MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Thursday is the start of a new season for the Miami Marlins and they’ll do it at their newly named park.
Marlins Park is now officially loanDepot park.READ MORE: Formula 1 Racing Coming to Miami Gardens, Some Residents Aren't Happy About It
“Sorry that I’m here late. I put in my GPS “Marlins Park” and I couldn’t find it, ha, ha, ha,” said Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas.
Even the players will have to get used to saying loanDepot park. A new multi-year deal between the Marlins and the mortgage lending giant officially kicked off just 24 hours before opening day. loanDepot CEO Anthony Hsieh said this move gives his California-based company more brand recognition on the east coast.
“Florida is a major market for us. It is a vibrant state and certainly having our name associated with this park is very attractive to us beyond just baseball,” said Hsieh.
As for the Marlins selling the naming rights and inking a new TV deal, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said it gives the front office more money to build a product on the field.
“They’re foundational pillars for us. These are big deals, they’re important deals for us, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he said.
That work begins Thursday at 4:10 p.m. when starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara leads the fish out onto the field for opening day against Tampa Bay Rays.READ MORE: Zoo Miami Helps Discover A Brand New Spider Species In Miami
“I can’t wait for tomorrow to be outside on the mound. Go a lot of innings and competing. That’s what I’m waiting for, you know, support my teammates, represent my country,” said Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara.
Miami of course is coming off their first playoff appearance since 2003 and is no longer flying under the radar.
“Now it’s just going out. Trusting yourself. Trusting the talent that we have, the guys that we have, and just going out there and having fun,” said third baseman Brian Anderson.
“I’m really excited about seeing our fans in South Florida again and playing in front of them and then letting them know that we’ve got a team here that they can be proud of,” said Rojas.
When the Marlins kick off the new season, there will be new health and safety protocols in place at the park.
Park capacity will be capped at 25 percent. All tickets will be digital and can be purchased in the MLB Ballpark app. Fans will receive a time and gate location to enter the ballpark, which will be listed on each game ticket. Bags will not be permitted inside the park unless for medical or infant purposes.
Guests are encouraged to pay electronically (debit, credit, Apple Pay, etc.) at all concession and retail locations. All eating and drinking should be done in the fans’ assigned seats.MORE NEWS: South Florida Restaurants Desperate For Workers Offer $400 Signing Bonuses
Face coverings will be required for those ages two and older and may only be temporarily removed when actively eating or drinking.