Miami Marlins

Bells and whistles: Marlins aiming to change the vibe inside their home ballpark

Dominican fans party before USA-Dominican Republic game at World Baseball Classic

Dominican fans dance to the music before Saturday's World Baseball Classic game between the United States and the Dominican Republic at Marlins Park on Saturday, March 11, 2017.
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Dominican fans dance to the music before Saturday's World Baseball Classic game between the United States and the Dominican Republic at Marlins Park on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

The World Baseball Classic brought an animated, vibrant vibe to Marlins Park last March when fans from the Dominican Republic and Colombia showed up in force to cheer their home nations.

The Marlins are hoping to bring a taste to that during their home games next season.

As the organization continues its efforts to reach out to their local and international fans, the team announced it will create a section in the right field stands they will call ‘Comunidad 305,’ which translates to Community 305 in Spanish.

The section will be themed to fans from various cultures and they will be allowed to bring everything from flags to musical instruments and will be available as an $8 season ticket according to Marlins President of Business Operations Chip Bowers.

The team also plans to sell food and beverages reflecting those cultures in that section.

“They can [buy those tickets] knowing they’ll be part of a community of people that can come hang out and be a little different, bring bells, whistles, flags, whatever that is to create a really cool vibe and a lot of the food and beverage experiential elements tied to that section will speak to that supporter element,” Bowers said. “So it’s about how create a unique experiences from a food and beverage standpoint that feels like home for them.”

Bowers said Wednesday that the team will continue to host multiple ‘Heritage Nights’ that celebrated multiple Hispanic cultures as it did this past season.

The club is also planning upgrades to its Diamond Club, its premium seating section behind home plate both in terms of seating and dining experience, and is working on redesigning several other parts of the park including standing-room only sections as well.

“Our goal is to bring that same mentality we saw around the WBC, English Premier League and MLS games,” Bowers said. “How do we get that type of engagement where people show their love for the Marlins and their particular culture? We’ve seen that on the different ‘Heritage Nights’ that have all been big successes. How do we do a better job engaging those folks? Those are the things we’re looking to do. I think people will see a significant change not just optically, but the feel and the vibe inside the building will feel different.”

Mini monster

While growing up in California, Isaac Galloway played Whiffle ball in his backyard with his brothers and cousins and pretended a “big cement wall” was Fenway Park’s famed Green Monster.

On Tuesday, Galloway homered over the actual Green Monster, making it a dream come true for the Marlins outfielder.

“That was better than the (my) first hit, especially at a place like this with all the history,” said Galloway, who spent 10 years in the minors before making his major league debut several weeks ago. “To hit a home run here is pretty awesome. I was shaking a little bit rounding the bases.”

Untimely error

For the second time this season, the Marlins on Tuesday lost a game on a game-ending error. Shortstop JT Riddle’s throwing error scored the winning run for the Red Sox in their 8-7 win over the Marlins.

“Step on the bag, throw the ball to first. Should have made the play,” Riddle said. “I threw the ball 80 feet and that was the game. Just a bad throw.”

The Marlins also lost to the Padres on a game-ending error by Miguel Rojas back in May. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Marlins have now lost 10 games in franchise history on game-ending errors.

Spring training

The Marlins will open their 2019 Grapefruit League season on Feb. 23 against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

Spring training schedules were released Wednesday. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report Feb. 13 with the first full-squad workout set for Feb. 18.

Additional information, including full schedule and ticket information, can be found at marlins.com and rogerdeanchevroletstadium.com

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