Marlins hoping to host 2017 Classic games
Team looking to open roof for All-Star Game, willing to consider moving fences
MIAMI -- The All-Star Game may not be the only major showcase Marlins Park will host in 2017. Miami also is hopeful of attracting a round of the World Baseball Classic, which will be held in the spring of the same year.
"We're going to bid for the World Baseball Classic in 2017," Marlins president David Samson said Monday afternoon. "We're Miami. If we're not focusing on the globalization of baseball, then we're not doing our job. Miami is the gateway to Latin America. It is a growing city, in terms of importance."
In 2013, Marlins Park was the site of second-round Classic games. Samson said the organization is open to hosting either the second round or the finals.
Marlins Park is riding some momentum after MLB awarded Miami the 2017 All-Star Game last Friday.
With its retractable roof, Marlins Park is an attractive venue for major baseball events. But due to the scorching heat and frequent summer rains, the roof remains closed for a majority of Miami home games.
If possible, the Marlins would like to keep the roof open for the July 11, 2017, All-Star Game. But the weather will dictate if that is possible.
"I know one thing, there will not be a delay," Samson said. "That I can promise you. If we can do it, of course, we would do it."
Samson also confirmed the organization is open to moving in the fences at its spacious park. The left-field gap is 386 feet, and the dimensions go to 418 feet in center and 392 feet in right-center.
"I think we will spend another year looking, and we'll see," Samson said. "There is no definite answer one way or the other.
"We've said to everyone who would ask. Any player, any pitcher, any position player, we said the same thing. We will do something that we think will help us win more games. We won't do something that we don't think will help us win more games."