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Marlins' Home Run Sculpture Will Be Moved

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) -— The Miami Marlins won county permission Tuesday to move the kitschy, widely disliked Red Grooms sculpture out of Marlins Park to the plaza outside the ballpark.

The vote was a victory for Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who can now remove from the ballpark one reminder of unpopular previous owner Jeffrey Loria's regime.

Workers will take apart the 73-foot-tall sculpture and reassemble it on the plaza. The artwork, which has been located beyond the center field fence, will be replaced by a tiered standing-room-only area for spectators.

The colorful, mechanical sculpture moved when a Marlins player hit a homer and will continue to do so. It also will move at 3:05 p.m. — Miami's area code is 305 — on game days, and perhaps after victories.

Loria, who sold the Marlins a year ago, commissioned the $2.5 million sculpture for the opening of Marlins Park in 2012. Traditionalists like Jeter — a former New York Yankees shortstop — tended to dislike it, while supporters found the pop art very Miami.

Grooms opposed moving the artwork. But Miami-Dade County's Art in Public Places board voted unanimously to approve the Marlins' plan.

Jeter and company might have to reimburse the county the $2.5 million cost of the structure if the move lessens its value as a piece of art.

"We appreciate the support and collaboration for our proposal from the county and the Art in Public Places trust," the Marlins said in a statement. They added the new location "will allow the piece to be enjoyed year-round in a more public-facing manner."

Loria didn't respond to a phone message requesting comment.

So the 73-foot curiosity will exit but not without complications.

"Everybody is used to it and they are so accommodating with it. I do not think it is a good idea," baseball fan, Amelia Concepcion said.

"I am a fan of it. I think it brings fans out, so I think they should keep the home run structure," another fan said.

New ownership, a new path, a break from the past, and the controversial stadium deal Jeffrey Loria cut still lingers.

"It was pretty much highway robbery he got away with. So, I understand wanting to go a completely different business path from what he left behind," baseball fan Ross Padfield said.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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