Gosh, wasn’t it nice to think of our humble little baseball stadium without using the words “steroid,” “cheater,” or “A-Fraud?”
Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park officially opened Friday night, reminding UM fans what it’s like to watch baseball without Caterpillar earthmovers outside the gates. The palm trees were up, the lights were on and the Canes were taking the freshly mowed field, just the way it should be.
There are plenty of things to love about the new addition: actual concession stands instead of tents behind the visitor’s dugout, sweet press boxes (hooray media!) and VIP suites that are sure to bring in new revenue streams to Hurricanes baseball, a beautiful façade showing everyone who comes to our campus from the south what UM’s architecture is all about. Miami’s baseball program has maintained elite status for three decades; its stadium finally caught up with it.
However, there are still a few kinks to iron out before the big crowds show up for ACC play. First, let’s get back to that stadium front. It’s beautiful, but if you’re not familiar with the campus, would you know what it is from the outside? If you don’t want to put Rodriguez’s name front and center, at least put something to make it identifiable – and why does Alex Rodriguez Park come before Mark Light Field on the scoreboard? Isn’t the field at the park, not the other way around? And let’s delineate the lines a little bit at the concession stands. More than a few people were stuck waiting for salad when they really wanted chicken strips. And virtually no credit card functionality! Couple that with lack of ATMs and, unless you’re rolling with a big wad of cash, you could be in quite a pickle when it’s time for the sixth-inning Omaha Express.
So let’s make this a two-part call to action. Hurricane athletics, iron out the kinks. We don’t mean to come down too hard; we know it’s hard to nail everything on opening night, but let’s resolve these issues. And to students and fans of Miami baseball: get out to the Light! It’s the best game experience a Canes fan has; it’s super convenient and it’s absolutely free. We hope to see you out there on Wed. March 4, as Miami welcomes Mt. Saint Mary’s to ARP@MLF (we’ve got to work on a different nickname).