TIME-OUT WITH JOHN INMAN
By JOHN INMAN
Jerry Jones may have built a stadium that resembles a space station – Cowboys Stadium in Arlington — but with the new baseball stadium for the Miami Marlins, he may soon have come competition, as far as design goes. Right down to the opening of the roof and most of the same amenities, but without the huge overhead video screens, of course.
A few punters have tried and been able to reach Jerry’s … pardon, the Cowboys Stadium video screens, so you can imagine what a batted baseball would do.
The new stadium sits on the site where the former Orange Bowl originally sat and the renamed Miami Marlins, changed from Florida Marlins, will start next season in their new ballpark a day ahead of the rest of the major leagues, playingSt. Louison April 4. Major League Baseball announced the season will open in midweek for the second straight year.
(Most of the following information on the new park came from the internet.) Known as the Florida Marlins since starting play in 1993, the team was renamed on 11-11-11 (pretty nifty, huh?) as it prepares to move into the $515-million, retractable-roof ballpark. The opener is likely to be televised by ESPN. Before the formal opener, the Marlins host the Yankees in exhibitions on April 1 and 2.
The April 5 schedule includes the Tigers’ home opener against Boston. The focus of Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 will be on Dodger Stadium, whereLos AngeleshostsSan Diego.
Interleague play returns for a 16th season, with a featured matchup ofCincinnatiat the Yankees in a rematch of the 1976 World Series. Next season is scheduled to end on Wednesday, Oct. 3. It likely will be followed by a new round of wild-card playoffs, with the postseason expanding from eight teams to 10.
The stadium broke ground in July 2009 and is on the track for completion by April 2012. The stadium is designed by Populos and retains parts from the original Sun Life Stadium.
The new stadium, upon completion, will be 130 meters from home plate, and will then slope down to 127 meter in straight-away center field. Right in the center of the stadium, there will be a 119 meter power alley. The shortest dimension of the stadium will be 102 meters down the right-field line.
The stadium features a retractable roof that can open in approximately 14 minutes, 30 seconds. The left field of the stadium will have a pool area and a sliding, glass wall that gives a view of downtownMiami. The right field will have a porch, which will be set back into the stands.
The plaza surrounding the stadium will be the largest in US and will feature food courts and entertainment zones. The plaza will feature restaurants, hotels and retail stores. The stadium will have a party suite that will be for fans to see the field from behind the outfield fence.
The dead center field of the stadium is anticipated to have a home run feature, which will be a design creation of Red Grooms. The stadium will also have dual aquariums.
The Marlins also announced that dual aquariums that will serve as a home-plate backstop. They will be built on each side of home plate and will be positioned to prevent any disruption to players on the field. The aquarium to the right of home plate (when looking from the pitcher’s mound) will measure 34 feet (10 m) long, 36 inches (91 cm) high and holds over 600 US gallons (2,300 l) of seawater, while the aquarium to the left, will be 24 feet (7.3 m) in length, holding 450 US gallons (1,700 l) of water.
Each aquarium will be constructed using a durable fiberglass structure; while crystal-clear acrylic panels 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) thick will be used for the viewing windows that run the entire length of the aquariums. To safeguard the exhibits from impacts, Lexan will be installed in front and in back of the acrylic panels to protect the aquarium from foul balls, errant pitches or any other unexpected contact.
Upon completion, the new stadium will try to win LEED Silver certification, and if awarded it will be the first retractable roof ballpark to win LEED silver certification … now maybe that’s something for which Jerry should shoot.
Until next week’s Time-out …