MIAMI (CBS4) — The Florida Marlins are warming up for the start of baseball season with two historic milestones Tuesday. The new Marlins Ballpark had its first seat installed followed by the first batting practice inside the stadium.
A Marlins season ticket holder was on hand to witness his seat being installed. That very first seat will then be auctioned after the 2012 season with proceeds benefiting the Marlins Community Foundation, Cornerstones for Kids program.
The new season ticket holder then enjoyed batting practice from the newly installed seat. Marlins players Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton, Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, John Buck and Logan Morrison all took batting practice on the site of the future field. Following batting practice, Marlins players served lunch to the construction workers of the New Marlins Ballpark.
The stadium is nineteen months into construction and officials are proudly boasting the project remains on-time and on-budget.
“It’s good, I’m kinda hoping we don’t have to play on the rocks,” said Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan. “We’re looking forward to it and it’s exciting to be out here to see how much the community has done and all the workers.”
“You look at the unfinished parts and you just kind of imagine what it’s going to look like,” said Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton. “It’s something else.”
In construction developments, the first of three segments of the Center Retractable roof truss has been de-centered and moved. The second section of the Center truss erection has begun. The Center panels are the final and biggest of the three retractable roof panels.
The retractable roof is made up of three panels (East, Center and West) that will move independent of each other or in tandem. When in the open position, the East and West retractable roof panels will roll underneath the Center Panel.
Interior walls are approximately 85% constructed. Final finishes will be continuing throughout the year.
The main scoreboard video panels have been erected. Installation on the Right Field Score Board Panel and fascia ribbon boards began last week. Including the main Scoreboard, there will be approximately 46 display boards throughout the Ballpark. Sports Lights are already fully installed around the bowl.
Phase 1 of the public infrastructure improvements which consisted of installing new sanitary sewer pipes, installing new water distribution piping, and installing storm drainage systems is complete. Public Infrastructure work continues with improvements to the roads, sidewalks, traffic signals, and street lights.
“It started three years ago in a hotel in London where I sort of sketched out my idea my vision,” said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. “And I said run with this and they got it and nailed it.”
The new ballpark, with its 37,000 seats, is expected to open in April 2012.