I’m a die hard Cardinal fan, and have been for as long as I can remember. When I was five years old, living in Germany, my earliest memory was a Christmas gift from my grandparents stateside: a St. Louis Cardinals 1982 World Series Champion t-shirt. For the past two years, however, I’ve been a die hard Cardinal fan living in South Florida. I moved from St. Louis to Miami in February of ’06. Although I’m a Cardinal fan first, I’m still a baseball fan second. Naturally, I have an interest in the Florida Marlins.
I think it’s sad, really, to watch a major league franchise, in one of the larger cities in the country, try to compete every day in front of only a few thousand fans. I’ve seen more fans at Spring Training games than I’ve seen supporting the Marlins. Since their inception in 1993, the Fish have had to share a stadium with the Miami Dolphins football team. Starting in ’08, Dolphin Stadium will also be the home of the University of Miami Hurricanes football team.
Over the years, there’s been talk of moving the Marlins to another city, or perhaps expunging the club in an MLB retraction altogether. The hopes of a new stadium have come and gone for the franchise several times over the course of the last decade.
Finally, the dream has become a reality. According to the Sun-Sentinel, an agreement for the new ballpark has been reached. The stadium, a $515 million facility, complete with a retractable roof, will be built at the site of the old Orange Bowl. The park is said to be designed and devolped by HOK Sport, the same architectual firm that constructed St. Louis’ Busch Stadium, Jupiter’s Roger Dean Stadium, as well as countless other professional sports venues.
For more news, and all the specifics of the new stadium, check out capefish.blogspot.com. They’re the experts in all things related to the new park, and have been blogging about the idea for quite some time. From what I understand, the first depiction might not be the final design for the park. View a video of the original model here.
Groundbreaking for the new ballpark is scheduled to begin in November of this year, and the facility should be ready for major league action by the start of the 2011 season. The Florida Marlins will then change their name to the Miami Marlins.