Update: The mayor of Miami Carlos Gimenez is also not a fan of the Dinger Machine, and is meeting with the Marlins about whether it’s possible to remove it from the stadium. Gimenez said of the gaudy but fun center field installation that it is an “eyesore” and,
“I just don’t think they’re all that crazy about it. I’m not a fan. We’re looking at it. …We’ll see if anything can be done.”
Michael Spring, the advisor who originally said it was an unmovable structure, is now describing the situation as “complicated” and cites hydraulics, plumbing, and electricity as contributions to that complicated nature.
Here’s hoping the contingent that is a fan of the sculpture (which, remember, is above all a piece of art made by a talented local artist) will make more noise than those against and keep the Home Run Machine where it belongs.
After some initial panic that it could be sayonara to the gaudy, garish, colorful mass of dings and lights and spinning things in the outfield once new ownership takes over, Miami-Dade County has come to the rescue.
Since Marlins Park was built with taxpayer money, county laws require that it include art. The $2.5 million sculpture qualifies as that art, and since it is a part of Miami-Dade’s Art in Public Places program it cannot be moved without prior approval from the county.
A county representative told the Miami Herald that the sculpture “was designed specifically for this project and location and is permanently installed. It is not movable.” and that “The county’s real estate team will provide any new owner with the requirements regarding care for the county-owned assets.”
Since it technically could be removed with approval, it’s not completely safe forever. But opinions on the county side are, for now, firmly planted in the “it’s staying” camp.
Hilariously, there is one higher-up in Miami-Dade County who agrees with Jeter and new ownership: the mayor himself.
The mayor’s communications chief revealed, “Mayor Gimenez appreciates art in public places. That particular structure, not so much.”
Good thing for sculpture fans the mayor isn’t the only one who gets to decide!