Chronological Tour: Stop 263

Roger Dean Stadium

One of several entrances to Roger Dean Stadium, Aug-2003.

The seats, as seen from the right-field foul pole.

Training facilities for both the Marlins and the Cardinals are visible.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
Part of me wants to bump this rating to four baseballs, but part of me wants to keep it at three. The trouble could be that I attended a sparsely-attended day game, which made me realize how sterile this ballpark is even though it’s aesthetically appealing from the outside.

The park was built as part of a new planned community in Jupiter’s southwest quadrant called Abacoa. They’re trying to make a new city out of this, and they may well have more success than they seem to be having in Viera, but it still looks forced. As I walked the streets of Abacoa, I got the feeling that I was on “The Truman Show”, except that (1) it was a lot hotter, and (2) I could drive out of the community, unlike Jim Carrey. (The movie was actually shot at a similar development on the Gulf Coast.)

The park itself was built in 1998, and it bears the name of a car dealer. Both the Marlins and Cardinals use it for spring training; each club has their own facilities and practice fields beyond the outfield. The Jupiter Hammerheads, a Marlins farm club, have been there since 1998; now they have been joined in the Florida State League by the Palm Beach Cardinals. This was a rare day on which both teams were scheduled for home games. I did watch the second game, but from the press box.

The park itself is fairly standard, nothing much to write home about. Concourses and aisles are sufficiently expansive, although there were numerous promotions at the night game and that made things a bit crowded. Aside from a small right-field berm, all the seating here is stadium seating.

Hurricane Frances wrought havoc in September 2004, knocking down seven of the stadium’s eight light stanchions. Two of the poles landed on structures, one on the press box and the other on the Cardinals’ clubhouse in right field. The entire lighting system was replaced for the 2005 season.

On my return visit in 2016, I was disappointed that in the key minutes before the start of the game, the Hammerheads only had one ticket window open, meaning that ticket sales did not proceed as swiftly as possible. It was a Saturday evening, and while there were no major promotions, a pleasant evening did lead to a significant walk-up.

Game # Date League Level Result
639 Fri 29-Aug-2003 Florida State A PALM BEACH 4, St Lucie 0
640 Fri 29-Aug-2003 Florida State A JUPITER 1, Brevard County 0, 12 inn
1502 Sat 27-Aug-2016 Florida State A JUPITER 3, Fort Myers 0
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