- Meg Minard
Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium – Palm Beach Cardinals
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium 4751 Main St Jupiter, FL 33458
Palm Beach Cardinals website Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium website
Year Opened: 1998 Capacity: 6,871
Sharing Roger Dean
Originating in 2003, the Palm Beach Cardinals are the Florida State League (FSL), Single-A affiliate of the MLB St Louis Cardinals. The team won the 2005 FSL Championship and shared the 2017 Championship with Dunedin when the series had to be cancelled because of Hurricane Irma.
They share their home, Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, with the St Lucie Hammerheads (Single-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins). Roger Dean Stadium is best known as the spring training facility for the St Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins.
The facility hosted the 2000 and 2019 FSL All-Star games. In 2012, the WBC (World Baseball Classic) used Roger Dean Stadium for qualification rounds for the 2013 WBC.
Roger Dean Stadium has a beautiful exterior with palm trees, other Florida foliage, and bushes in a park-like setting. The grounds have benches in the shade to sit and enjoy the spring and summer Florida months. Roger Dean Stadium celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022.
Food & Beverage 3
The Cardinals provide a decent selection of food and drink at lower than typical spring training prices.
Two concession stands are open for a Cardinals game. The Island Grill, a semi-permanent cart, sells stadium jumbo dean dogs and Italian sausages, and some snacks including a hummus snack pack. Their Italian sausage is loaded with peppers and onions and is worth a try. It’s big enough for two people.
A permanent, built-in stand called Pizza & Dogs sells more than its title. It offers hot dogs (Nathan’s), crispy chicken sandwiches, pizza, nachos, and snacks such as buckets of popcorn, candy, pretzels, peanuts, Cracker Jack, and chips. Prices range from $3.50 to $9.95 + tax.
Concession stands sell Pepsi products ($5.75 - $6.75 + tax), canned beer (16oz and 25oz), and canned cocktails ($9.95). Beer choices include Bud, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Busch, Stella Artois, and a powerful Neon Hug Double IPA ($8.95 - $13.95 + tax). The venue offers a Thirsty Thursday promotion where you can buy a koozie for $5, then bring it back throughout the season and get discounted beer prices.
Lines form at the concession stands so get your refreshments early to avoid any wait.
The game day environment doesn’t vary much based on which team home team is playing.
While the exterior of the stadium is beautiful, the interior is drab. The venue doesn’t display a whole lot of Cardinals imagery (banners, posters, history, etc.).
Two levels of green stadium fold-down chairs with a small walkway between the two levels makes up the infield and baseline seating. A set of bleachers is down the third baseline. Canopies provide some shading for the second level seating areas. The first base side gets the sun (until it sets).
Roger Dean Stadium Awning, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Remember to bring bug spray.
Game day operations play music over the PA announcements. Fans can’t understand what the announcer is saying as the music overpowers his voice. My recommendation is to turn down the music volume three or four notches when the announcer is talking.
The ballpark has two scoreboards just beyond the outfield fence. One shows the line score, pitcher stats, and batters due up; the other is a video board and shows a photo of the batter and his stats. It’s quite convenient and helpful for those who keep score.
The stadium has a kids play area with bounce houses down the first base concourse. The game day staff offers lots of promotions and activities between innings, typical at minor league games. These include lip sync contests, flex cam, trivia contests, and a cookie race.
Other promotions throughout the season are Star Wars Night, Military & First Responders Night, Dog Days, Baseball and Brews, Pride Night, and more!
Jupiter is on the southeast coast of Florida. The stadium sits right next door to Downtown Abacoa, a renovated commercial and entertainment district. It has restaurants, shops, bars and breweries, salons, art galleries, spas, and much more. The district has an amphitheater and the town often has concerts and other events on Friday evenings.
Recommended places to eat are Stadium Grill (American), Jumby Bay Island Grill (Steak, Seafood, Pasta), and Copacabana (Cuban/Caribbean). For adult beverages, check out Civil Society Brewing (independent brewery – no food) and Das Beer Garden. The Brick and Barrel Gastropub in Downtown Abacoa is a place for post-game meals and beverages. There is plenty more in Abacoa to choose from, and it’s all within walking distance of the stadium.
A Courtyard Marriott is right across the street from Roger Dean Stadium. A Homewood Suites is a mile away and is a tad less expensive.
Another activity to enjoy in Jupiter is taking a stroll on the Jupiter Riverwalk where several points of historic, environmental, and scenic interests are available to enjoy. Jupiter has several beaches to enjoy the sun, the ocean, swimming, and other park activity.
The FSL St Lucie Mets are 40 miles north, also worth a visit when in the area.
The fans attending a Palm Beach Cardinals game are there just having a good time. Lots of families with kids, some retired folks, and some fans who just enjoy baseball attend the games. A good mix of both Cardinal and Hammerhead fans attend games at Roger Dean Stadium.
Visitors enjoy the between-inning activities and just being at the ballpark.
Getting to Roger Dean Stadium is relatively easy. It is a mile off Interstate 95 if arriving by automobile. Free parking is available on the street and in the Abacoa parking garage.
The closest commercial airport is Palm Beach International, about 20 miles south. It provides flights to and from a few eastern US cities. FLL (Fort Lauderdale Airport) is an hour and a half south and offers more flight choices.
The town offers bus services, Route 10, though there is no service on Sundays. And it looks as though return service for an evening game is not an option.
Once arriving, fans walk through a metal detector. Even though the website says NO bags, I was able to bring in my clear stadium sports bags (12” x 6” x 12”) with no questions asked. The team should remove that entry from its website as it probably prevents many families and other fans from attending games.
Fans walk up a flight of stairs to get to the seating area. The venue has ramps all the way down each baseline to get into the seating area.
Restrooms are drab but clean. The men’s, ladies, and family restrooms have changing tables for families with young children.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets are $12 and all seating is general admission. A game day program is available via QR code or as a magazine. Food prices are acceptable. Parking is free.
Best of all, the team has all kinds of promotions throughout the year. Silver Sluggers, Thirsty Thursdays, Kids Club. Every Friday home game is Friday Fireworks.
The game day staff deserves recognition for the efforts they take in making the game enjoyable and entertaining for all fans.
The Florida State League recently incorporated a balls and strikes ‘challenge system.’ The pitcher, catcher, and batter can appeal the umpire’s call. Each team gets three challenges per game, with successful challenges retained for future use in the game.
Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is the only park in the minor leagues to house two teams.
Taking in a game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is a great option for families, large groups, and individual fans alike. If you want somewhere to get out and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather while watching some quality baseball, consider taking in a Palm Beach Cardinals game. You can stay, shop, eat, and watch the game without having to walk more than a few hundred yards in any given direction.