The Miami Marlins opened their new stadium with an exhibition game this week, and several things immediately became apparent:
- Building a 37,000-seat stadium with only 5,700 on-site parking spaces “really stinks,” in the words of one fan. Many attendees as the exhibition game spent more than an hour looking for parking — though given that the Orange Bowl was previously on the same site without parking catastrophies, it’s possible that it’s just going to take a few weeks for people to work out the best lawns to rent space on.
- The inside looks a bit sterile (aside from the Red Grooms home run sculpture, which looks seriously out of place amid its bland concrete surroundings), and is dominated by support pillars for the retractable roof system.
- Watching the roof close is as thrilling as watching a really, really broad expanse of paint dry.
And meh reviews of the stadium weren’t even the worst part of the Marlins’ week: That would be when team president David Samson was reported to have called Miamians stupid (though further review of the video indicates that he may have just been saying they’re stupider than local business leaders), called the legislators who gave his team nearly $500 million toward a stadium stupid (this one appears to be true), implied that his new start shortstop Jose Reyes is a money-grubbing mercenary, and admitted that visiting cities like San Antonio was just a ploy to get Miami to cough up stadium money.
None of which should really be all that surprising, given Samson’s track record for outrageous statements. Still, at a time when you’re trying to convince people to buy tickets for the first time in a generation, headlines like this one sure aren’t going to help.