MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s truly a new era for the Miami Marlins as the team has agreed to pay $40,000 to convert four municipal lots into parking for residents living around the stadium.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is going to pay for the improvements and the team will operate the lots. The move comes less than a week after the Marlins were originally asked to pay for the costs of changing the lots to parking.
“We appreciate having this ballpark in Little Havana, we’re proud to be in Little Havana,” said team president David Samson. “It’s all about being a great neighbor and taking care of the people we live with every day now.”
When a reporter pointed out that some residents will have to walk a distance from the parking lots to their homes, Samson replied, “I would assume you’d have to walk a few blocks, but that would be good. It’s nice to walk in Miami.”
Most people who saw the plans for the stadium realized immediately that there was nowhere near the amount of needed on-site parking for the stadium. Marlins Park will hold approximately 37,000 fans, yet the stadium only budgeted for 5,700 parking spots.
The majority of those spots are taken by season-ticket holders and those who decide to buy parking when buying tickets. The residents around the stadium lost out on their parking after the city repainted the street and began giving out parking tickets.
Ana Acue who is elderly and says she is disabled called the parking situation “a disaster.”
“I don’t have a space here,” Acue said, standing outside her apartment building. “I am handicapped and I would have to walk more and I can’t do it.”
The Marlins said Tuesday that if you are coming to the stadium for opening night, try to arrive early. The parking garages open at 3 pm for the game and traffic will progressively get worse as rush hour begins around the stadium.