Gator baseball fans impressed at the home opener of the new $65 million ballpark

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 11:23 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Rain and cold weather didn’t stop the Gators Baseball team from showing off their fancy new diamond on Friday night for the 2021 season opener. The top-ranked team was taking on the University of Miami Hurricanes. Fans were expecting to see the first pitch inside the new stadium at 3 p.m., but the first pitch was delayed until 5:42 p.m. because of weather conditions.

Fans from all across the country traveled to Gainesville to see this historic game.

“We are actually from Massachusetts. My two sons are baseball players, and they both dream of playing for the Florida Gators someday. We got my son Ethan and my son Brandon who both hope to play here someday. We figured we drive down and check out the game,” said Jon Divito, who traveled to the home opener with his two sons.

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Ethan was excited to see the field he hopes to play on one day.

“It’s pretty awesome because I want to imagine myself playing here in a few years. It is kind of cool to come here. If I come back and play here in a few years, it will be even cooler to see my dream college play in a game.”

Fans of all ages enjoyed the new perks that were inside this state-of-the-art $65 million facility.

“I thought it was very more comfortable and had a lot better seats,” said Landon.

Another feature is an awning to protect fans from the ever-changing Florida conditions. Mitchell Hammack took notice of everything at the brand-new ballpark.

“I walked around it, and we got a view of just everything. I think it is a really awesome stadium.”

Brian Marchman believes this stadium is an excellent addition to the campus and the city.

“It is a very beautiful and comfortable stadium. Great for the university and great for Gainesville. We look forward to bringing the family here for years to come.”

More fans can enjoy the game from inside the stadium. There is seating for more than 7,000 fans on a regular basis. However, the capacity can be increased to seat up to 10,000 fans. Due to COVID, only 1,700 are allowed in for now.

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While the home opener was sold out, Hammack is looking forward to getting inside the stadium to cheer on his Gators.

“Just sitting behind home plate and watching the Gators go to work.”

Marchman said another excellent addition to the stadium is the 360-degree concourse.

As the baseball team begins their new season in a new home which they hope leads them to Omaha, fans are just as excited to be in the stadium on a historic opening day.

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