05/10/09 11:23 AM EST
Marlins will play in a 'Shark' tank
Dolphin Stadium renamed Land Shark Stadium
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
What's changed since the team embarked on their away swing to Colorado and Milwaukee is the name of their current home.
On Friday, Dolphin Stadium was officially renamed "Land Shark Stadium," as part of a Miami Dolphins business partnership with singer Jimmy Buffett.
Land Shark Lager is a beer developed by Buffett, who is considering buying into the NFL's Dolphins, which are owned by Stephen Ross.
"We got a memo to say that the Marlins now play in Land Shark Stadium," Marlins president David Samson said. "So you are looking live at Land Shark Stadium.
"So, we have to change all of our ads. We have to change all of our signage. We have to change all of our stationery."
From a fans perspective, however, nothing will change.
"To the Marlins fans, this move is seamless," Samson said. "To Marlins fans, this won't matter."
The Marlins return to Land Shark Stadium on May 15 against the Dodgers. It marks the beginning of a three-game, 10-game homestand.
The Marlins share Land Shark Stadium with the Miami Dolphins, the owners of the facility, and the University of Miami football team.
Changing the name was announced during a news conference for invited media only.
"I admire Stephen Ross," Samson said. "He's an intelligent businessman. He's trying to create a great atmosphere at Dolphins games, which is exactly what we try to create at Marlins games.
"He realizes that his team is in the greatest city in the country, and he wants to show his stadium off as much as possible. I'm very happy for him."
The name change to Land Shark Stadium will last only through the remainder of the Marlins season and the 2009 NFL campaign. The 2010 Super Bowl will be played in Miami.
Since their inaugural 1993 season, the Marlins have shared their stadium with the Dolphins.
In 2012, the Marlins will be moving into their own retractable-roof ballpark on the Orange Bowl grounds in the Little Havana section of Miami. Before that season, the franchise will be renamed the Miami Marlins.
Florida's current lease agreement with Land Shark Stadium expires after the 2010 baseball season. The team is working on a one-year extension to their current lease, and that is not expected to be a problem.
"We agreed that we are going to address [the extension] after our season," Samson said. "Then we will get down to specifics.
"Stephen and I have had conversations about being here in '11. He is aware of our situation and he is not going to have us playing on the streets. We'll get a deal done with him. We have a great working relationship, so I don't foresee any problems."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.