Roger Dean Stadium (map it)
4751 Main St
Jupiter, FL 33458
Year Opened: 1998
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Jackson Wolek, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Roger Dean Stadium has been the home for the Miami Marlins spring training since 2002, although it opened in 1998. When the Marlins are not using the stadium, it is being occupied by both the Palm Beach Cardinals and Jupiter Hammerheads of the minor-league Florida State League. Recently, the Miami Marlins built a brand new state-of-the-art stadium in the heart of Miami. They might want to consider moving to a new spring training stadium, as well.
Although it was a packed house for their home game against the Cardinals, who also use Roger Dean Stadium as their spring training facility, it was a sea of red. Understandably, the Cardinals have just come off a World Series championship, but there is a good reason to believe that if the Marlins played in a stadium closer towards Miami, they would attract more fans than they do in Jupiter. The stadium is the only one in Florida being used to accommodate two major league teams, meaning virtually everyday a game is being played there during the spring. From what I could tell at the stadium though, the fans treat it as the Cardinals home stadium, and the Marlins are just visiting.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Walking around the inside of the stadium, it's very easy to find something to eat. The hard part is finding anything worth buying. The lowest price for a beer is $6.25, while water is $4.00, which I thought was absurd. There was nothing spectacular about the choices, and there is a much better option just across the street.
JJ Muggs, located within walking distance of the stadium, is a perfect sports bar to grab a beer, which is $4.00 and the same price of water in the stadium, and much better food. The cool thing is you can enter and leave the stadium as much as you want, so if you don't mind missing an inning or two to go over to JJ Muggs, it's not a problem.
With the stadium being in Florida, it was extremely hot the entire game - not to mention there was an hour rain-delay due to the frequent mid-day Florida showers. The only reason I could think of as to why most of the spring training games are played during the heat of the day is lots of northerners come down to see their teams and want as much sun as they can get. It was a good place to watch a game, however, as far as the mood is concerned. It was more of an older crowd, and it seemed like almost everyone had just retired and bought a condo "down south".
I was a little disappointed that I didn't see the new Marlins' mascot walking around the stadium. There wasn't much to do while inside the stadium but watch the game, however, which is fine for a minor league game, but I think for spring training more could have been done.
The stadium is located directly inside Abacoa, a town in Jupiter. It contains townhouses, apartments, restaurants, shopping, and a small part of Florida Atlantic University. Everything is close enough to walk to and should provide all of your entertainment needs. Outside of this town, the beach is just 10 minutes away. A great way to spend the day is to catch a game then go to the beach, or vice versa.
As I am doing this review for the Miami Marlins and not the St. Louis Cardinals, I must give a big thumbs-down for the fans. There was hardly any orange to see in the stands, but the red was all over. I feel as though since the Marlins did make big acquisitions during the off-season this year that the fan support should be more prevalent. Perhaps it will be once the official season kicks off. If so, then that might show that what the fans really wanted most of all was a new stadium, and Jose Reyes was just a tremendous extra.
It could also be that what the fans of the Marlins in Miami are saying is that they no longer want to travel an hour and a half to see a spring training game anymore, and that the Marlins should be moved closer to Miami.
What the stadium needs to do is find a way to deal with sellout crowds, especially during rain delays. It was very difficult to move around the concourse inside the stadium before the game, on my way to the bathroom during the second inning, and impossible during the rain-delay - not to mention finding the restrooms became a chore in-and-of itself. The stadium has one team store, which was filled so much to capacity that there was a long line just to get in and check out the medium-sized shop. Finding the stadium is rather easy, and parking is free, which I found excellent considering it was a spring training game.
It cost $20.00 for one person because it was being shown as a premium game. I found out that the way a game gets listed as a premium game is by basically being on the weekend. These were the cheapest seats in the park, and they were in the bleachers in left field. The good part is it was still a good way to watch some of your favorite players or team up really close instead of far away in a Major League stadium.
A great extra was Abacoa, which provides great entertainment before and after the game. Another extra is the fact that you can see some of the best players in the world up closer than you may ever see them at a Major League park for much less cost. A huge extra for there being free parking for a spring training game.
The stadium specifically isn't a problem location-wise. What it could use is some expanding and some extras added to it so that it can standout a little more than it does. I'd like to see something done so that when it does rain, there is more covering for people to stand or sit under, instead of all rushing to the concourse, which was not completely covered. I would also like to see more fan support from the Marlins' fans at their home games. Something that could possibly be done with that is a bus that takes fans from Miami up to Jupiter for the day.
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