Those attending Miami Marlins home games in 2019 will no longer have a view of the stadium's most iconic element: the home run sculpture in center field.
The team has received permission from Miami-Dade County to move the sculpture to the plaza outside Marlins Park, according to Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald.
Red Grooms, the sculptor behind "Homer," was opposed to the statue being moved from its home in center. Grooms said he designed it under a $2.5-million contract with the county specifically for that placement. As the artist, he has the right to disavow the work when it's moved, which would remove its value on the art market. The Marlins circumvented this issue by agreeing to pay Miami-Dade up to $2.5 million should this occur.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has wanted the sculpture removed since buying the team from Jeffrey Loria in 2017 as part of an ownership group. The plan is for the spot to include a new multi-story spectator area for standing-room-only ticket holders.
The sculpture will not go quietly into the night, however, as it will continue to whirr and spin any time the Marlins hit a home run, at the end of every home win, and every day at 3:05 p.m. as a tribute to Miami's original area code.
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