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
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.