Results tagged ‘ David Samson ’

First seat installed at new ballpark

It was a monumental day at the Marlins’ new ballpark.

The first of the 37,000 seats at the retractable-roof stadium was installed on Tuesday morning. Also, several players took batting practice on the grounds of the Marlins’ new home, which will open in 2012.

The ballpark will feature blue seats. But to distinguish the first seat installed, it has been painted red.

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Marlins to again visit troops

Logan Morrison and Wes Helms will be among the contingent of Marlins traveling overseas to visit the troops in early 2011.

For the second straight year, the Marlins will be spending time and supporting those serving in the armed forces. The trip will be from Feb. 3-11.

A year ago, John Baker and Chris Coghlan were among the group that traveled to Iraq and Kuwait.

Also scheduled to make the trip are Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, David Samson and three Marlins Mermaids.

More details on the upcoming visit will be forthcoming, and Marlins.com will once again provide extensive coverage of the trip.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins happy for Heat

Civic pride is running high in South Florida over news that the Miami Heat have lured in three of the NBA’s top players.

The excitement raised to a new level on Thursday when LeBron James announced on ESPN that he will be signing with the Heat. The arrival of James makes the Heat immediate championship contenders.

Enthusiasm is high over the Heat building a team around James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

There will certainly be a buzz around the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown, which is only a few miles away from where the Marlins new retractable-roof ballpark is building built.

The Marlins feature some of baseball’s rising stars, like Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson. Rookie Mike Stanton promises to be a standout in the years to come.

Marlins president David Samson is a strong supporter for all the local sports teams, as he feels it enriches the community.

“We are very pleased that Wade, Bosh and James agree that Miami is a great Major League city, and we are excited for all sports fans in Miami,” Samson said. “We hope that there will be many championships in the future for all our local teams.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

 

 

Marlins new park next up for MLB

With the recent opening of Target Field, the next new MLB ballpark to open will be the next home of the Marlins.

More than 30 percent completed, the Marlins retractable-roof stadium remains on schedule and on budget. The doors of the park will open in 2012.

newparkinterior1.jpgOn April 12, eight members from the Marlins organization traveled to Minnesota for the first game of the Twins new home, Target Field.

Marlins president David Samson gives high marks to the Twins, and their president, Dave St. Peter.

“It could not have been a better opener,” Samson said. “It was an example of how an organization does everything right. Their Opening Day ceremony. The details in the ballpark. Not one detail went untouched and unlooked at.

“Dave st. Peter, to me, is simply a magician as a team president. It’s just remarkable what he’s done.”

Samson is impressed with how the Twins had driven up their season-ticket base, as well as how they repeatedly are a contending club.

“This is a team that wins consistently, year in and year out,” Samson said. “I just give him all the credit in the world. That ballpark is simply magnificient. They were so gracious with their time on Opening Day.”

The Twins were the last team to open a stadium before the Marlins get underway in their park in 2012.

All details of the Marlins ballpark can be followed via the new ballpark webcam on www.marlins.com. Fans can view construction from the interior and exterior of the ballpark online.

“Now, we feel like, we’re next,” Samson said. “We’re no longer on deck. We’re at the plate right now.”

– Joe Frisaro

Attracting All-Star interest

Bringing the All-Star Game to South Florida remains a strong possibility.

With their new stadium set to open in 2012, the Marlins have openly talked about their desire to someday host the All-Star Game. The year 2015 has been discussed as a possibility.

newpark2.jpgOn Thursday, MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy noted that South Florida is on the league’s radar.

“As has been talked about repeatedly, the commissioner has been committed to rewarding communities with All-Star Games for persevering and getting new ballparks,” DuPuy said.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has discussed with Commissioner Bud Selig the possibility of hosting the All-Star Game. DuPuy and team president David Samson have had similar conversations.

“I know Jeffrey has talked with the commissioner. David and I have talked about it,” DuPuy said. “I’m confident that South Florida will be in the queue.”

DuPuy was at the Marlins-Cardinals game on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium. Earlier in the day, he toured construction of the new ballpark Miami.

The Marlins are two years away from moving into their 37,000-seat retractable-roof building in the Little Havana section of Miami.

The league was instrumental in the ballpark being approved. Throughout the long process to find the Marlins their own home, MLB has stressed that South Florida could blossom into a prosperous baseball market.

The new staidum is crucial for the growth of the franchise.

“They’ve had location issues. They’ve had climate issues. They’ve had weather issues,” DuPuy said. “Even though they don’t get a lot of rainouts, I think the most important part of how the market is set up is that fans are going to know that games are going to start at 7:05, and they’re going to be over in a normal time period. Fans are not going to have to wait through an hour rain delay or an hour-and-a-half rain delay.”

The hope is that there also will be development around the ballpark, such as restaurants and shops. The long-term vision is to make the area a destination.

“I think the stadium is great for baseball. It’s great for this franchise,” DuPuy said. “It’s great for the community.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Marlins home attendance increase

A story in USA Today on Wednesday outlined how Major League Baseball overall is experiencing a 6.5 percent drop in attendance, based on numbers obtained through Baseball-reference.com.

The Marlins, however, enjoyed a 9.7 percent increase, averaging 18,075 in 78 dates at Land Shark Stadium. Instead of 81 dates, that number was down three due to three doubleheaders, two caused by rainouts.

The Marlins wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday against the Mets, and the team drew more than 30,000 in its final four home dates.

“Our attendance is up,” Marlins president David Samson said in a recent interview.

If not for rain delays, the team feels the crowds would have been bigger. In all, the Marlins attracted more than 1.4 million fans.

“There is no question, I think it would have been closer to 1.8 [million],” Samson said if not for the weather. “We [were] in the race until the final week. The definition of in the race is when there is no ‘x’ next to our name.”

That Marlins were officially eliminated on Tuesday night.

Other teams to see a dramatic increase in attendance are the Royals (13.9 percent) and Rangers (10.8 percent).

Teams on the decline are the Nationals (22.8 percent), Blue Jays (21.8) and Padres (21.6).

Overall, however, the league projects more than 75.2 million fans, the fourth most in baseball history, according to USA Today.

“Given that we are in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it’s stunning,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA Today of still attracting more than 75 million people. “This year is a great testament to the huge popularity of our sport.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

243 and counting

The Marlins on Monday will open against the Nationals, but the franchise already is looking ahead to 2012. That’s when they will move into their new ballpark, a retractable-roof, 37,000-seat facility at the Orange Bowl grounds.

Team president David Samson already has done the math. For those keeping track of such things, the Marlins have 243 regular season games at Dolphin Stadium left.

“That’s three years of 81, plus playoff games,” Samson said. “The countdown has begun. Everyone is prepared for it. We’re onto the next step and we’re preparing to break ground in July.”

Samson calls Opening Day “my favorite day of the year.” He treats it like a holiday. This year is extra special because it’s his 10th opener in management.

“There is nothing like the sense of hope and promise, and we have that,” Samson said. “I fully expect our team to compete and be there at the end. The thought of doing what we did in ’03 is very exciting to me.”

– Joe Frisaro

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