MIAMI — The Florida Panthers will kick off their 30th season back where it all began (or at least close to it) as their first celebrations will begin in Miami-Dade County.
The Panthers spent their first five seasons playing at Miami Arena in Overtown and have rarely held official events south of the Broward County line since moving north.
That will change next month when the teams holds two fan events in the Miami area — the first in Little Havana and the second in northwest Hialeah.
On Sept. 9, the Miami Marlins will celebrate 30 years of kinship with the Panthers as they play host to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park.
The Panthers will then hold a Vamos Gatos block party on Sept. 22 at Hialeah Trail Park off of I-75 just south of Miramar.
While the Panthers and Marlins usually have reciprocal events during their respective seasons, this one will include a special t-shirt to commemorate the two organizations being born in the same year and of the same ownership and management teams.
The Marlins and Panthers were started by the late H. Wayne Huizenga and shared the same inaugural year, the Broward billionaire eventually sold both teams by 2000.
As has been the case in past years with Anton Lundell and Matthew Tkachuk, at least one member of the Panthers will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Marlins say there will be “player appearances and an in-game takeover featuring Stanley C. Panther and Viktor E. Ratt.”
The ticket package sold through the Marlins includes a game ticket for the Marlins/Dodgers game as well as the t-shirt.
A portion of the proceeds benefit the Florida Panthers Foundation.
The Marlins are in the midst of their 30th anniversary season and wear retro 1993-era uniforms on Friday home games.
The Panthers, who started a few months after the Marlins did in 1993, have no plans to bring back retro jerseys for the upcoming season.
The Vamos Gatos event in Hialeah is free to the public and will run from 6-8 p.m. with food trucks, giveaways, games, music and more.
Since the Panthers will have started training camp by then, players may appear as well.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
- Now: Free agency period is open
- Sept. 15-18: Rookie Showcase (vs. Carolina, Tampa Bay and Nashville), Estero
- Est. Sept. 20: Training Camp, South Florida
- Sept. 25: Preseason starts; Doubleheader v. Nashville @ Sunrise
- Oct. 7: Preseason ends; v. Tampa Bay Lightning @ Sunrise
- Oct. 12: Start of 2023-24 Regular Season at Minnesota Wild
- Oct. 19: 2023-24 Home Opener vs. Toronto Maple Leafs