Umbrella policy changes at Marlins Park

Umbrella policy changes at Marlins Park

MIAMI -- Having a roof guarantees games will start on time at Marlins Park. But the building itself isn't enough to shelter fans from the elements on their way into the Marlins' new home.

When the season started, the Marlins had a "no umbrellas" policy in their retractable-roof ballpark.

But after it was noted that fans were getting wet prior to entering the building, team president David Samson lifted the policy.

"I got an e-mail from a fan who, during a rain storm, walked from his parking spot to the ballpark with an umbrella," Samson said. "He wasn't allowed to bring it in, because we had a no umbrella policy.

"The reason we had a no umbrella policy is that there is no rain inside the ballpark at all."

The Marlins open a 10-game homestand on Monday against the Rockies. If it is raining shortly before the first pitch, fans can now bring umbrellas into the ballpark, which has a capacity of 37,000.

"I personally take the blame," Samson said. "I overlooked the fact that fans need umbrellas to get from their parking spots to get to the ballpark, because it does rain.

"So we changed the policy immediately. I got the e-mail, and the policy changed within 10 minutes."

Unpredictable rain patterns and excessive heat were reasons the Marlins sought a retractable-roof ballpark.

During the franchise's first 19 seasons, they played at spacious Sun Life Stadium. Rain repeatedly was an issue in terms of distracting fans from attending games.

"We've always said that we want to hear from fans," Samson said. "What are we forgetting or what are we doing wrong? We go ahead and act on all the e-mails we get. I get great suggestions on d.samson@marlins.com."