Jacksonville Suns (professional baseball), Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Suns baseball club is the AA affiliate of the Miami Marlins. The team, which plays in the Southern League, has a long history in Jacksonville, and has had the likes of Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Alex Rodriguez, and many other big names of the game play on its rosters. After many years of playing at Wolfson Park, the Suns began playing at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in 2003, one of the finer parks in the Southern League. An outing to a minor league game is a tremendous entertainment option for the whole family, as there are often many promotions, in addition to the game itself, that add to the overall experience. The Suns and the Pensacola Wahoos are the only AA level clubs in the state of Florida, though there are several Single-A clubs as well. In addition to their cross-state rival in Pensacola, the Suns also play against teams from Birmingham, Mobile, Chattanooga, and other Southeastern markets. The Suns' schedule runs from April to the first week of September.
Opened in 2003, the design of the Baseball Grounds is said to have been inspired by Camden Yards in Baltimore. The stadium features luxury suites, terraces with picnic table seating, a restaurant, and a team merchandise store, in addition to traditional stadium seating and concessions. Just beyond third base, a grassy berm area is a place where families can sit while kids can run around and even sometimes get autographs behind the home bullpen. The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville is also a site for other special event baseball games and will also serve as the temporary home of the Jacksonville Armada, the city's new professional soccer team that is scheduled to begin play in 2015.