Bienvenidos a Miami, baseball fans! In honor of Marlins Park hosting the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game July 11, we've compiled as many "game hacks" as we could find to make your experience that week a cheaper, hassle-free, more enjoyable one. Below, you'll find an assortment of tips from the experts (Marlins fans) that will allow you to make better decisions about where to park, eat, drink, and do whatever else you plan to do while in town.
For Fish fans who haven't been to the park in a while, these tips might also serve as a guide you can use on your next trip to the park once the tsunami of All-Star hysteria is in the rear-view mirror. Here are the best tips to make sure you use your time at Marlins Park wisely.
Photo by Justin Namon
Pre-purchase a home-plate or third-base garage pass on SeatGeek or VividSeats.
On a usual game day, chances are you could just pull up to the stadium and find a parking spot in any one of a variety of places, but the All-Star Game is definitely not typical. To sidestep all the hoopla that comes with the MLB All-Star festivities, your best bet is to reserve parking through one of the known (and trusted) third-party ticket sites, such as SeatGeek, VividSeats, or StubHub. More often than not, you'll save some money too.
Obvious bonus tip: Uber it.
Get to the ballpark early to admire the beauty of it and the culture around it.
Miami doesn't have a stellar reputation when it comes to being a true baseball town, but the experience that comes along with sightseeing makes up for what the city lacks in tradition. Whether you're taking a tour of the Orange Bowl letters that line the park, checking out the new Jose Fernandez statue, or enjoying the sights and sounds of Miami in summer, Marlins Park is not your basic ballpark. You'll want to leave yourself ample time to wander, gawk, and take it all in.
Please empty your pockets and put your crap in the little baskets they hand out before you get to the metal detectors instead of holding up the line.
Yes, this is a thing at Marlins Park. Maybe it isn't a thing at your hometown ballpark, but it's a thing here. Think airport security but with more drunk people and no luggage. Just as you should have your computer out of your bag and belongings ready for TSA to scan, you need to be ready to have your crap put to the side before you get to Marlins Park.
Make sure you check out the Taste of Miami section for food. The nachos at Mama Choa are the bomb!
Once you're done messing around outside, head into the ballpark and find the Taste of Miami restaurant area (located in Section 27), offering Miami favorites like Cuban sandwiches,
Also outstanding is MIA BBQ, located in Section 24. There, you can grab some brisket, mac 'n' cheese, pulled pork, a massive "picnic dog," and some Southern-style pie for dessert. To be honest, this eatery doesn't represent Miami food, but the Magic City is technically in the South,
Stop at the Bobblehead Museum and try to find your favorite player.
The Bobblehead Museum is located on the Promenade Level in Sections 14 and 15. Find a cool assortment that includes everything from former Marlins players, current and past stars from other teams, mascots, MLB broadcasters, and many others. It's a cool feature that's something to look at while you kill time before the game. Hey, it's better than yet another table where someone tries to sign you up for a credit card or buy a timeshare.
For the best view of not only the game but also Miami, sit on the first-base side (visitors).
If you haven't bought a ticket yet and are wondering about the best place to sit in Marlins Park, the answer is the first-base side. You'll get a nice view of everything the ballpark has to offer (including the infamous home-run sculpture/monster), as well as a beautiful view of downtown Miami through the open-air concourse located above the Clevelander in left field. These seats will cost an arm and a leg for the All-Star Game, but this is a good tip to keep in your back pocket if you ever return.
Take in the majestic Marlins Park home-run sculpture in all its glory. Welcome to Miami.
When this thing was erected in the outfield, jaws dropped. "What in hell is that?" people asked. "Do I need to be on shrooms to understand it?" they wondered. It wasn't a hit at first, to say the least. Now, though, it's considered our very own, like an ugly family dog we've grown to love. Every time a home run is hit, you get a show. If you've never seen it live before, it's one helluva sight. You can actually walk the concourse in center field and check out the inner workings of the beast.
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It's going down at the Clevelander.
It's true: The Clevelander is where the party is at inside Marlins Park. The team partnered with the world-renowned South Beach hotel, creating a crazy club-like atmosphere mixed with a poolside lounge, and, oh yeah, a baseball game is going on. The Clevelander is open 90 minutes before each game and stays open for an hour after, so you have more than enough time to take it all in. If you haven't purchased your ticket to this area yet, chances are you'll regret it. Hey, you might regret it if you bought a ticket, though.