05/11/09 12:30 PM EST
New ballpark to feature pool, porch
Marlins' stadium to borrow from Chase Field, Citi Field
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- A pool and a porch will be prominent features at the Marlins' new ballpark.
When the 37,000-seat, retractable-roof building opens in 2012, it will provide fans with numerous amenities and activities.
Borrowing pages from the D-backs and Mets, the Marlins will have a pool area in left field and a porch in right field.
The size of the pool will be about the same as the one at Chase Field in Arizona.
In meetings last week, the Marlins went over details with the their stadium designer, Populous -- formerly HOK Sports.
"We got into details of how big the pool would be, and how people would get there, and what their view would be from that pool area," Samson said.
At their current home, Land Shark Stadium (formerly Dolphin Stadium), there is a hot tub area down the right-field side, near the Marlins bullpen.
"The pool is going to be much bigger than our current hot tub," Samson said. "We think it's going to be the size of a pretty nice pool. I'd say Arizona is a good comparison."
The porch in right field will not exactly be like the one at Citi Field, which is similar to the porch at old Tiger Stadium in Detroit. In New York, the porch actually extends over the field of play. That won't be the case at the Marlins' new home on the Orange Bowl grounds in the Little Havana section of Miami. It will be set back into the stands, but the concept is basically the same as New York.
"There is going to be in right field, not exactly like Citi Field, a home run porch," Samson said. "There are going to be some great seats, home run seats, if you will, in right field.
"It's such an intimate ballpark. It's so small that some of the best seats in the house will be in right field. It's going to be a great place to watch a game."
Exact details of the porch are still being ironed out, but it will seat roughly 1,000 fans.
A mandate from Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is to make as many sections of the new ballpark as cost-friendly as possible.
"All of the seats should be affordable, for starters," Samson said. "But we want people to come to a game and pay a very reasonable amount of money, and be able to enjoy something special in the ballpark."
The one drawback to sitting in the porch is those fans won't have a clear view of the main scoreboard, which will be to the right-field side of center field. But they can keep up with the statistics on an auxiliary scoreboard that will be located near the left-field foul pole.
"We are getting into details of where the scoreboard would be, and how the people sitting in these right field seats will see," Samson said. "We got into specifics about different seats. We looked at each seat, and what the sightlines will be, because we want to make sure there are no obstructed seats."
With an expected ground-breaking in early July, all parties are moving quickly to complete the design, to keep the project on budget.
"We really are getting into very specific things because all of these decisions have to be made prior to July 1, because once ground is broken and the building is actually being built, the way you avoid overruns is you make all these decisions now," Samson said.
The Marlins are responsible for cost overruns.
Other key developments of this past week included:
Four hours devoted to advertising signage.
Entrance points for players on the Marlins and visiting teams -- how they will enter the park, enter the clubhouses and gain access to the field.
Entrance points for the umpires, their locker room and their field access.
How fans can mingle about the stadium and watch the game from other parts of the park while away from their seats.
On getaway days, where the team buses will be parked, and how to load equipment from the clubhouses onto the trucks.
"We went over the entire ballpark, literally floor by floor, getting ready to start construction documents," Samson said. "We were analyzing different things in the ballpark -- finalizing the layout of the clubhouses, finalizing the layout of the offices, finalizing where concession stands are going. It was just a very detailed week of planning."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.