Marlins Park is an interesting piece of art built in 2012 by one of baseball's most colorful (and loathed) owners in the sport, art dealer Jeffrey Loria. This uniquely Miami setting is actually a ton of fun and easy to enjoy. With very few outfield seats and great views, this park feels intimate and energized, just like the city it crowns.
Marlins Park is a Colorful Dream - via Flickr user Dan Lundberg
Marlins Park is so Miami - colorful, full of energy, super-friendly, a little over the top... but beautiful. The worst part about the park is that there are never enough fans filling the stands. But with this guide to a cheaper visit, you can make it out there are swim with the fishes.
The Home Run Statue is Either a Work of Art or a Burning Man Reject - via Flickr user slgckgc
Arriving at Marlins Park
Alternative/Public Transportation to a Marlins Game
There are a number of metrorail (subway) lines in Miami which connect to the Culmer Station or the Civic Center Station.
For games, Miami metro runs a shuttle from the Culmer Station to Marlins Park. The shuttle will run 90 minutes prior to the event start time and 60 minutes following the event.
Miami fans often use the EventRide App, which allows fans to connect and carpool to and from games. You can split parking or gas, and save money. The service works best in areas with lots of users, and since the service is popular in Miami, you should have lots of choice.
Now, if you're looking for a party bus, Rally Bus offers a great choice. You ride the same bus back and forth, so can leave stuff on the bus, and it's a great way to travel with friends for cheap.
Another option if you happen to be staying nearby is to avoid the crowded subway car and the stress of traffic and grab an Uber ride. If you've never used Uber, click here and get your first ride free.
Driving to a Marlins Game
Marlins Park is in the middle of Little Havana, which means that a lot of the area around the park is residential. Head south of the park, just below Flager St. to look for street parking. All metered parking is seven-days-a-week. Also keep an eye out because many local businesses and residents in the area will rent out their parking spaces and driveways on game days.
There are Both Street Parking Spots and Businesses that Rent Out Spots
You can always park in the official parking lots around Marlins Park. While this is definitely a pricier option, you can book online beforehand, and the proximity to the park might be a big plus for some.
The most stress-free choice for affordable parking at the Marlins game is using ParkWhiz. This lets you find a spot ahead of time and reserve it, so you know exactly where you are going before you ever leave your house. Here is a list of upcoming games, just click the date you need to find the cheapest spots:
Best Food At & Near Marlins Park
Save Money on Food
Marlins Park allows you to bring in one beverage in a plastic container and one piece of food. Security is pretty lax about enforcing this. No glass, no cans.
The surrounding neighborhood has a Walgreens and a couple of other convenience stores to buy drinks and snacks.
Because Marlins Park is located in Little Havana, there are a number of delicious Cuban options within a mile of the park. Pinolandia, a nearby takeout place at the corner of 12th and 1st, is perfect for cheap Cuban grub after the game. La Camaronera Fish Market is one of the best seafood restaurant in all of Miami. If the kids begged for ice cream all game and you never gave in, treat them to the outstanding Azucar Ice Cream.
Food in Marlins Park You Shouldn't Miss
Marlins Park has a lot of flavorful food options. The Marlins have a great page with locations and highlights.
Though Pricey and Requiring Reservations, the Clevelander is Miami Cool - via Flickr user Manish Vohra
1. Taste of Miami - by section 27 is Taste of Miami, and it is pretty much criminal to visit Miami and not enjoy good Cuban food. This food court has several restaurants and cafes, serving up Cuban sandwiches, ceviche, empanadas, and coffees. Highlights include arepas (deep fried cornbread stuffed with cheese) and lechon nachos (nachos topped with pulled pork, avocado cream, and red cabbage).
2. MIA BBQ - by section 24, MIA BBQ is dedicated to Southern cuisine. If they don't win you over with their brisket mac & cheese, pulled pork, or mega "picnic dog", they'll get you with the peach cobbler a la mode.
3. The High Cheese - this food-truck style stand near section 13 carries 4 different grilled sandwiches, and all are ooey, gooey, and pricey. But all are worth the splurge, especially the Fluffernutter Grilled Marshmellow Melt: a glorious hot-mess dirty pleasure, just like that crazy home run statue.
