SBD/October 4, 2012/Facilities

Naming-Rights Deal Not Imminent For Marlins Park; Turf To Be Replaced Early '13

New turf at Marlins Park must be ready in time for WBC play in March
Marlins President David Samson said that the team's home stadium will “likely still be known as Marlins Park going into its second season” as “no naming-rights deal is imminent, though one or both of the remaining quadrant sponsors could be in place before Opening Day,” according to Craig Davis of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. Samson said, "We're hoping to reverse the trend where the second season (in new ballparks) attendance goes down.” Davis notes the “most important offseason project will be to improve the product on the field.” Meanwhile, Samson said that one offseason change at the stadium will be the “replacement of the turf, a problem all season, with a different strain of grass -- several are under consideration.” But that will not happen “until after the park hosts a soccer friendly between Venezuela and Nigeria on Nov. 14 and the Miami Soccer Challenge in January.” There are also “reports that Timothy Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight title" at the park on Dec. 15, though that is “not set.” The new field will “need to be ready for second-round games of the World Baseball Classic in March” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/4).

PARTY ON: Davis in a separate piece noted the Clevelander nightclub at Marlins Park "will host football watch parties on Sundays” from 11:00am-8:00pm ET “throughout the NFL season.” There is “no cover charge and parking is free in the Third Base Garage.” A variety of games will be “on television, the pool will be open and there will be DJs, dancers and the usual hijinks that made the Clevelander a hit during the baseball season.” Clevelander Marketing Manager Anna Whitlow said that the first season of the club's ballpark location has “exceeded expectations in revenue and sales, and the attention it has received has benefited the long-established parent club on South Beach” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 10/3).

TELLING FISH TALES: In West Palm Beach, Greg Stoda asks, "How do the Marlins go about fixing things?" The team should "identify a single baseball voice out of the front office." If Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest stays on, he "needs to project a more authoritative presence." Manager Ozzie Guillen "can be forgiven if he wonders about the chain of command that leads to owner Jeffrey Loria." It is "no good if Beinfest comes across as nothing more than a Loria mouthpiece, which often seems to be the case." If Loria "does wield Steinbrennerian power in making baseball decisions, then better for the Marlins if he steps out from behind the curtain and says so" (PALM BEACH POST, 10/4).
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