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Volume 25 No. 155

Facilities

The Marlins are installing a new three-level center field social area at Marlins Park, a project that will replace the recently departed “Homer” statue and signal a heightened emphasis by the club on communal spaces at the nearly seven-year-old ballpark. The forthcoming Center Field Zone, designed by MSA Sport, will include a top level accessible to all ticketed fans and featuring craft cocktails, a middle level exclusively sold as a standing-room social ticket with drink rails and a lower level serving as a group hospitality space. The Center Field Zone will be joined by a second area, the SRO Social Section, in the right field corner that will featured five tiered drink rails. The Center Field Zone and SRO Social Section will combine to have a capacity of about 600, and access to both areas will be sold through SRO Social Passes starting at $10 per game. The moves seek to mirror successful communal spaces at other MLB ballparks, including The Treehouse in Oakland and The Rooftop at Coors Field. “We didn’t feel like we had enough product for the millennial audience, and this is another step in our effort to re-imagine our in-game experience,” said Marlins President of Business Operations Chip Bowers.

MORE VISUAL CHANGES COMING: The new areas, slated to be ready for the start of the ’19 season, will be joined by other major visual changes at Marlins Park including a shift in the outfield wall color from bright green to a blue that matches the ballpark seat color. The Marlins Park batter’s eye has also been redesigned and will include ivy next to the Center Field Zone. The Marlins last month won unanimous county permission to move the oft-debated home run sculpture, over the objections of designer Red Grooms, to the plaza outside the ballpark, in turn creating room for the new Center Field Zone.

A noise-variance permit granted to OVG projects construction to be completed by November '20
Photo: POPULOUS

NHL Seattle officials are "working to have" a $700M KeyArena renovation completed for the '20 hockey season "despite doubts expressed" by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. Daly yesterday was quoted on the league's official website as saying that he had "heard the arena might not be ready until" November '20, a month after the season opens. Daly indicated that such a timeline is "too late and would likely delay a future Seattle team’s launch by a year" to the '21-22 season. Baker notes a noise-variance permit granted to Oak View Group by the City of Seattle last week "projects KeyArena construction to be completed" by November '20. NHL Seattle in a statement said, "We are confident that we will have a completed arena in time for the 2020 season and we will work closely with the NHL to keep them informed of our progress.” The group's officials said that they "weren’t sure what Daly was basing his comments on and offered no further insight into discussions they have had with him." Baker notes both the league and NHL Seattle "should have a clearer picture" on whether the '20 deadline is "achievable" by mid-to-late '19 (SEATTLE TIMES, 11/13).