Marlins’ home-run sculpture to be relocated

A mechanical home-run sculpture at Marlins Park, home of Major League Baseball team the Miami Marlins, is to be relocated to make way for a new standing-room space for fans.

The sculpture, which is known as ‘Homer’, flashes every time the Marlins score a home run, with pink flamingos also flapping their wings and marlins jumping out of its dancing waters.

The sculpture is popular among fans, but the Miami Herald newspaper reported that the Marlins have been granted county permission to relocate it to outside of the stadium.

The structure has been in place since Marlins Park opened in 2012, when the team was owned by Jeffrey Loria. The Marlins’ current chief executive is Derek Jeter, who, alongside billionaire businessman Bruce Sherman, bought the franchise last year.

‘Homer’ was designed by New York-based artist Red Grooms, who has opposed the relocation of the sculpture. The Herald reported that Grooms is claiming he designed the sculpture as part of a $2.5m contract with Miami-Dade County, specifically for its position in centre field.

The Herald added that the Art in Public Places board has ruled that the Marlins must pay Miami-Dade $2.5m should Grooms exercise an option to disavow the sculpture and render it “close to worthless” on the art market.

The new standing-room area that will replace ‘Homer’ will be designed as a space for younger fans to watch Marlins games. It will have room for about 400 fans and offer cheap tickets.

Image: Dan Lundberg