Behind the cabanas upstairs are marble bars, a DJ booth and a dance floor. Multicolored lights dot the ceiling and spotlights roam the floors. Guests enter through a private curtained elevator; valet parking is available for $35 a game and the club usually stays open for up to two hours after a game ends.LaCapra said young professionals in their 30s are a common demographic, but so are corporate fans in their mid-50s who want to use the club to woo clients.
“The executive suite or skybox experience I think a lot of people have become used to,” he said.
Grutman said busloads of clubgoers are brought over from the Fontainebleau for games “like a field trip,” including visitors who have no idea how the game works.
“This is something people talk about to me around the world,” he said. “And you’re talking about eight games.”
The space is also used on average about four times a month when there’s nothing going on at the stadium for special events such as wedding receptions, bar or bat mitzvahs or corporate gatherings. Rental fees start at $3,500 plus expenses and catering.
LIV also opens during other sporting events and concerts, whenever there’s a critical mass of people. One weekend in late July, the lower level was packed and the upper level was populated but sedate during a soccer match between AC Milan and Chelsea.
Roy Cervantes, a business consultant, watched with about 14 friends in a cabana. He said he visits the original LIV in Miami Beach and frequently attends Dolphins games at the stadium club.
“I think it’s amazing,” he said. “I used to live in Boston and you didn’t find places like this. That’s why we come.”
CLEVELANDER AT MARLINS PARK
On a recent Saturday night at this South Beach transplant, the Marlins were winning on the field.
But on a stage above the pool, showgirls were dancing. A woman was having her body painted in some tribute to the team. And, on the outside patio, there was beer pong and cornhole to play.
“He’s trying to pay attention to the game,” said 26-year-old Patrick Ledan, at the Clevelander with friend Ryan Perez. “I’m trying to tell him there’s so much more to look at.”
That’s exactly what the operators of the bar and the Marlins organization were hoping for when they partnered to bring the Clevelander — a version of the Ocean Drive hotel, bar and restaurant — to the new $634 million park in Little Havana.
“What we were always trying to do with the ballpark was have different areas for different demographics and different interesting things for people to see and do,” said Marlins president David Samson. “In Miami, you’re really looking to create events — and the game is just part of the event. There have to be other things going on.”
He said the most positive thing about a season that has been disappointing on the field has been fans’ reactions to the park, which was mostly funded with public dollars.
The Marlins and the Clevelander’s owner, Brio Investment Group, both contributed to the cost of building the sports bar. They share revenues, though neither group would disclose how the money is split.
Palma, Brio’s executive vice president of hospitality, said the company is projecting more than $2 million in gross sales for food, beverage and venue fees at the ballpark location.