After a great nights sleep at the TRYP in Ft. Lauderdale the night before, we were ready for game day. We had some time to kill before the nights game so we decided to cruise South Beach. It’s interesting to actually see these places that you hear about. The energy of the area was fun and we really enjoyed the Art Deco architecture. Traffic was moving very slow, and that suited us just fine.
We eventually decided to start heading towards the stadium, taking our sweet time, and ultimately getting a little lost. We were getting pretty hungry, and not finding anything. We ended up visiting a random Wendy’s that had the absolute least friendly service I have ever experience. I waited for a while for someone to come to the register and the girl finally did, she didn’t say a word and just stared at me with a scowl on her face until I just decided to start ordering. Given our reception, we decided to eat in our car in the parking lot.
It was fortuitous that we went to that Wendy’s as it was conveniently next to an Auto Zone auto parts store. Our Honda Fit (265,000 miles) has been leaking oil for a while and needed a top off (like really needed it). We finish our food and headed to the stadium.
The Miami Marlins play in a relatively new stadium and they have parking garages adjacent to the park. The cost is $25, but we wanted to find something a bit cheaper. I don’t know if it is a good neighborhood, or not, where the stadium is, but I know there were elements of it that weren’t completely comforting.
We found some $10 parking fairly close to the stadium, but left when we realized we would be parking on someone’s lawn. We were assured that it was very safe, and it may have been, but we had all of our luggage in the car. After we left that spot, we actually found street parking right next to the stadium that cost us less than $6 (East side of stadium NW 4th St).
Once in the stadium we realized that it was Puerto Rican Heritage night, which brought a fun energy to the game; at one point a band marched around the concourse. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough of a reason to draw on this Saturday night in Miami, and neither was the fact that the Nationals were in town and Max Scherzer was pitching; the crowd was around 9,000 fans.
There were some cool spots to the stadium as we really enjoyed their bobble head collection. They also had a playground for small kids and a virtual reality batting cage for bigger ones.
The food all looked very good, with several Latin-inspired spots. We were told to get the Pincho Burger, and we were very happy we listened ($12). I tried the Biscayne Bay Porter ($14 tall) and enjoyed that very much. We also really appreciated the $3 to $5 menu they had for all the basics (hot dog, soda, beer, etc).
I was very excited to see Max Scherzer pitch and to see former Twin Brian Dozier play. Ultimately, however, we try to root for the home team, and we were glad we did as the Marlins took it to the Nationals this night.
I remember thinking that the stadium needed something more. I looked around at a fairly clean design, that was nice, but seemed to be missing something. On my trip to find beer, I found what I had been looking for. It was behind us in our seats in left field ($12 a piece). The architect left the space behind the left field bleachers open and it revealed the perfect shot of the Miami skyline as the setting sun hit it. There was a wonderful view of it from the first base line looking towards left. It was stunningly beautiful.
I know when Derek Jeter’s ownership group took over they put a plan together to revamp the team. That plan involved trading away legit stars (Ozuna, Stanton, Yelich) in the hopes of getting prospects for a more formidable future. I hope being in the waiting period of that plan is what was keeping people away because on a beautiful Saturday night, I would have hoped for a bigger turnout (especially with the Nationals in town). We saw good baseball in a new stadium, with great food and beer and that sounds like a great Saturday to us!