|ROGER DEAN STADIUM
The St. Louis Cardinals share Roger Dean Stadium with the Florida Marlins during the Grapefruit League spring-training season. Roger Dean Stadium is one of the newer stadiums in the Grapefruit League -- it opened in February 1998 -- and the total capacity is 7,000: 6,400 in box seats, bleachers and skyboxes, up to 300 on a party deck, and 300 in berm seating. There are six luxury suites as well. The entire complex includes four major league practice fields and eight minor league practice fields. It was designed by HOK Sports Facility Group (Kansas City), one of the more prolific ballpark-design firms in the United States, as part of a larger residential/retail development in eastern Florida.
However, in many ways Roger Dean Stadium is distinctly unlike almost every other minor-league stadium built since the mid-1990s. For starters, there's no concourse ringing the inside of the stadium: the concourse and concession area is located behind the grandstand. And there's really no theme associated with the stadium: it's not done up in Spanish Mission style like many other Florida stadiums, for instance. Instead, Roger Dean Stadium is ringed with native oaks and palmetto trees in a very understated manner. Baseball is serious business at Roger Dean Stadium, and you don't need to be distracted by things like concession stands and concourses.
Originally Roger Dean Stadium was also the spring-training home of the Montreal Expos. However, when Jeffrey Loria sold the Expos, he retained the Florida rights and property that had belonged to the Expos, deciding to move the Marlins' spring training to Jupiter while still paying on a spring-training lease at Space Coast Stadium in Melbourne. The word was that Loria wanted the team to train closer to his home in Palm Beach, but team officials insist that the swap was made in order to market the Marlins to Palm Beach County. (Yeah, right.)
During the regular season Roger Dean Stadium is home to the Jupiter Hammerheads (Class A; Florida State League) and the Palm Beach Cardinals (rookie; Gulf Coast League). It was named for West Palm Beach car dealer Roger Dean, whose family bought the naming rights.
Spring Training History
The St. Louis Cardinals have held spring training in the following locations: St. Louis (1901-1902); Dallas (1903); Houston (1904); Marlin Springs, Texas (1905); Houston (1906-1908); Little Rock (1909-1910); West Baden, Ind. (1911); Jackson, Miss. (1912); Columbus, Ga. (1913); St. Augustine, Fla. (1914); Hot Wells, Texas (1915-1917); San Antonio (1918); St. Louis (1919); Brownsville, Texas (1920); Orange, Texas (1921-1922); Bradenton (1923-1924); Stockton, Cal. (1925); San Antonio (1926); Avon Park, Fla. (1927-1929); Bradenton (1930-1936); Daytona Beach (1937); St. Petersburg (1938-1942); Cairo, Ill. (1943-1945); St. Petersburg (1946-1997); Jupiter (1998-present).
The St. Louis Cardinals have trained at Roger Dean Stadium since it opened in 1998. The Montreal Expos trained here from 1998 through 2002, and in 2003 the Florida Marlins began training there.
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