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Posted: Tuesday September 12, 2006 11:01AM; Updated: Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:26PM
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Florida Marlins
Dolphin Stadium
Miami, Fla. :: Opened: 1987 :: Capacity: 36,331
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
Average Ticket Price: $16.70
Average Cost of Concessions and Souvenirs: $89.50
How expensive is stadium parking?
• FREE: 4%
• $5-$10: 42%
• $10-$15: 38%
• $15-$20: 14%
• More than $20: 1%

Is public transportation a viable option?
• Never: 86%
• Worth it if you have a lot of time and patience: 10%
• A good option to avoid rush hour: 1%
• Pretty easy if you know the system well: 1%
• The only way to go: 1%

How would you rate traffic getting to and from the game?
To the game:
• A slow-moving parking lot: 6%
• Slow, but usually steady: 9%
• Moves well outside of rush hour: 28%
• Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 38%
• A smooth ride at all times: 19%

From the game:
• A slow-moving parking lot: 7%
• Slow, but usually steady: 25%
• Moves well outside of rush hour: 19%
• Aside from the occasional bottleneck, it's good: 38%
• A smooth ride at all times: 10%


How would you rate the number of restrooms for men and women?
• Bring a map: 1%
• It depends on your section: 9%
• Never more than a short walk away: 13%
• A satisfactory amount: 29%
• Plenty: 39%

How long is the wait to use a bathroom?
• Always available: 80%
• 1-5 minutes: 19%
• 5-10 minutes: 0%
• More than 10 minutes: 0%

How would you rate the variety of food/beer concession options?
• Limp hot dogs, bland peanuts, even blander beer: 7%
• Nothing fancy, but the staple foods are tasty: 22%
• A little variety of food and drinks available at specific locations: 38%
• A nice variety but locations are spread out: 20%
• You name it, they have it around almost every corner: 12%

How much will a meal at the ballpark cost you?
• $5-$10: 22%
• $10-$20: 64%
• $20-$30: 10%
• $30-$40: 1%
• More than $40: 0%

How would you rate the entertainment options aside from the game?
• Nonexistent: 14%
• So many games/promotions and scoreboard highlights that the game is lost in the background: 0%
• Typical mascot antics/scoreboard quizzes and fun music: 54%
• Some unique promotions/antics, but it sometimes distracts from the game: 6%
• A nice balance that draws your attention when the game is stopped but doesn't distract from the action on the field: 25%
There's really no way to sugarcoat this: "This is a football park and it feels like it." From the names of Miami football legends ringing the top of the stadium and the teal-and-orange color scheme to the rectangular sightlines, Dolphin Stadium reeks of pigskin. With team and city efforts to build a baseball-only park stalled, the situation likely won't change anytime soon. "I hate to say it, but the Marlins would be better off somewhere else where they would be appreciated. Miami and South Florida fans don't deserve a team like the Marlins." Indeed, crowds are small, "which make it hard to get excited about a game." For the most part, the food doesn't seem to be much to get excited about either, unless you make your way to the Mezcla Grill and order the Chef's Special (a half chicken, rice, beans, chips, salsa and fried plaintains) -- for $8, it's the "best deal in the stadium."
"Dolphin Stadium is in the middle of a run-down nowhere, which is not too bad for football because there are only eight games a year and you can make a day of tailgating, but for baseball there is nothing to do but go to the game and leave immediately afterward. No bars or restaurants to meet with people before or after the game. No public transportation to get people from downtown to the game on a weeknight. Nowhere to go but home." Of course, "on the plus side, the stadium is close to the highways that take you to Miami and Fort Lauderdale."
2006 record: 72-71 (all statistics through Sept. 10)
Players worth the price of admission: Miguel Cabrera (.339 Avg., 25 HRs, 106 RBIs), Hanley Ramirez (.286 Avg., 107 runs, 47 SBs), Dontrelle Willis (10-11, 3.75 ERA, 146 Ks)
Though they haven't been around as long, the Marlins are quickly becoming the Oakland A's of the East. Despite a relatively small budget, the Marlins' front office continually builds quality teams destined to be overlooked in part because of their dismal surroundings. Things aren't likely to change with a football-mad local populace and an owner in Jeffrey Loria who purposely hurt the Expos financially when he owned them in an attempt to move them to a town that would build him a ballpark. Sorry, Jeff, but D.C. is no longer available; maybe you'd be wise to work a deal with the city in which -- here's a novel concept -- you pick up the tab for once; it is your team, after all.

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