Located just outside of downtown Miami, Florida, Marlins Park is the home to Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins franchise. It sits on the ground where the former Miami Orange Bowl used to in Little Havana, 2 miles west of downtown Miami. Construction on the ballpark was completed in March of 2012 in time for the 2012 MLB season.
The stadium has a very modern architecture design, and in 2012 it was LEED certified as the most green energy baseball park in the league. It’s also the sixth MLB stadium with a retractable roof to cover the stadium during inclimate weather. It’s the third smallest stadium in all of Major League Baseball by official capacity, with 37,442.
The funding for the stadium came under much scrutiny which eventually led to a lawsuit and the ousting of several local politicians, which consequently started an investigation by the SEC. The investigation revealed a number of questionable practices by the team’s finances and their payroll, which contradicted the premises of which the tax-funded stadium was based.
Marlins Park hosted one of the second-round 2013 World Baseball Classic events, also a first-round for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, as well as the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The venue also hosts some soccer matches and fundraising events. It was also home to the Miami Beach Bowl from 2014 to 2016.
Before the construction of Marlins Park in Little Havana the team played their home games in Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami Gardens. That stadium went by a few other names during their time there and it was built in 1987 originally for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football league. The Miami Dolphins’ founder, Joe Robbie always thought that an MLB team would eventually come to Miami, so he wanted the stadium designed to accommodate both a baseball and a football team. When the Marlins arrived in 1993, and during their time playing there they won two World Series Championships, first in 1997 and again in 2003.
Despite the stadium being designed to accommodate a baseball team, it was still a less than ideal venue for baseball. Also, one of the obvious downsides of the stadium was that the color scheme of the interior matched the Miami Dolphins’ colors, not the Marlins, which gave it an odd feel for a home stadium. Many seats had bad sightlines of the action during baseball games, and the stadium seating was later reconfigured to rectify that, but it still wasn’t enough to make the Marlins feel at home in the repurposed football stadium. In addition, the stadium was designed for football games being played in the Winter, it wasn’t prepared for the intense heat and consistent storms of the Miami Summers.
After winning their second World Series title in 2003, many people started to call for a new ballpark to be the home of the Miami Marlins. In January of 2004, the proposal was made for the construction of a new baseball-only sporting venue to be the home of the Miami Marlins. It was decided that they would target the former location of the Miami Orange Bowl.
The transition from proposal to construction was not a smooth one, as it suffered many setbacks. Talks broke down in the following year and it wasn’t until December of 2007 that a plan for the funding for the stadium came together from the Miami-Dade County Commission. Talks still carried on for over a year, and finally on April 1, 2009, the construction permit for the new Marlins ballpark was approved by a 6-1 vote by Miami’s Planning board.
Construction of the park wasn’t completed until years later, in March of 2012, at a total cost of $634 million.