10 Never Before Seen Facts on LoanDepot Park

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10 Never Before Seen Facts on LoanDepot Park

LoanDepot Park is one of the league’s retractable roof stadiums every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Marlins venue opened in 2012 and last hosted the All-Star Game in 2017. Any Miami fan that bleeds Marlins teal will know every information possible, from the team winning the 2003 World Series to Jose Fernandez claiming the Rookie of the Year in 2013. However, there are new LoanDepot Park facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on LoanDepot Park below!

10: There was a Construction Error that Could Have Delayed Marlins Park’s Opening Date

After spending the first 18 years at a football stadium, the Marlins were ready to move on to their next chapter in life. They had to share the same venue with the Miami Dolphins for nearly 20 years. The Marlins are the most recent big league team to host the World Series (2003) in a multi-use sporting venue. Finally, the team found a new home that had both a retractable roof and a baseball-only facility. Unfortunately, there was a construction error that could have delayed Marlins Park’s opening date. 

In June 2011, more than a couple dozen large cracks were discovered in the parking garages adjacent to the then-Marlins Park. They were noticed on support beams close to the parking structures’ outside walls. If those cracks weren’t fixed in a timely manner, then there was a chance that the grand opening for the new ballpark could have gotten delayed. Luckily, the crack situation was resolved in time for the venue’s inaugural season in 2012. The construction issue turned out to be a major one as the parking garages had thousands and thousands of car lots total. 

9: DJ Khalid Celebrated His Son’s Birthday by Renting Out Marlins Stadium

Celebrating a birthday at the ballpark happens a lot in the sports industry. For instance, the jumbotron would display a message that says “Happy Birthday” to that special someone. Also, the birthday fan would get to try food offerings from concession stands and buy souvenirs at the team store. But sometimes, there are some people who would go above and beyond to celebrate that special person’s day. Well, that happened with DJ Khalid when he was honoring one of his children’s birthdays. 

In October 2018, the celebrity music artist decided to do something that his 2-year-old son (Asahd) would never forget. So he decided to celebrate his child’s birthday party by renting out the entire Marlins stadium. The event was not just a party, but it was also a state fair just for DJ Khalid and his companions. The park had carnival games and amusement rides, including a ferris wheel just for Asahd. Even then-Marlins owner Derek Jeter was in attendance. This was not the first time a celebrity rented out the entire Major League stadium, as Kanye West proposed to Kim Kardashian in 2013 at the formerly-named AT&T Park in San Francisco. 

8: LoanDepot Park had an Actual Rain Delay Despite Having a Retractable Roof

Retractable roofs can provide a calming atmosphere for baseball spectators and sports fans in general alike. In fact, they can protect fans from downpour rains and lightning strikes. In addition, those features can help with air conditioning to avoid the hot heat during the summer months. So far, only eight teams play in a stadium with a dome/retractable roof: Rays, Astros, Rangers, Marlins, Mariners, Brewers, Blue Jays. But one time in the stadium’s history, a Miami game was in a rain delay despite having a roof. 

During Opening Week in 2015, the Marlins were taking on the Atlanta Braves at the then-Marlins Park. In the second inning, a heavy rain storm hovered over the ballpark. But the bad news was that the retractable roof was open and the team didn’t close it in time. The Marlins originally planned to keep the roof open because Florida usually doesn’t get as many storms in April as it does in the summer. Anyway, the delay ended up lasting over 15 minutes as the roof was closing. Fortunately, the game went on without any further disruptions even though the field was somewhat slippery. 

7: The Marlins Ballpark was Originally Going to be Built Next to Miami Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl stadium is perhaps the most remembered sporting venue to exist in the history of Miami. The now-defunct facility served as the home for the Miami Hurricanes and the Miami Dolphins. In addition, the former football stadium was the site for the annual college football contest: Orange Bowl. In 2008, the Miami Orange Bowl was torn down to make way for the new Marlins ballpark. But did you know that the then-Marlins Park was originally going to be built next to the Orange Bowl stadium?

In early 2005, the baseball club and city officials came to terms on a baseball-oriented venue with the former football facility located right next to it. In fact, the retractable roof would have slid from the Marlins ballpark and stopped at the edge of Miami Orange Bowl. Unfortunately, that proposed plan never came to fruition due to a lack of funding. Eventually, the baseball team built their new venue by demolishing the old football stadium. Meanwhile, the Dolphins and Hurricanes moved to the-now Hard Rock Stadium at Miami Gardens. 

6: The Miami Baseball Stadium Can Withstand a Category 4 Hurricane

There’s a reason why the Marlins built their retractable roof stadium in the first place. During the summer months, Florida intends to have scattered thunderstorms throughout the entire state. With a movable roof, the Marlins are able to overcome unpredictable weather. Another thing to add is that the Sunshine State can reach temperatures to within the 90s, creating possible heat waves. Perhaps the main obstacle when it comes to Florida’s Mother Nature is life-threatening disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. Luckily, for the Marlins, their retractable roof stadium can withstand a category 4 hurricane. 

