The new $515 million Florida Marlins ballpark in Miami is set to open this April in time for opening day. Although it’s the smallest ballpark in Major League Baseball (37,000 seats) it might become the most notorious in design. Under a retractable roof (which takes an impressive 13 minutes to open), two 30 feet long aquariums holding 1000 gallons of seawater will serve as a home plate backstop. A swimming pool near left field is available for private parties, on a per-game basis. And a 60 ft. tall kinetic sculpture – animatronic Marlins leap and seagulls soar amid a blast of colorful laser lights – will rise behind centerfield every time a Marlin hits a home run. The publically funded sculpture is designed by pop artist Red Grooms, a friend of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who is also a Manhattan art dealer.
Loria doesn’t always hire an artist: he designed the Marlins’ championship ring when they won their second World Series in 2003. Each one had 228 white diamonds, 13 rubies and one rare teal diamond.