Loria, Marlins Execs Look at Citi Field

Fri May 01, 2009 - Southeast Edition
Ronald Blum

NEW YORK (AP) Standing in the third-base dugout at Citi Field on April 27, Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria showed some of his top executives the padded green premium seats in the Delta Club behind home plate.

He walked behind the plate and pointed to the owner suites and the two levels of corporate suites. Vice Chairman Joel Mael and Senior Vice President for Stadium Development Claude Delorme nodded.

Final approval was given in March by government officials for a new Marlins ballpark, to be built at the former site of the Orange Bowl. Loria said construction will start in July, and the team expects to move in for the 2012 season.

“We’re doing a different concept,’’ Loria said. “We’re doing a more contemporary stadium. Theirs is more retro and pays homage to the past. Ours is going to be a contemporary building.’’

Florida’s ballpark will have a retractable roof and is expected to have a capacity of about 37,000.

“It will be a cool place,’’ Loria said, “from the aspect of air conditioning and the fun things that go on.’’

Loria lives in New York, where the Mets to some extent and the Yankees to a far greater extent have had difficulty selling their premium tickets.

He wouldn’t say whether that has caused him to rethink how many premium seats the Marlins’ ballpark should have.

“We’re in 2009. We have no idea what the world’s going to be in 2012,’’ Loria said.