Sun Life Stadium
Home of the Florida Marlins
Team: Florida Marlins
Stadium Capacity: 36,500
Sun Life Stadium (aka Land Shark Stadium, aka Dolphin Stadium, aka Pro Player Stadium) is more suited to football - hence the address - and empty seats almost always outnumber full ones when the Marlins play. But the team has made some history here in its brief tenure, winning two world titles. There is plenty of parking (over 24,000 spots plus one helipad), the Fish Tank (a rentable hot tub near the Marlins' bullpen) and the lovely Marlin Mermaids, the first cheerleaders in baseball. The team is scheduled to move into a new retractable-roof park downtown at the site of the old Orange Bowl in 2012.
The Marlins play in a football stadium in a remote spot in north Miami, and the orange seats badly outnumber the actual fans at most games. Makes a pilgrimage sound enticing, doesn’t it? … Well, it should, or at least it shouldn’t scare you away. Tickets are easy to come by, there are no lines for beer or food or bathrooms, and the Marlins often feature good young talent. Start your visit in the parking lots surrounding the stadium and join the small but dedicated group of fans who tailgate before games. Fire up the grill and play some catch (plenty of room), but don’t forget the tent or tarp to shade you from the Florida sun. … Once inside the stadium, soak up some of its rich and storied history. Seriously. This place has hosted Super Bowls, Orange Bowls, the 2009 BCS national title, and the Dolphins. Notice the Dolphins Ring of Honor that circles the upper deck façade with names of football greats. … The Marlins, don’t forget, have some history here, too, having captured two World Series championships in their brief existence. A giant rectangular banner in left-field commemorates the 1997 and 2003 titles. … Also hard to miss are the Marlins Mermaids, the first rally team in baseball, who dance on the dugouts between innings. They are sort of like the Lakers Girls but dressed in teal and black. Good luck ignoring them. … When hunger and thirst set in, bypass the ballpark staples and Budweiser, and seek out the Cuban sandwich at The Carvery stands. Wash it down with one of their mojitos for the full Cuban experience. … There may not be much surrounding the stadium itself, but this is Miami, so the post-game options are unlimited. There are beaches and water sports galore, and top-notch shopping and dining, so no one will be bored. … World-famous South Beach is about 20 minutes away with its trendy restaurants and clubs, and is worth a visit just for the people-watching. … For a classic Cuban joint, detour to Versailles in Miami, and it’s open late. … About 15 minutes north of the stadium in Hollywood you’ll find the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, where there are a generous assortment of clubs and bars to choose from, and of course the casino to donate your money to.
Versailles, 3555 SW Eighth Street, Miami, (305) 444-0240
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 3101 N State Rd 7, Hollywood, (800) 937-0010
Wise Guide Tips / Know what the locals know, go where the locals go
At Wise Guides, we believe “spectator” should be a verb. Not because you should suck down 12 beers, run on the field and try to take the first baseman’s job — you shouldn’t. It’s because there’s so much more to going to a game than simply sitting in your seat watching the action. There are stadiums and neighborhoods to explore, food and drink to try, history to learn and interesting people to meet. Try our Wise Guides tips, they are funny, helpful and, we hope, interesting.
Get to the Game
Unlike many ballparks, Dolphin Stadium isn’t situated in the heart of a bustling city, and isn’t served by public transportation. So you’ll be driving to the game, but that’s not such a bad thing. The s... Read more »