The Miami Marlins kick off the regular season this Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the whole baseball world will get its first look at the new Marlins Park. But while the new ballpark will keep the heat away and prevent any rain outs, there's one aspect of the stadium that's been largely overlooked: there's limited parking availability at the stadium itself.
In order to build their park in the central location, the Marlins didn't leave themselves much room to construct parking lots or garages. There are four parking garages affiliated with the stadium, but those lots can hold around 5,000 vehicles and spots get sold ahead of time. If you are driving to see a Marlins game and haven't already purchased a parking spot, then you will likely need to park in one of the many off-site lots in the local area.
While parking options will likely change as the season progresses, the Miami Herald has marked out all the available off-site lots that have sprung up so far:
Some of these parking options are run in business parking lots or on private property, but the vast majority are all within walking distance to the stadium and charge somewhere between $10-30. Many of the cheapest ones are smaller and located on the far side of the river (see: #1-6), but they also offer a free shuttle or trolley ride to the ballpark.
Also, there are a number of excellent lots that are currently not well known about. As the Miami Herald points out:
American Car Parks has a spacious fenced-in lot with room for about 600 cars and an adjacent lot for 100 cars near Northwest 11th Avenue and Seventh Street, available for $10. It is four blocks from the ballpark, but relatively few fans had discovered it.
There were about 1,000 spaces available for $10 in several lots along Seventh Street between 11th and 12th avenues.
If you are looking to attend a Marlins game and haven't purchased parking beforehand, it is certainly possible to get cheap parking within walking distance of the stadium -- the trick is knowing where to look, and giving yourself enough time to find it. Get there early and don't be afraid to drive around a bit. There are plenty of parking options, if you only give yourself a chance to find them.
For more on the Miami Marlins, drop by SB Nation's blog Fish Stripes.