Ballpark Roadtrip: Sun Life Stadium

Sun Life Stadium is a football stadium being used for baseball in Miami Gardens, Florida, a city north of Miami. It is the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League, and the Miami Hurricanes football team of the University of Miami. Sun Life Stadium also hosts the Orange Bowl, an annual college football bowl game.

Originally named Joe Robbie Stadium, it has also been known as Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, and Land Shark Stadium. It has been the home to the Florida Marlins since 1993.

In 1990, Wayne Huizenga purchased 50% of then-Joe Robbie Stadium and became the point man in the drive to bring Major League Baseball (MLB) to South Florida. That effort was rewarded in July 1991, when the Miami area was awarded an MLB expansion franchise. The new team was named the Florida Marlins, and placed in the National League.

On January 24, 1994, Huizenga acquired the remaining 50% of the stadium to give him 100% ownership. Since 1991, several million dollars have been spent to upgrade and renovate the stadium.

The first Marlins game played at then-Joe Robbie Stadium was on April 5, 1993, a 6–3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Ballpark: D – It’s a football stadium. You can get around parts of stadium because they are blocked off. Seats are falling apart and you can’t walk around. No working out of town scoreboard.
Fans & Atmosphere: D – They are already talking football; it’s a Dolphins and Hurricanes town, not a baseball town. Talking to one fan, all he was concerned about was the Dolphins.
Food: D – Nothing worth eating except the boars head sandwiches for $11.00 dollars! They wouldn’t allow me to bring in a large bottle of water.
Mascot: B – Billy the Marlin.
Staff: C – Helpful security staff despite all restrictions. Some nice concessions vendors.
Team Tradition: D – Get youngsters, build team, win World Series, sell players.
Location: C 16 miles northwest of downtown Miami, Florida. Don’t get lost, Miami Gardens has some scary areas. Got lost there and all I heard was Samuel L. Jackson’s voice.

Photos taken May 14-15 2010 using a Canon EOS 50D Digital SLR with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.

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