Sun Life Stadium - Florida Marlins tickets

Sun Life Stadium

View from behind home plate

formerly Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Stadium,
Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium & Land Shark Stadium

Miami, Florida

Tenants: Florida Marlins (NL); Miami Dolphins (NFL)
Opened: August 16, 1987
First Marlins game: April 5, 1993
Surface: Tifway 419 Bermuda grass
Capacity: 47,662 (baseball, 1993), 42,531 (2001); 75,000 (football)

Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City).
Cost: $115 million (1987); $10 million for baseball renovation (1993)
Owner: Wayne Huizenga
Lease: Through 2010

Florida Marlins tickets:

Location: 2269 NW 199th Street. Center field (E), Florida's Turnpike; third base (N), NW 203rd Street & Snake Creek Canal; home plate (W), Carl F. Barger Boulevard & NW 27th (University) Avenue; first base (S), NW 199th Street & Honey Hill Road.

Dimensions: Left field: 335 ft., 330 ft. (1994); power alleys: 380 ft., 385 ft. (1994); center field: 410 ft., 404 ft. (1994); right field: 345 ft.; backstop: 58 ft.

Fences: Left-center scoreboard: 33 ft.; everywhere else: 8 ft.

Exterior view

Joe Robbie, the original owner of the Miami Dolphins, built and financed a new stadium located near the border of Dade and Broward counties for his football team. Completed in 1987, it was a vast improvement over the Orange Bowl, where the Dolphins used to play. Mr. Robbie wanted, and got, a roomier stadium which would be more comfortable for those attending games. Sun Life Stadium features a large number of executive suites and club seats, the licensing of which provided most of the funds to build the stadium.

Former Blockbuster Video magnate Wayne Huizenga purchased the Dolphins and 50 percent of their $115-million stadium from Mr. Robbie's heirs in 1990. He spent $10 million to renovate it for baseball so his expansion Florida Marlins could play there in 1993. He bought the remaining interest in the stadium in 1994.

Pro Player, a division of Fruit-of-the-Loom, signed a 10-year, $20 million deal to buy the naming rights to the stadium in 1996, but the sports apparel company was bought out in 2000. The stadium was renamed Dolphins Stadium on January 10, 2005 as part of a major refurbishing project that is estimated to cost nearly half a billion dollars, and possibly include the addition of a roof. On April 8, 2006, the name was adjusted to Dolphin Stadium. On May 9, 2009, the stadium was renamed Land Shard Stadium. On January 20, 2010, the stadium was renamed Sun Life Stadium.

Huizenga sold the Marlins to John Henry in 1998, who sold the team to Jeffrey Loria in 2002. For years, ownership has been seeking public financing to help pay for a new retractable roof ballpark for the Marlins. Both the team and MLB say a new ballpark is essential if the Marlins are to remain in Florida. Unpredictable weather in the Miami area is believed to discourage attendence at Sun Life Stadium.

Interior view

Sun Life Stadium Trivia:

  • There is parking available for 14,970 cars and 254 buses plus a helipad.
  • All second deck outfield seats are covered by canvas and are not used for baseball.
  • The second deck is completely closed off when the Marlins anticipate low attendance, which is most of the time.
  • The outfield wall has many nooks and crannies that make for interesting bounces and tough angles for outfielders.
  • The left-field wall is called the "Teal Monster."

More on Sun Life Stadium:

Recommended Reading (bibliography):

  • Fodor's Baseball Vacations, 3rd Edition: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballparks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
  • The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
  • Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
  • The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
  • Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
  • Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit (2nd Edition) by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
  • Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
  • Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

Sun Life Stadium seating diagram  New Miami ballpark

Florida Marlins
Sun Life Stadium
2269 N.W. 199th Street
Miami, Florida 33056

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View of Sun Life Stadium from behind home plate © 2005 by Paul Munsey.
Exterior view of Sun Life Stadium © 2005 by Paul Munsey.
Interior view of Sun Life Stadium © 2005 by Paul Munsey.

Updated May 2005

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