Sun Life Stadium in Miami is widely regarded as Major League Baseball’s worst venue for several reasons.
First and foremost, it’s undoubtedly a football stadium that gets a baseball field shoehorned into it in the summer. And despite that the Marlins have won two championships while playing their home games there, people walk in and around the stadium and see nothing but Dolphins, Dolphins, Dolphins–a team that hasn’t even appeared in a Super Bowl since moving into the new digs in 1986.
It’s also an enclosed stadium with no outside view…not that there’s anything worth seeing in Opa-Locka. The stadium is in a Miami suburb with no restaurants, nightlife or public transportation to the city. Very little public transportation at all, for that matter. You pay the stadium’s parking prices or don’t come to the game.
Worst of all, there’s few experiences like being outside on a humid summer evening in south Florida. Except for maybe sitting through a hurricane.
So unless you’re a hardcore Marlins fan, Sun Life doesn’t offer much in the way of the baseball experience. PNC Park it is not. Heck, it isn’t even Tropicana Field–at least at the Trop you escape the heat and thunderstorms.
But Sun Life does have something no other park I’ve researched has–arepas.
For the uninitiated, an arepa is something like a grilled cheese sandwich, except with cornbread. The cornbread is made from a mixture of kernel corn and arepa corn flour. Then the two hunks of cornbread sandwich a glob of mozzarella cheese. Think of it as a Latin hot pocket. I haven’t tried one, but given my affection for both cornbread and grilled cheese sandwiches, I can’t imagine not liking this.
Word in baseball is the arepa was a good part of the reason for star Marlin Miguel Cabrera’s noticeable weight gain. To listen to the blogs, he put on 40-plus pounds of cornbread and cheese.
Arepas are a South American cuisine, so they’re more popular in south Florida’s Latin population, but they can be found in most cities if one looks around a little bit. And truthfully, they aren’t hard to make either. The Sun Life Stadium Arepa recipe is available at many places on the web, which probably isn’t a good thing for the venue. They’re gonna need some better reasons than a suntan for people to come out for Marlins games.
All the same, at least when you’re in the sweltering heat of a nearly empty stadium that brags about a football team that hasn’t won since the Nixon administration, you can have a cornbread and melted cheese sandwich. If the Marlins start winning, that should be good enough.