Believe it or not, the team’s game plan was to always leave the roof partially open whenever a major hurricane makes landfall in South Florida. The inspiration behind this technique was to prevent the roof itself from receiving structural damage. In addition, the plan would allow the hurricane’s air to enter and leave the interior of the ballpark. For those who are worried about the roof falling off, don’t worry because the structure would be connected and tied to over 50 steel anchors. LoanDepot Park did experience a major hurricane coming into the area in 2017 when the category 5 storm Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. 

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5: The Outdoor Walkways of LoanDepot Park are Unlike Any Other in the Big Leagues

Every ballpark in America has its own signature feature that fans remember. Fenway Park has the Green Monster at left field, while Yankee Stadium has Monument Park at center field. Wrigley Field has the ivy-covered walls, while Kauffman Stadium has the water fountains in the outfield. Minute Maid Park has the life-sized train above left field, while American Family Field has the mascot slide at left field. But LoanDepot Park has something that no other Major League stadium ever has. 

Located outside the ballpark, the Marlins venue has a multi-colored striped sidewalk created by the late Carlos Cruz-Diez. As a matter of fact, LoanDepot Park has two of those one-of-a-kind sidewalks. The first sidewalk has the colors of orange, green, and blue, likely resembling the sunny beaches of Miami. The second walkway has the colors of green and blue, either translating as the team’s former identity or the scenery from the Everglades. Not only did LoanDepot Park incorporate the vibe of Miami inside the stadium, but the venue also showcased that emotion outside. 

4: Marlins Stadium Used to Have its Own College Bowl Game in the 2010s

College football events can be a beneficial asset for ballparks when it comes to making more revenue during the year. In fact, there are multiple Major League parks within the nation that have experience in hosting football contests. In the early 2010s, Busch Stadium in St. Louis hosted its only college football game. As of today, the following MLB venues are currently serving bowl games: Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and Petco Park. There are other ballparks that rarely host football contests: T-Mobile Park, Truist Park, and Oracle Park. But for Miami, the previously-named Marlins Park hosted a college bowl game for a couple years. 

In 2014, the Miami Beach Bowl made its debut at the Marlins stadium. The inaugural matchup took place between BYU and Memphis, where the Tigers defeated the Cougars 55-48. One year later, the then-25th ranked Western Kentucky managed to beat South Florida 45-35. For the final year, Tulsa defeated Central Michigan in a blowout victory 55-10. Unfortunately, the Miami Beach Bowl came to an end when the contest was moved to Texas to become the Frisco Bowl in 2017

3: An Olympic Gold Medalist was in Attendance for a Marlins Game in 2012

Whenever celebrities go to sporting events, they would attend major events like the All-Star Game and the World Series. The high-profile individuals would either sit in a second level suite or in the home plate club. During the Fall/Winter period, celebrities would sit in courtside seats at basketball games. But sometimes, a big-name superstar would attend a contest only because a family member was taking part in it. Believe it or not, an Olympic gold medalist was in attendance for a Marlins game in 2012. 

In August 2012, the newly-named Miami Marlins were taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series. Surprisingly, beach volleyball champion Misty May-Treanor was in attendance for the second game of the series. The 3-time gold medalist was at the then-Marlins Park because her husband, Matt, was a backup catcher for Los Angeles. Even though Matt didn’t play in that contest, Misty appeared to be having a good time. For the outcome, the Marlins went on to beat the Dodgers in Game 2 of the series 7-3

2: Marlins Stadium has not Hosted a Live Music Concert Since 2017

It is a neat practice for Major League facilities to host big-name concerts. In fact, there are teams that previously hosted live stage shows. Those teams were the following: Mariners, White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, Orioles, Tigers, Astros, and many more. Concerts can vary with either a post-game event or just a stand alone performance during the off-season. But did you know that LoanDepot Park has not hosted a live music concert since 2017? And that doesn’t count singing at National Anthems or having themed nights. 

Interestingly, the Marlins stadium has only hosted two such shows since its opening in 2012: Beyonce and Guns N’ Roses. First, the wife of rapper Jay-Z performed at the retractable roof venue in 2016. During that concert, she collaborated with DJ Khalid as the latter served as the opening act. Next, Guns N’ Roses held their performance as part of their reunion tour in 2017. The rock band has some of the greatest figures in the industry such as Slash and Axl Rose. However, the Marlins facility has not hosted a major live concert since the Guns N’ Roses appearance. 

1: Many Attractions from the 2012 Debut are No Longer Present at LoanDepot Park

LoanDepot Park has some of the most unique attractions baseball fans can’t find anywhere else. For example, there’s a Bobblehead Museum in the home plate concourse that displays figurines from each of the 30 big league teams. Another example is that the food concessions focus on Miami heritage like Cuban cuisine and other Latin treats. Perhaps the most stand-out feature at the Marlins stadium is the retractable roof, where it closes during a storm and opens for fireworks. But there are other original LoanDepot Park attractions that no longer exist today. 

When the then-Marlins Park first opened in 2012, the club wanted to incorporate as much of Miami as possible. On the ground level at left field, there was a swimming pool area called the Clevelander that closed following the 2019 season. In front of the home plate club was a live fish tank aquarium that was taken down in 2021. Perhaps the most noticeable attraction in the history of Marlins Park was the home run sculpture located in center field. The feature was moved to the outside fan plaza in time for the 2019 campaign. Even though LoanDepot Park only turned ten years old in 2022, the venue went through a lot of changes in terms of game day experience. 

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