DuPuy attends opener

A special guest was on hand for Opening Day. MLB president and COO Bob DuPuy made a trip to South Florida to attend the Marlins’ opener.

DuPuy worked tirelessly representing MLB in the quest to secure funding for a new Marlins ballpark, which was approved last month and it is scheduled to open in 2012. The good crowd on Monday reminded DuPuy that better days are ahead for the Marlins as they work toward being in their retractable-roof park on the Orange Bowl grounds in the Little Havana section of Miami.

“There is clearly a renewed sense of faith and hope,” DuPuy said. “There is a wonderful crowd for Opening Day, and a good, young team on the field. We are looking forward in breaking ground in July, and the jobs it will create, and ultimately getting to the new ballpark and the opening in 2012, which will be a clear jewel for the community. It will provide Major League Baseball for this community for generations to come.”

Several local officials were at Opening Day, including Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Alvarez.

DuPuy says Marlins fans should be excited about the new ballpark.

“I think it looks terrific,” he said of the design. “And the best part is, the fans are going to know the games are going to start at 7 o’clock, and they will end at 9:30 or a quarter-to-10 [because of the roof]. So people from the entire area are going to be able to plan on coming down in the rain. They will play 81 games to completion.”

There are numerous examples of how new ballparks have stimulated development in MLB communities.

“In terms of all the other communities where ballparks have gone up, it will help serve in development all around Little Havana,” DuPuy said. “It’s happened in Denver. It’s happened in San Diego. It’s happened in Seattle. It’s happening in Cincinnati and St. Louis.”

— Joe Frisaro

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