THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

2014 Sunbelt Tour: Dallas/Arlington, Houston, Miami, Tampa & Atlanta

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 08:15 AM

One of our first baseball tours of the 2014 season is our Sunbelt Tour. As with our Southwest Tour, we wanted to get to these baseball stadiums before the heat of the summer. This tour starts in Arlington, Texas, home of the Texas Rangers. The Mariners are in town to take on their American League West rivals at Rangers Ballpark

Miami,Marlins Park,baseball trips

The next day we'll drive down to Houston's Minute Maid Park to see the Astros and Royals in what's likely to be an afternoon game. We'll check into the hotel after the game and spendthe evening in Houston.

Friday morning you will fly to Florida to catch games at Marlins Park that evening and Tropicana Field on Saturday evening. We'll drive between those cities and get to both ballparks in plenty of time to explore them to see the fish tanks behind home plate and the ginourmous structure in the outfield in Miami and the tank of Rays and the Ted Williams Museum in Tampa Bay.Turner Field,Braves,baseball trips

On Sunday we'll head to the airport and hop a quick flight to Atlanta. We'll stay downtown where you'll have access to attractions like the CNN and Coca-Cola headquarters, the Georgia Aquarium, and lots of shopping and restaurants. Monday night we'll head out to Turner Field to see the Braves host the Marlins.  

As always, you'll stay in first class hotels, sit in lower level seats, and enjoy a Big League Player Experience. Don't miss your chance to visit these stadiums on one great tour. 

Southwest Tour: April 15-19, 2014

Tags: Marlins Ballpark, Turner Field, baseball trips, baseball stadiums, Minute Maid Park, Rangers Ballpark, Tropicana Field

Trip to Marlins Ballpark

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Sep 03, 2013 @ 09:22 AM

The new Marlins Ballpark was opened in 2012. It was the first new Major League ballpark since the Twins' new facility, Target Field, opened in April 2012 in Minneapolis. If you had ever gone to a Marlins game at Dolphin Stadium, you knew it would be great if the team had a facility that was dedicated to baseball. 

Marlins Ballpark exterior

Unlike Dolphin Stadium, which is right off the interstate and very easy to get in and out of, Marlins Ballpark is tucked into a neighborhood that makes it harder to get in and out of the game. For this visit, we were headed to the ballpark not as a group tour, but just as a family tour. We paid for stadium parking in advance, which at least eliminated our concern about where to park. It didn't help us get out any faster, though. 

The outside of the ballpark is very space-age looking. The columns in this picture support the roof when they open up the stadium. There was a threat of thunderstorms when we were there so they kept the roof closed. 

View of Marlins Ballpark

Inside, the park carries the sites and sounds of Miami throughout - Latin-influenced and very colorful. Even the smells in the stadium were different than others because of the wide range of food offerings. 

My overall impression? It's a much needed improvement over Dolphin Stadium to see a baseball game. My opinion is undoubtedly tainted in that I don't like watching baseball games under a roof. I understand the reason for it, but I think it kills the atmosphere of a game that's supposed to be played out doors. (My opinion is the same of all dome or retractable roof stadiums in the Majors...)

What could have helped? If the roof would have been open, I'm sure it would have influenced my opinion. If the ballpark had been built in a neighborhood that either grew up with it (think Fenway Park or Wrigley Field) or had developed around it (think Coors Field or Camden Yards), then it could have been a better experience. (Once you go in doors, though, it doesn't really matter.) The locals will tell you that fielding a better team would make all the difference in the world. I can't blame them...

Without any new ballparks under construction anywhere in the Majors, Marlins Ballpark will remain the newest park for the next several years. If you're planning to make a trek to Miami for a game, my suggestion would be to go at night (hoping the roof will be open), choose an opponent with a large road following (so there will at least be somebody's fans in attendance), and give yourself plenty of time to get in and out of the ballpark. 

Tags: baseball vacations, Marlins, Marlins Ballpark, Miami, baseball road trips, family tours

Marlins Ballpark is Nearing Completion - Video

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Sat, Mar 17, 2012 @ 07:08 AM

As Opening Day for the 2012 MLB baseball season quickly approaches, final preparations are being made inside Marlins Ballpark. Unbelievably, this will be the 14th new baseball stadium built since 2000 within the Major Leagues. The Marlins join the Twins (2010), Yankees (2009), Mets (2009), and Nationals (2008) as the five newest stadium owners. The team will boast the newest of those stadiums this year and for the next couple of years since there aren't any new ballparks under construction.

The following video footage from the Miami Herald was taken inside Marlins Ballpark at the point that they started laying the sod. This has obviously been completed since a couple of exhibition games have taken place, but it does give you some interesting views from inside the ballpark. The fish aquariums behind home plate, the home run sculpture in the outfield, and the Miami colors will all make this ballpark very unique. 

Take a look and let us know what you think!

Tags: stadium tours, Marlins, Marlins Ballpark, Miami, baseball stadiums