand, the new ballpark will have some growing pains.

I'm not making excuses for the Marlins.  Trust me, that's not my job.  But, anyone who thinks you're going to open a brand new place in a congested area like Little Havana and not have any issues is kidding themselves.

This will be a major work in progress for everyone involved, and I don't just mean the fans.

I've been to a couple of games at the ballpark already, and workers in and around the park are still trying to figure out where to go and what to do.

All of this is leading to long lines at the concession stands, big issues with parking and questions about where to enter and exit.  Those are just some of the issues.

I can't say I'm surprised. 

While the Orange Bowl stood on this property for decades, that facility was an outdated, old fashioned complex.   The new Marlins Park has parking garages, trolley systems, expansive concourses, luxury boxes and even a bar with pool area.  This is a state-of-the-art place with state-of-the-art issues.

It's going to take some serious patience from everyone, but I really think, in time, things will settle down.  Just like anything that's new, it takes time to get used to everything Marlins Park has to offer.

I remember the days of going to a game at the Orange Bowl.  You had double the amount of people attending a Marlins game trying to figure out where to park in the same area.  I parked in plenty of backyards in Little Havana throughout the years and would pay extra for "no block-in."  I hated it at first, but I eventually got the hang of it.  I knew when I attended a Hurricanes game to give myself some extra time and get ready to walk a few blocks.

Soon enough, people will get the hang of the parking, the best places to get something to eat and the best ways to get in and out of Marlins Park.

For now, you can always visit a special website the Marlins have set up for parking issues.

If you still don't think it's worth a trip, then maybe this ballpark isn't for you.  While things will get better, all of these problems will be issues on weekday games where 25,000-plus fans attend.  This isn't a place like Sun Life stadium or the Bank Atlantic Center where it's built around an open area and major highway.  This is a highly populated and congested area with not much space.

You either have to give yourself time and be patient or maybe just watch the game at home.

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