There are some cool things to check out pre-game - like the mosaic walkway in the West Plaza, or the Orange Bowl Tribute in the East Plaza that features 10 foot high reproductions of the letters that once spelled out "Miami Orange Bowl" on the old stadium that once stood on the site. If you're there early enough, you can have access to the two aquariums behind home plate. There's also a small Bobblehead Museum on the Promenade Level that's pretty cool.
With an open design, it's also easy to navigate and sightlines are great all over the park. If you're grabbing concessions, you'll either have a direct view of the field or you can watch any of the numerous HDTVs in the concourse so you'll hardly miss any action.
On the Field Level is The Clevelander (like the hotel on South Beach) - a great area for large groups. You usually have to reserve in advance and only for groups of 20 or more, but it does open up to everyone after the game. With it's own DJ, bar, and small pool, fans have a great view of the game from left-center field.
Food and Drink:
There are plenty of local choices and all are pretty darn good – from the Cuban Sandwich to the Arroz con Pollo and Seafood Fritters. Check out the Taste of Miami area - it's sort of hidden behind Section 28. There you'll find a Latin American Grill, a Papo Llega y Pon stand for Pork Sandwiches, and Don Camaron for some great local seafood. There are tables there where you can stand to eat, and oddly enough, we found the concessions area lacking in tables.
Miami Mex (Section 4 and 325) has items like Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos, Key Lime Chicken Tacos, and Churros. You can also find at a few FanFeast stands one of our ballpark faves found in a few other cities - Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Sandwiches (pulled pork or chicken).
For healthier options there's Veggie Burgers at Burger 305 or Metro Grill, Sushi near Section 19, Veggie and Fruit Cups at FanFeast, and a Gluten-Free stand on the Promenade Level.
At Burger 305 near Section 40, you'll find offerings that cater to the visiting teams. Yankees in town? You'll find Knishes. Cardinals? Look for some St Louis style Ribs. Rockies? Bison Burgers. The list goes on.
Beer selection is pretty respectable. Many food stands had only 2 mediocre selections, but we’ve definitely seen worse. Corona (Extra and Light), Presidente, Modelo, Heineken, and Landshark are fairly easy to find throughout the park along with domestic macrobrews like Bud and Coors. At the portable bottled beer stands (cash only) you'll find Bud, Coors, Miller, Heineken, and Corona, although for some reason beer in a bottle is a dollar more than the draft you'll find at larger stands.
The Budweiser Left Field Bar on the Promenade Level is a good place to hang out pre-game and watch batting practice. There are several chairs around the bar overlooking the field where you can enjoy pregame food and drinks before heading to your seat. It also a has pretty good selection of everything from Shock Top on draft to Frozen Cocktails.
be aware if you sit above the air conditioning grill. you WILL get wet with condensation drops.
The Park and Neighborhood:
It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s a little odd looking from the outside. But finally, the Marlins have a state-of-the-art facility to be proud of. With a cool view of downtown behind center field, a great layout, seats with fantastic sight lines, a retractable roof that opens or closes in under 15 minutes, and an overall impressive feel, this new park is infinitely better than Sun Life Stadium where the Marlins once played.
The surrounding area, however, leaves something to be desired. The park is located in Little Havana, a mostly residential working-class neighborhood. It's not exactly dangerous, there's just not a lot of walkable options for pre or post game. Arriving early and looking for a sports bar around the corner to catch some pregame? Unlikely. But, there are some great local Latin American restaurants around, and if you're looking to experience some real Miami spots, you won't have to go too far.
Check out Yambo Restaurant for a quick, casual meal at a lively 24 hour spot, El Rincon Asturiano for more formal Spanish cuisine, or Versailles for the best Cuban bakery and cafe in the city. Or you can head east to downtown and check out Mary Brickell Village, an outdoor shopping and dining area with many options. For more detailed info on these and other pre and post game recommendations, check out our "Before & After the Game" map.
Getting There and Parking:
Located off SR 836 (exit 12th Ave if westbound or 17th Ave if eastbound) and I-95 (exit NW 8th Street), and less than 2 miles from downtown Miami, access is very easy and the only practical way to arrive is by car. For weekend games, if you're arriving early enough, traffic shouldn't be too bad. Weekday night games are another story as both I-95 and th Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) are known for rush hour traffic nightmares, and if you're taking 826 to 836, construction near the airport will slow you down even further.
And now for the worst part: there are only 5,700 on-site parking spaces for this 37,000 seat stadium. Who thought it was a good idea to build a stadium in a city with inadequate public transportation and deemed it unnecessary to build garages big enough to hold enough cars for even a half-filled stadium? Who knows.
Well good luck booking a spot in one of the stadium's pre-paid garages if you don’t plan way in advance, as most of those spots go to VIPs and season ticket holders. Other options include parking on surrounding residential lawns (bring cash!), parking in lots owned by private businesses nearby, parking at Magic City Casino (about 2 miles away) and taking their shuttle, or parking at the Courthouse and taking that shuttle. Parking will range anywhere from $10-35. Some lots you can book online in advance, and while these will be more expensive, you'll have some peace of mind, especially if you don't plan on arriving early - you'll still know there's a spot reserved for you.
One of our favorite lots is on 7th Sreet just east of NW 12th Ave. It's a large grassy lot that is only $10 and will be about a 10 minute walk. For more info, look for the parking icons on our map - some will have direct links to Parkwhiz, where you can reserve a spot directly from your computer or phone.
Also be sure to read our "Info Inside the Stadium" section for great things inside the park.