A month in, the Marlins are still trying to figure out how to plug leaks in their 8,000-ton retractable roof and how to stop the grass from dying in the outfield.
“We knew going in the other retractable-roof ballparks had to make adjustments the first two years to get their ballpark right,” Samson said. “We hope we get it right the first time. So far, it’s not right. We’re going to keep working and finding a way to make it better.”
With the team hitting the road Tuesday for nine games in San Francisco, San Diego and Houston, the grounds crew at Marlins Park is first going to turn its attention to the grass in the outfield — particularly right field — that is turning brown. . . .
The roof was closed this past weekend for the entire four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and came in handy especially on Sunday and Monday when there were heavy rains and flood warnings. But despite having a roof over their heads, some fans still got wet because of leaks in the roof panels.
“[Sunday] there were four of five spots where we had some drips coming down. The roof people were looking at those joints,” Samson said. “Again, it’s very normal [to have leaks].
“But you need it to rain and see where [the leaks are]. There have been different types of rains the last few days. Back in the exhibition games there were leaks in the roof track in [Section] 321. [Monday], it wasn’t there. Sunday in right field, there were drips in Sections 1 and 2 and 201. But I looked during the game [Monday] when it was pouring, and I did not see it dripping.”
Samson said stadium workers plug the leaks by opening up the panels and patching the joints. “I guess they put gum on it,” Samson joked. “Or, something to seal it up.”
After April’s 11 home games, the Marlins are averaging 30,681 fans in paid attendance, ranking 14th in baseball. A year ago they averaged 19,007 fans at Sun Life Stadium, 28th among 30 major-league teams.