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Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium

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  • Name: Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
  • GPS-able Address: 4751 Main Street, Jupiter, FL 33458
  • Ballpark Owner: Palm Beach County
  • Architects: HOK Sport (now Populous)
  • Groundbreaking: 3/6/1997
  • Minor League Baseball Teams: Jupiter Hammerheads (A) 2021-present; Palm Beach Cardinals (A) 2021-present; Jupiter Hammerheads (A+) 1998-2020; Palm Beach Cardinals (A+) 1998-2020
  • Class/League History: A/Florida State League 2022-present; A/Low-A Southeast 2021; A+/Florida State League 1998-2020
  • First Professional Baseball Game: 2/28/1998; stadium spring debut of Expos and Cardinals
  • Others Playing or Operating Here: Miami Marlins (spring training); St. Louis Cardinals (spring training)
  • Previous Ballpark Names: Roger Dean Stadium 1998-2017
  • LF: 335 CF: 400 RF: 325
  • Seats: 6,710
  • Stated Capacity: 7,510
  • House Baseball/Softball Record Attendance (as currently configured): 8,393, 3/18/2007 (a Nationals spring-training game; the Cards' record is 8,306, 3/12/2009) (courtesy Nick Gandy, Florida Sports Foundation)

Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, FL, is the only American ballpark housing at least six professional baseball clubs: the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals for spring training; their Single-A Florida State League farm teams, the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals; and their rookie-Florida Complex League teams - the last of which are not necessarily limited to one club each in any given year. It was also the Marlins' 2020 Coronavirus pandemic alternate training site.

Until the pandemic, because of its dual tenants, "The Dean" was also the only stadium in which fans could see professional baseball nearly every day from the beginning of spring training until the end of the FSL season. There were of course no games in 2020 after the pandemic shortened that spring schedule and killed the entire Minor League Baseball season. However, it's unlikely seven-days-most-weeks baseball can ever return because MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization instituted Mondays off throughout the minors. That aside, amid a late start and attendance restrictions, RCDS admitted no fans at all Sunday through Wednesday, with the exception of Independence Day, that year. In 2022 and 2023, with Mondays dark, Wednesdays were added to the days fans could see games.

During pool play of the 2023 World Baseball Classic and MLB spring training, The Dean hosted two exhibitions, with the Marlins beating Team Israel, 11-5, on March 8th and the Cardinals besting Team Nicaragua, 6-4, on March 9th.

In 2012, it hosted a qualifying round for the 2013 WBC.

Originally Roger Dean Stadium, it opened in 1998 as the spring-training home of the Cards and Montreal Expos. The two played each other in its debut, drawing 6,899 as Mark McGwire collected - in separate at-bats - both its first run batted in and home run.

From the beginning, The Dean also hosted the Hammerheads - then an Expos affiliate - and their rookie club in the Gulf Coast League, which is now the FCL. A figurative whirlwind hit the ballpark in 2002, when the Expos and Marlins effectively swapped their stadiums and their affiliations in the then-High-A FSL. Just one year later, Palm Beach took over the FSL franchise vacated when the Texas Rangers moved their FSL, spring and rookie operations to Arizona. With the Cards already a tenant here, they changed their Class A Advanced affiliation from the Carolina League's Potomac Cannons to the empty FSL slot. The Palm Beach Cardinals thus became the ballpark's second FSL club. Finally, in 2007, St. Louis put a team into the GCL, bringing the stadium's team complement to six.

The aforementioned "effective swap" was actually a bit more complicated. Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the troubled Expos, had sold them to Major League Baseball and used the proceeds to buy the Florida Marlins, as they were then known. Because MLB intended to contract the Expos, Loria was allowed to keep some of their most valuable assets - including their lease on this ballpark. A lawsuit to force the other contraction-targeted team, the Minnesota Twins, to honor its lease and opposition from the MLB Players Association eventually killed the contraction plan, leaving the Expos as wards of MLB and completely stripped down of assets and personnel.

The Dean was the first Florida ballpark to house two MLB organizations. Another has since opened, and there are four in Arizona - where Peoria pioneered the concept in 1994. Of those, only The Dean has six teams because only it has full-season minor league teams as well as spring training and rookie ball. The rookie teams rarely play on the main stadium field, but they are otherwise based in the stadium.

Heading into its 25th season, the Palm Beach County Commission approved $140 million for renovations. Some of the work will bring the stadium up to facility standards MLB mandated in its reorganization, but Palm Beach County Vice-Mayor Maria Sachs said it was also simply time: "It needed a facelift and so it will get one. And it should last for the next 25 years."[1] Because the renovation will start in July 2023, the Hammerheads and Cardinals will both play their home games at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches - the spring-training home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals - starting on July 25th.

Designed by HOK Sport (now Populous), The ballpark currently has two seating levels and three clubhouses: one for the Cards clubs, another for the Marlins clubs and a third for visiting teams. Jupiter Stadium LTD operates the farm teams for their parent clubs.

Dean was a successful car dealer whose name went on the ballpark as it opened after his heirs made what was at the time characterized as a $1 million donation toward its construction. That was in a day when naming-rights sales were rare, but this would evolve. Twenty years later, what was characterized as an extension not only lengthened the term but added "Chevrolet" to the stadium's original name.

The dealership has since been sold without the naming rights being included in the sale, so the name could possibly revert.

Jupiter is in the Marlins' protected territory.

Related Sites[edit]

Current ballparks in the Florida State League
West Division East Division
BayCare Ballpark | George M. Steinbrenner Field | Hammond Stadium | LECOM Park | Joker Marchant Stadium | TD Ballpark Clover Park | Jackie Robinson Ballpark | Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium