A couple Mondays ago, my company took everyone to a Marlins matinee game against the Diamondbacks. They got us all tickets to “The Clevelander at Marlins Park,” which is a separate bar/club in left field at the new stadium. I had already visited Marlins Park on Opening Day and wrote a Baseball Fan’s Guide to Marlins Park. I told you how great the new stadium is and how baseball fans will love going here.
The Clevelander is a local hotspot on South Beach that represents the international beach club scene in Marlins Park. And the team thought adding a bar area with a pool in left field would be just the thing to get locals out to more ballgames.
It’s like having a Pat O’Brien’s in the Superdome in New Orleans or something equally non-sportsy and touristy.
It’s like putting a baseball stadium in the middle of a club on South Beach.
It’s like putting tits on a bull.
Can you tell I’m not a big fan of it?
There’s No Club Music in Baseball!!!
Maybe I’m being too harsh about it; after all, I had a good time, ate some great food and drank quality beers. There were beautiful women, either dressed in bikinis or just body paint up top. What’s not to like?
Oh yeah, there was a baseball game going on, and I had no idea.
Between the loud club music chiming in from behind you, and the low field-level seats in left field with a horrible perspective, it was very difficult to keep attentive to the game. The music was so loud, Arizona’s left fielder that day, Gerardo Parra, was quietly dancing to it in between pitches.
There was a freaking bathroom attendant in the men’s room. I asked him if he was the bat boy, but he didn’t get it.
I understand what the team is trying to do: they’re trying to get non-baseball fans out to the game for a great time. That’s completely understandable and I’m sincerely hopeful that this does it. This reminds me of a place that would be a cool date with someone that’s a bigger club-hopping fan than baseball fan. Then, after the game, you head out to the real clubs on South Beach. That works well for that.
But for me, for real sports fans, it’s just a swing and a miss. Between the music and the distance from home plate, I felt completely detached from the game. However, directly above the Clevelander at Marlins Park is the Budweiser Skyline Bar in left field. THAT’s a great viewpoint for the game and a great environment.
Stuff you should know about the area:
- How many seats are there in the Clevelander? That’s a tricky question. There are three rows of about 12 sections of two-seat love seats in that section. So figure there are about 72 seats at the Clevelander, but those are just the spacious, comfortable seats close to the field. There are seats at the bar behind it and all around the pool. You don’t need tickets for the bar seats, but you do need tickets for the green seats. Apparently, the whole Clevelander area holds 250 people.
- Food was generally about $10-13, as were the alcoholic drinks.
- The best seats in Marlins Park for the money are the seats either below the Budweiser Skyline Bar, or down the left-field line. You can usually get them for about $20-40, and you are within a quick walk to the bar, and you’ll have the “Taste of Miami” food choices behind you on the concourse.
Pictures of Clevelander at Marlins Park
Below are several pictures I took during the day (the roof was closed because of rain, so that was sweet!), with some random smart-ass comments thrown in.
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.