Marlins Fans Endure Long Concession Lines, Traffic Issues At Season Opener
Some fans at the Marlins' opener against the Rockies on Monday said that they "waited in line for food for three to four innings," while others said that their food "was cold, and concessions ran out of ice," according to Manny Navarro of the MIAMI HERALD. But team President David Samson said that the Marlins did "not run out of food or ice, and that long lines were the result of a late-arriving crowd." Samson said that there were "only 12,000 people inside Marlins Park" for Pro Football HOFer Dan Marino's first pitch. So when the "largest crowd in stadium history showed up late, it naturally caused a few headaches." Samson said, "I really do not like long lines at concessions, but any time you have 30,000 people all trying to eat at once, there will be lines. ... My view is you want lines to be in the 14- to 18-minute range when the park is full. There were some lines in the 21- to 25-minute range (on Monday). The first three innings and the last three innings, the lines were well within range. The middle three, they were above range." Samson said that the Marlins had "double the usual staffing at all concession stands, as well as extra police to help direct traffic." He added that an accident near the stadium "slowed traffic down before the game." There were "complaints" on local radio yesterday morning, and Samson said that the Marlins "received 47 complaints about Opening Night." Samson: "My frustration is that I hate lines and I hate incompetence. When I'm at Disney, I wait 60 minutes to get on Space Mountain with my son. Am I happy about it? No. But I signed up for it" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/2). Levy Restaurants runs the concessions at Marlins Park (THE DAILY).
GROWING PAINS: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis wrote Marlins Park head groundskeeper Chad Mulholland "not only has to contend with the extremes of the subtropical climate," as the opening and closing of the retractable roof "provides a formidable obstacle to maintaining lush and healthy grass." In its third season, the ballpark "is on its third type of turfgrass." Two previous types of bermudagrass "didn't cut it," as brown patches were "pervasive, particularly in outer reaches of the outfield that are partially shaded even with the roof open." Mulholland said, "I don't know if there is ever going to be a solution. We can switch grass all we want, but we still have the same problem. It's shade." But Davis noted the "use of grow lights last season was helpful, and will continue" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 4/1).