Marlins Fans Eager For Team's Debut in "Their Own Building"

Owner Jeffrey Loria helped alleviate the street parking problem Tuesday

By Amara Sohn and Hank Tester
|  Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012  |  Updated 12:20 AM EDT
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Jose Luis Hernandez owns an apartment complex on NW 3rd Street and say his tenants have no street parking on game days. The city came up with a lot for the residents to park in and hoped the Marlins would pitch in $40,000. But the team, who initially paid millions for high-priced players, initially said no. Then owner Jeffrey Loria stepped up to the plate. Loria said he would

Jose Luis Hernandez owns an apartment complex on NW 3rd Street and say his tenants have no street parking on game days. The city came up with a lot for the residents to park in and hoped the Marlins would pitch in $40,000. But the team, who initially paid millions for high-priced players, initially said no. Then owner Jeffrey Loria stepped up to the plate. Loria said he would "do the right thing for the residents," Miami-Dade Commissioner Frank Carollo said Tuesday. "And he says that he will pay for any capital improvements for the (lot) and the operations for residential parking," Carollo said. Marlins President David Samson said that Loria ?likes to do a lot of his charitable work quietly, and this one was a little louder than most."

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The Miami Marlins players practiced while the grounds crew prepped the field Tuesday on the eve of the inaugural opening night for Marlins Park. Some eager fans got a sneak peek of the ballpark.

Martina Jimenez and her daughter are so hyped for Wednesday they came on Tuesday night just to snap a few photos.

“We’re excited for them to start tomorrow,” Martina Jimenez said, while her daughter said that being able “to see them at their own building is really exciting.”

Parking, however, has been a headache for residents nearby.

Jose Luis Hernandez owns an apartment complex on NW 3rd Street and say his tenants have no street parking on game days. The city came up with a lot for the residents to park in and hoped the marlins would pitch in $40,000.

But the team, who initially paid millions for high-priced players, initially said no. Then owner Jeffrey Loria stepped up to the plate.

Loria said he would “do the right thing for the residents,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Frank Carollo said Tuesday.

“And he says that he will pay for any capital improvements for the (lot) and the operations for residential parking,” Carollo said.

Marlins President David Samson said that Loria “likes to do a lot of his charitable work quietly, and this one was a little louder than most.”

“And he knew the issue that was going on, he knew we were in conversations with the city of Miami, and he just called and said no more conversations, let’s make sure that these 200 residents are taken care of the way the commissioner sees fit,” Samson said.

Later on Tuesday, Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro presented a resolution to restripe the street strictly for residential parking between NW 14th Avenue and NW 16th Avenue. The commission passed the item unanimously.

With the parking woes taken care of, fans are looking forward to a star-filled night. Miami’s Emilio Estefan will present the pregame ceremonies, and the Grammy Award-winning artist says fans are in for a surprise.

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