Cheap Marlins Tickets
At this point, nearly every Major League team has some kind of variable pricing model where depending on how in-demand a game is, the ticket prices you'll pay at the gate may go up or down.
Sometimes pricing varies from day to day, other times it is a more formal "tiered" structure where when they are playing a big draw team like the Yankees, you'll pay a premium price compared to a perennial bottom-dweller who might be in the "budget tier."
So rather than focusing on specific prices and sections which tend to change fairly often, I want to talk about general rules and strategies for getting the best deals on tickets.
1. Compare 3rd Party Sites
SeatGeek is a big time ticket comparison site that lets you compare a bunch of different ticket brokers, marketplaces, etc. and find the best price for the game you want to go to. They also have a tool that projects whether ticket prices will go up or down - AKA whether you should buy now or wait.
Palm Trees and Miami Cool - via Flickr user Eric Kilby
2. Buy Last Minute
If you've bought tickets online before, you've heard of StubHub. What you may not know however is that with the rise of print-at-home and tickets on your mobile phone via the Ballpark App that you can usually buy tickets right up to a couple of hours before game time.
As someone who has sold a fair share of tickets on StubHub, I also know that sellers are encouraged to set a declining price for their tickets. This means they'll set a starting price and then their lowest acceptable price, and StubHub will auto-magically lower the price of those tickets as the event date gets closer.
So in many cases, a game that isn't sold out will have plenty of below face value deals on StubHub that you can snatch at the last minute and then either print at home, or just use the App on your phone to get scanned into the game.
3. Avoid Craigslist
It's not to say that you can't find ticket deals on Craigslist, you can. It is just more of a peace of mind, safety issue. I'm a Craigslist kind of guy, but I also know it's easy to get screwed buying baseball tickets there.
Remember when I mentioned selling on StubHub? When you list tickets there, all you need to know is the barcode number from that ticket along with the other details on section, row, etc. - So when I sell tickets I never mail them to the buyer, they just print them at home and my actual tickets become void.
If I was a shady character, I could go sell those void tickets to an unsuspecting buyer on Craigslist for cash. The tickets look real, they are "real" in a sense - but what that buyer will find out is when they go to enter the stadium, the ticket scanner will say "thou shalt not enter thy game."
Don't be that buyer.
Stick to buying tickets from SeatGeek, StubHub, or directly from the team. You can still get deals and you never have to worry about being scammed.
Best Value Seats at Marlins Park
Because the park is so modern, there are no obstructed views, and even the nose bleeds feel close and intimate. Ticket prices are low and crowds are small, so even if you don't buy til the day of, you'll have a great selection at each price point.
With So Few Seats in the Outfield, Practically Everyone Gets an Infield Seat - via Flickr user Eric Kilby
Where to Stay While Visiting Marlins Park
My favorite way to travel to a baseball game is to stay as close to the stadium as possible and walk, or take Uber so I don't have to fool with parking in a strange place.
AirBnB is the best way to find a really cool house or apartment to rent so you can hang out with your friends/family before the game and get a more authentic local experience.
Not only is it cooler than a hotel, but you can save $35 on your first stay by using my referral link.
There are 2 types of rentals - those where you rent a private room and stay with a host and those where you rent out the whole place. I've done both, and you'll have some peace of mind about the people you rent from because of the review system they have for the hosts - so you have a high degree of confidence that you won't end up on the bad side of a future Dateline NBC episode.
Best of all, you usually can find places to stay that are within walking distance to Marlins Park.
Obviously places come and go on the site, but I've used AirBnB a number of times for sports road trips and it's become my default option when I'm traveling. Click the button below to save $35 on your first trip and see what kind of cool places are currently available near the ballpark:
Free Stuff at Marlins Park
1. Bobblehead Museum - on the Promenade level behind home plate is a display case with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria's bobblehead collection. The collection on display changes occasionally and exhibits nearly 600 bobbleheads at a time. One side shows off National League bobbles; the other, American League.
Who Doesn't Love Bobbleheads? - via Flickr user slgckgc
2. Go Fish! - before the game starts, swing by the area near the batter's circle. Between the dugouts are the massive saltwater aquariums, featuring beautiful coral and truly spectacular fish, built into the walls. If you have kids, this is just about the coolest side attraction at a ballpark on the East Coast.