Fall 2010 Issue

Alumni Connection

Dreams of steel

When the Florida Marlins new ballpark opens in time for the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Manuel Dovales ’06 will be in the stands cheering along with 37,000 other fans.

But his experience won’t exactly be that of the average fan.

“I’ll be looking at it a lot differently because I put in a lot of time there, a lot of hours to put that thing up. I feel like I know that stadium inside out.”

Dovales, who earned his MBA at the Andreas School of Business, is the scheduling and logistics manager for Baker Concrete which was awarded the contract to construct the retractable roof at the new stadium. He was in charge of the hiring of 350 people, who accumulated nearly 500,000 man-hours over the course of a year, the time it took to piece together the 8,300 tons of steel that make up the massive structure.

Baker completed the project in September so Dovales will have to wait another two years to see his work “in action” and revel in the thunderous reaction of tens of thousands of Marlins fans. But to be a part of a project that means so much to the City of Miami is a reward in itself, said Dovales, who grew up close to the former home of the Orange Bowl and future home to the Marlins ballpark.

“There was a time people were concerned the Marlins would be sold to a team in San Antonio. but it didn’t go through, and this project gave the city enough leverage to keep them,” Dovales said. “It’s a big deal for the city because the construction employed a lot of people from underserved areas. I am really proud to have been part of it.”