Marlins Park embracing the Miami vibe

March 6th, 2019

MIAMI -- Mi casa es su casa.

Call it the Marlins' unofficial slogan after the team revealed a re-imagined culinary experience at Marlins Park on Tuesday.

With 81 games on the docket, Marlins fans may as well call the Little Havana ballpark their second home, something that doesn't go unnoticed by president of business operations Chip Bowers.

"We want our home to be your home, and we want this to feel like your home away from home," Bowers said. "There has to be a certain level of comfort in your experience when you come to Marlins Park."

The process began last summer, when the Marlins launched the "Dimelo" campaign, which asked fans to provide feedback on a variety of topics. The organization also conducted surveys and one-on-one interviews, and spoke to trusted sources in the market.

What became clear early on was the importance of food to the South Florida community.

"I've heard that quite a bit in my short period of time being here," CEO Derek Jeter said. "We want for people to come into this ballpark and feel as though you're in Miami. It's kind of tough to capture the diversity, the culture, the energy of Miami inside of a ballpark, but we think we're well on our way to doing that."

The process starts with such local companies as Pincho, Miami's Best Pizza and Novecento setting up shop throughout the main concourse's promenade level. Gone is the Taste of Miami section previously relegated to its left-field area.

Whether it's Caribbean cuisine or typical ballpark fare on the "3-0-5" menu, the Marlins wanted great food concepts that people not only appreciated but remembered fondly.

At the re-imagined The Club: DEX Imaging premium-ticket experience, the contemporary space reflects such South Florida communities as Brickell, Wynwood and Coconut Grove. That much is clear upon walking through the glass doors to the seats with improved sight lines.

"We said from Day 1, when you wear the city of Miami on your chest, you have a great deal of responsibility to deliver on the needs of the community," Bowers said. "And what we heard through our 'Dimelo' campaign through 2018, they wanted an authentic Miami experience. Most people that came to the Diamond Club in years past felt like it was what people perceive Miami to be, more Miami circa 2012 as opposed to today's Miami."

There is a view into the batting cages, the type of behind-the-scenes access that brings fans close to the action. Music will be played every night, with DJs providing a Miami vibe on weekends. Bowers anticipates the area becoming a place to network.

Executive chef Michael Finizia called the re-imagined experience a way to showcase culinary talent across the ballpark, but particularly at the Club, where small bites and craft cocktails will be different every game.

"[We want to] create something that is absolutely magical every time you come in, and it's a new evolving process every single time," Finizia said.

The organization hopes Marlins Park will become a go-to destination for a world-class experience.

"It's our ongoing commitment to Miami and to the Marlins' fanbase to show it's a new day," Bowers said. "These are the new Marlins. We're standing by our promise to create the right type of experience."