Tonight Major League Baseball announced that the 2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game would be headed to the Miami Marlins home, Marlins Park. Upon the announcement, I found myself thinking back to a visit to the stadium and wondering how many fans will feel the stadium lives up to the event. Then, I considered that maybe as a Twins fan, I have been treated to something many have not yet experienced.
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As the mid-summer classic makes its stop at two more stadiums prior to Marlins Park, full cities and ballparks will be on display. Despite being somewhat aged, Great American Ballpark was a very impressive stadium in person, and while I haven’t had the privilege of visiting Petco Park, it seems to be in the same realm. The question is, what realm is that exactly?
For the Twins, it’s easy to not that over the course of the past four seasons, the biggest asset the Twins have had is their stadium. Target Field continues to be amongst the gold standard in baseball stadiums today, and the additions only continue to push that bill forward. Minnesota isn’t alone though right? Who holds the right to claim the same tier?
Looking at baseball as a whole, I’d argue the lone stadiums in the same discussion as Target Field are a limited group consisting of (in no order), PNC Park (Pirates), AT&T Park (Giants), and Miller Park (Brewers). Each of these four stadiums continue to operate a cut above the rest. They are architectural works of art in their own right, and truly capitalize on the betterment of the fan experience. While each of them has held relatively recent All Star Games, we may not see them back in the spotlight for quite some time.
Now, back to Miami. When looking at what a new ballpark should be and what the Marlins is, there is a lot left to be desired. Having moved out of Sun Life Stadium, Marlins Park is nowhere near a dump, but to outshine an event that highlights the summer, it also isn’t bright enough (figuratively of course, that color palette is horrendous). When fans embark upon the All Star Game in 2017, they will spend the time designated for events at the ballpark, but the spectacle lies beyond the left field wall, across the water, and in a place known as South Beach.
The Marlins needed a new home, but when Jeffrey Loria built his kingdom in Little Havana, he missed the mark.
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