Roger Dean Stadium
Review by Gary
Roger Dean Stadium was built in 1998 and is the only stadium in the country to be home to four minor league teams: the Florida State League’s Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals (FSL), and the Florida Complex League’s Marlins and Cardinals. Roger Dean Stadium can accommodate 6,871 fans of any of the teams that play here.
The naming rights were purchased by the daughter of a longtime area car dealer as an expensive homage to the man and his contributions to the Jupiter region. As spring training home of the Marlins and Cardinals, each team has their own four diamond “Quad Fields” at the Roger Dean Complex, including separate clubhouses and training facilities that are beyond the outfield wall of the main ballpark.
Roger Dean Stadium has decent seating all around from pole to pole. Unfortunately, the seats down the first base line face directly towards the outfield, requiring the occupant to turn 45 degrees to the left to see the action around the infield. The foul territory is so vast that fans sitting in the back rows of the seating bowl are nearly as close to Juno Beach as they are to fair territory. Fortunately, the bullpens are located in these wide foul territories down each baseline, affording fans something closer to focus on than the action on the infield.
A majestic, metal framed roof with a fabric-like tarp hangs far over the seats on both sides of grandstand, allowing much needed shade during day games. As with most of the ballparks we visited on our Florida Spring Training Road Trip, there is only one scoreboard to track the game. At Roger Dean, the scoreboard was clearly legible, but the fonts on it were laid out like the display of an old Commodore 64, with block letters and numbers scattered about pell-mell, to the point of near incomprehensibility.
Adjoining the stadium is an open-air town center with shops and restaurants for pre- and post-game festivities. There are two free parking garages that are close enough to the stadium to take advantage of, if you arrive well before gametime. Sadly, we arrived too close to first pitch and had to invest in a paid garage nearby.
Inside the ballpark, we found that the staff were very friendly all around, while the crowd was genial and lively. As for foodstuffs, we recommend the delectable cheeseburgers and sausage in a bun with grilled veggies. Overall, our visit to Roger Dean Stadium was a pleasant stop on our tour of coastal Florida ballparks.