Marlins Park set for Serie de las Americas

Ballpark will host games featuring teams from DR, Venezuela this weekend

Marlins Park set for Serie de las Americas

MIAMI -- College football isn't the only sport getting ready for "rivalry week." Several powerhouse teams from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are set to square off for two days of impassioned baseball at Marlins Park.

The inaugural Serie de las Americas is set for this weekend at Marlins Park. A pair of doubleheaders is set for Saturday and Sunday, with the championship being aired on MLB Network.

The Serie de las Americas will bring Caribbean Series energy to Miami. The Marlins are hopeful the games will be something to build on, which could open the door for Marlins Park to someday host the Caribbean Series.

"We just want fans to come out and have fun," said Marlins executive vice president of operations and events Claude Delorme. "Miami, with our fan base, being as diversified as any other market in the United States, we feel like these types of exhibition games are a perfect fit for this venue."

Representing the Dominican Republic will be Tigres de Licey and Aguilas Cibaenas, bitter rivals compared to the Yankees and Red Sox. Licey, established in 1907, has 21 Dominican Winter League titles. Aguilas, born in 1937, has 20 titles.

From Venezuela will be Navegantes del Magallanes and Cardenales de Lara. These two teams will open the Serie de las Americas at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, with Licey and Aguilas following at 6 p.m.

The two losers from Saturday will play at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, and the winners will meet in the title game at 7:30 p.m. on MLB Network.

Marlins Park has previously hosted teams from the Caribbean. In 2013, the retractable-roof building was a second-round site for the World Baseball Classic.

Delorme said the organization has already submitted an application to host the second round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Miami will also host the MLB All-Star Game that July.

"We love the international component of it," Delorme said. "I've been a huge fan, when we hosted the WBC in 2009 [at Sun Life Stadium] and 2013. We think we have the perfect fan base for that type of entertainment.

"For us to have this, and follow it up with potentially being selected for the WBC, and the 2017 All-Star Game, would be outstanding."

Fans are encouraged to bring musical instruments and flags supporting their countries and teams.

"As long as they're not impacting the experience for the other fans to enjoy the games, that's where we draw the line," Delorme said. "We want people to come here. If they feel like dancing in their seats or displaying a flag, by all means, we're open to it."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.