Marlins President David Samson 'Tops Off' Last Piece of New Stadium's Retractable Roof

Wielding a thick black marker, Marlins President David Samson flourished his signature onto a gray steel beam. Moments later, a massive crane hoisted the girder high above the new Marlins stadium and guided it into place as the last link in the new retractable roof.

Voters may not be enthralled by the deal to buy a new ballpark (just ask Carlos Alvarez), but the complex is rising quickly -- and on time and on budget, Samson stressed -- above Little Havana. "This is a milestone moment," Samson said.

Inside the ballpark, the infield is still a muddy mass of rocks and cement mixers, but the structural shape of the stadium is nearly finished.

Already, 10,000 dark blue seats have been installed, and wraparound electronic signs are in place, along with elevators and escalators.

Huge black boards mark the spots where scoreboards will hang.

And the retractable roof should be ready to test by October or November, says Claude Delorme, the team's executive vice president of ballpark development.

"Those structures you see up there will part to either side to reveal a huge, 240-foot view of downtown Miami," he says. "At night, it's really something spectacular to see."

Here's a quick video we shot of the stadium as it looks today:

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink