Game #9....Loandepot Field and the Miami Marlins
Loandepot Park....home of the Miami Marlins. Stadium #9 on our tour of all 30 MLB Stadiums. This is a retractable roof stadium situated in Miami Florida. It sits on the site of the former Miami Orange Bowl. Construction began in 2009 and was completed in March 2012 for the start of the 2012 MLB season at a cost of $634 million. The seating capacity for this stadium has it at the 3rd smallest in MLB at 37,442.
They had an all grass field from the beginning in 2012 but with the roof being closed most of the time and the field only averaging about 4 hours of sunlight per day, the grass started browning in certain areas. The pick of grass was supposed to hold up to being in mostly shaded areas but it did not. They used grow lights on the field when the team was away but it still didn't help. In 2014, the grass was removed and replaced with another that was better able to tolerate shaded areas. The grass field was finally replace in 2020 with an artificial turf and that was being used by the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers.
The field is know as a pitchers park as it has had the second fewest home runs since 2012. In 2016 they moved in the centerfield wall by 11 feet and the walls around the outfield were lowered from 13 feet to 6 feet. Still being a pitchers park and producing the 3rd lowest amount of home runs in MLB, in 2020 the centerfield wall was moved in another 7 feet to 400 feet and the right centerfield wall was moved in 5 feet.
Some notable events from Loandepot Park....
*Sept 2013 - Henderson Alvarez pitched the first no-hitter which the game was won on a walk-off wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth. Marlins won 1-0
*April 6, 2015 - Had their first rain delay as a storm came through with the roof open. Took 16 minutes to get the roof closed.
*June 20, 2016 - most home runs hit in a single game at the park (8). This is also a MLB record as all 8 home runs were solo home runs with the Colorado Rockies beating the Marlins 5-3.
*July 2017 - Hosted the 2017 MLB All-Star game and Home Run Derby.
We finally made it to this game 3 days after our originally schedule day. Had some mechanical issues with our bus. We were able to contact the Miami Marlins and they were able to change our tickets to a game 3 days later. Once we had our mechanical issues fixed we continued our trip from Tampa to Miami. We stopped at a small campground in the Florida Everglades called Midway Campground. Nice little place with a small pond in the middle and the campsites on the outside. They did have a sign that said not to walk your pets near the pond as it may attract alligators. We walked Tinsel well away from the pond. We didn't see any alligators in the pond but did see a few as we drove through the Florida Everglades.
Parking was easy at the ballpark. They have a bus parking lot right next to the stadium. We paid our $50 for parking and just took a short walk to the stadium. It was fairly easy getting into the park. The main concourse for the stadium is elevated, so once you enter the park you have to take an escalator up to the main concourse. Once on the main concourse you can walk around the entire stadium and still see everything. There was plenty of food options through out the park. They also had convenience stores that just sold chips, candy, bottle drinks, and some apparel.
This is a view from the left-centerfield bar that they have there and it has a standing room only area. Also in the area they have a bobble head museum. There is every bobble head that has been given out at every MLB stadium for every team.
Overall I would give this stadium a B. Nothing too fancy or splashy. Just your basic park. The bullpens were hidden, so you could not see if someone was warming up. There was nothing that made the stadium stand out. Being a dome in the hot Florida weather does help but there just wasn't anything that would make this stadium stand out.